Steps to Buying Your Home

Buying the house of your dreamsDecision…decisions….
The first step to take when buying your first home is to decide what you want.  Trust us, it sounds much easier than it actually is! The best way to do this is to create a prioritized list of features and amenities that are important to you (driveway, master bath, garage, man-cave, etc). This list should serve as your guide to searching for a new home, keeping in mind that the home you eventually purchase might not include every feature on your list.

Our ERA Central agents can provide a wealth of information on community characteristics including schools, shopping, dining and other neighborhood features that will play an important part in your final decision.

Finding your real estate representation – Buying or selling a home can be exciting, but it can also be a stressful time. Researching and working with an experienced real estate professional you trust will help make this process a smoother and successful one.

What can you afford?
Once you have made your wish list, it’s time to decide how much house you can afford. There are many things that factor into what you can afford: income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment and interest rate. We can help you get started by connecting you with a mortgage professional to help you determine what price range will fit comfortably within your budget.  Don’t worry, talking with a mortgage professional doesn’t obligate you to anything, but it is the best way to navigate this market and know your REAL options.

Apply for a Mortgage
There are hundreds of mortgage programs out there – and applying for one can seem overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be.  You can trust in our agents can help you find a mortgage professional to explain the programs you qualify for, get you pre-approved and guide you through the mortgage application process.

Time to shop for your new home!
You know the area you would like to live in and how much you can afford, now you can start your search for your new home.    Your agent will help you with this process by setting you up to receive email updates when homes come on the market that fit your criteria.

Once you see a few homes that you like online, you should begin to visit homes in person. Your ERA Central agent will schedule showings for you and you can also begin attending open houses in your target neighborhoods.

Making an Offer
Succes! You have searched for and found the perfect home for you.  Ok, so now what do you do?  You will need to make an offer to purchase the home.  Your real estate agent will guide you, prepare your offer and present it to the seller’s agent in the best possible light.  At this point the negotiating usually begins.  Remember, as the buyer – it is important to not divulge information to the seller or the seller’s agent that could hinder negotiations.

For instance, comments like “This is my dream home and I’d pay any price for it!” are best kept to yourself….at least until after closing.

Next Steps…Inspection and Insurance
Once the negotiations on price and conditions have finished, and your offer is accepted, you will need to get to work.  Your real estate agent will help you to set up, coordinate and attend the various inspections you may need on the property.  Inspections can include pest/insect, radon, building quality, oil tank, title, etc.

Here is a tip from our experienced agents:  It is important not to get discouraged or panic if your inspections discover problems with the property.  Your real estate agent and your attorney (if you choose to have one) will guide you and help you through the decisions you will make at this point.

In addition to the previously mentioned inspections, you will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance, title search and insurance and also finalize your mortgage agreement with your lender.

Closing Day!!
It is finally time to get the keys to your new home!  Before you arrive at the final closing, you and your real estate agent will confirm that the paperwork and deposits have been completed and forwarded to the appropriate parties. Missing or incomplete information can delay the closing, so it is important that everything is done prior to your closing date.

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