You have decided to start fresh and purchase a new home. This is a very exciting time for you and we look forward to guiding you smoothly through this process, helping you to efficiently find the home of your dreams.
As you will see, there are several steps you need to take before you move into your new home. The following information is designed to inform you of your rights as a home buyer and to introduce you to the world of real estate. Using us as your Buyer’s Agent will give you confidence that your search for a new home will be overwhelmingly successful.
The first step towards financing a new home is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A mortgage is an advance of money from your lender that will cover the finances of your new property. Over an extended period of time, you (the mortgagee) must pay the bank back each month a percentage of the money they lent you plus interest, until the sum is paid in full. This is how most homes are financed.
When you apply for a mortgage, you will need to furnish information regarding your income, expenses and obligations. To save time, have the following items available for each borrower:
- Two most recent pay stubs
- W-2’s for last two years
- last two federal tax returns
- last two bank statements
- long-term debt information(credit cards, auto loans, installment debt, etc.)
Of course, a lender will only lend you money if they’re sure your credit is strong and they’re confident you have the ability to pay them back. A bank checks your credit by studying your financial history, income, federal tax returns, pay stubs, and long-term debt information to determine if you are a good candidate for a loan. If your credit report is good, then you have an excellent chance of obtaining a mortgage. If not, then you must take the appropriate steps to improve your credit rating.
Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you choose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
He/she should be “with” you every step of the way providing you with wise counsel. A good Buyer’s Agent represents and works for you, the buyer, in the purchasing of a home-as the agent for the buyer-and has a duty to represent your interests. He/she should:
- Negotiate the right price for you
- Perform a comprehensive market analysis
- Structure the transaction to your advantage
- Be your advocate during the inspection process
- And most of all, be loyal to you.
You have all your financial papers in order, you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ve calculated your budget, and you have selected a Buyer’s Agent to work with, now it’s time to have some fun finding your new home!
Can you picture your dream house? Does it have a huge backyard? Lots of land? What kind of neighborhood is it in? Is it important to have a good school system nearby? What about public transportation or day care? Do you want to live by a lake, river or stream? These are just a few of the questions you should consider before you begin the search. Remember, the more you know about what you’re looking for, the quicker you will find the perfect match. Luckily, you can use our Home Finding Needs Worksheet to help you prioritize your wants and needs in your new home. Take some time, fill out the worksheet and have some fun. Your dream home is just a few steps away.
One of the many advantages of working with us is our access to multiple listings. That means you can see every house on the market if you’d like to. We can provide a detailed description on any property of interest. Plus, we screen all the listings before we show them, in order to save you time and eliminate the homes that don’t meet your criteria. If you see a sign in a yard, an ad in a magazine, or an ad in the paper, call us-we will handle it.
Open houses are a great way to get a feel for a specific property. You can be sure that we will inform you of upcoming open houses, giving you the important information and details of the property. If you attend an open house without one of us, you need to make sure the agent on duty knows that you are working with us.
If you require special features such as a swimming pool, wheelchair access, or even skylights, we will be sure to show you only those properties that accommodate your needs. In turn, if we know of any properties that have special features that are not listed, you will be the first to know of them.
Often in real estate transactions, the seller will present a Disclosure Statement. This statement includes the age and condition of the property and lists any additional features and issues. The Disclosure Statement protects the seller against liability from a buyer who charges that he/she was not made aware of a particular condition, as well as providing the buyer with an extensive review of the property so that he/she can make a fully-informed decision before he/she purchases the home. You should insist on receiving a Disclosure from the Seller.
Once you have found the perfect home, as your buyer’s agent, we will write up the offer with your best interests in mind. After the offer s accepted, there are various steps that need to take place before you can close. These include the formal loan application and commitment, all inspections and repairs made if necessary, property surveyed and appraised, the title examined and the title commitment is issued, and the securing of homeowner’s insurance.
This is the meeting where the sale transaction is finalized. During the closing, settlement procedures take place. The HUD-1 Settlement Statement is signed, money is exchanged, all paperwork and agreements are signed, and the title of the property is transferred. This is the last step before you can call the property your home.
There’s no “perfect” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have gained 45% in value over the last 10 years, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.