8 Straight-forward Steps
As soon as you can, start browsing Web sites, mobile apps, newspapers, and magazines that have real estate listings. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and see how long they stay on the market.
Also note any specific home or neighborhood features that you would like your ideal property to have. This will help you evaluate your needs versus your wants and make comparison shopping more productive later.
Understand that this initial research is just that – initial – and your subsequent discussions with a real estate agent will be more informative and useful.
Meeting with your real estate agent will allow you to discuss and refine your home-buying goals. We will help you assess how your lifestyle and life stage needs may impact the home or neighborhood that is right for you.
When thinking about your purchase needs, consider the following questions:
- Where do I want to live? How will my commute change?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I need?
- Do I need move-in condition or can I make improvements?
- When do I need to move in? How long do I plan to stay?
Before you start looking for a home, you will need to know how much you can actually spend. The best way to do that is to get prequalified for a mortgage.
To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much we can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at.
Later, you can get pre-approved for credit, which involves providing your financial documents (W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, bank account statements, etc.) so your lender can verify your financial status and credit.
Now that you understand your budget and home preferences, your real estate agent will begin to coordinate a larger team of professionals to help you turbocharge your property search.
Our team will:
- Prepare saved searches, email updates, and refined options;
- Contact owners, tenants, and agents to arrange showings;
- Arrange for access to homes not publicly listed;
- Organize a tour of top home candidates; and
- Discuss home features, details, and potential issues.
Your home inspection is a chance for you to check the property thoroughly for current or potential problems, point out the positive features of the property, and learn about the home’s current systems – e.g., power, heating/cooling, ventilation.
Some inspections are conducted prior to contract presentation as a negotiation strategy. If this is relevant to your situation your real estate agent will discuss the strategy with you before rendering an initial offer.
Inspections sometimes beget the need for repairs. We maintain a directory of recommended service providers that you can contact for advice. If repairs are necessary, your agent will help you adjust the contract terms, as necessary.
Lenders have a wide range of competitively priced loan programs and a reputation for exceptional customer service. You will have many questions when you are purchasing a home, and having an experienced, responsive mortgage banker assist you can make the process much easier.
Every home buyer has their own priorities when choosing a mortgage. Some are interested in keeping their monthly payments as low as possible. Others are interested in making sure that their monthly payments never increase. And still others pick a loan based on the knowledge they will be moving again in just a few years. Which best describes you?
Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third-party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. We will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.
During this stage, you will also secure home insurance, conduct the final walk-through, and address any last-minute questions.
At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents.
It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you can move into your new home!