Home Buyer's First Steps
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You step inside a beautiful home and you start to dream of what it could be like if this home was yours. You envision the all the memories you will make and it is at that point your dream of becoming a homeowner has started.
- But how do you get started?
- Could You Even Buy Home?
- How Much Is It Going To Cost?
Read over your FREE Home Buyer’s Guide Below. After Submit a Request To Start Your First Step in Making Owning a Home a Reality.
Owing your own home means a happier life for you and your family. When you live in your own house you enjoy more:
• Freedom to Do What You Want
• Tax Benefits
Buying a house is not difficult, especially when you have a great agent.
There are just 7 steps in buying:
1. Get Qualified by Lender (Free to You)
2. Find Your Home and Come to Agreement with Seller on Price
3. Open Escrow (I will get this done with you)
4. Have home appraised and inspected (I will show you how)
5. Negotiate with seller on any repairs you find in the inspection if needed
6. Close the escrow account by funding the purchase with your loan
7. Move in and have a glass of wine (or?)
For more detail on the 7 steps please read the following or skip past them and play with the calculators below to see what fits your budget.
1. Get Qualified by Mortgage Lender
- Get a free “pre qual” letter from a lender. A mortgage broker or lender will analyze your credit, debt and income to find how much loan money you can borrow to buy your home. He can then make you a pre qual letter that you will need to make an offer to buy a house. The less debt (like car loans, student loans etc.) the more you can borrow for your home loan. If you can avoid taking on any debt, or get rid of some debt before you buy your home, you will be able to afford more. I recommend that you collect the information the lender will ask you for and make copies or scan it so you can give it to more than one lender. It can pay to shop around. I know good lenders and can help you get in touch with one.
2. Find Your Home
- Once you know how much you can afford (check out the calculators on this page) and have your pre qual letter we can have fun looking for your home. I can find all the homes in your price range. I can easily customize a search on the MLS (multiple listing service) with the features you want in your home like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and location or city etc.
- When you find a home you want to make an offer on I will “run comps” on that home. This means I will analyze what comparable homes sold for recently in the area so you know if the asking price of the home is fair.
- If you want that home, we then make an offer to buy it from the seller. I will write up the offer with all the details including the close of escrow date, usually 30 to 45 days. Most times sellers won’t accept an offer without a pre qual letter from the buyer’s lender. (So, it makes sense to get pre-qualified first.) I then deliver the signed offer and pre qual letter to the seller or their agent. You may choose to negotiate the price in your offer.
- Some things to think about: If the market is rising (home prices are going up) and the house is nice and just came on the market there may be competition to get the house. On the other hand, if prices are falling you may have more room to negotiate.
3. Open Escrow:
- Escrow agents act as a neutral third party. It takes some time to get the house appraised and inspected and there is probably some earnest money that accompanied the offer. So, a place to keep track of all this and more is needed. Escrow is usually at a title company and they will make sure that no exchange of funds will take place until all contract conditions are met. They oversee the real estate transaction and help insure a smooth process.
4. Have home appraised and inspected
- It is not required that you have the house inspected but it is good practice to have it done and I recommend it. Inspectors are trained and able to find problems with the house if they exist. It is better to find them before you buy the house. If problems are found you can ask the seller to fix them before the close of escrow. You can even ask they be fixed by licensed tradesmen it the defect warrants it. For instance, an air conditioner may need some service. It is probably better to have a licensed HVAC company work on it as opposed to a general handy man. On the other hand, minor repairs can often be done by non-licensed workers.
- The lender you use will likely require that an appraisal be done on the house. Appraisers are neutral third party professionals. They will also look at the condition of the home as well as comparable home sales in the area and produce an appraisal for the lender. If the appraised price is less than the agreed upon sales price then the seller will need to reduce the price or the buyer may need to pay the difference.
5. Negotiate with seller on any needed repairs
- Sometimes the price of the house or the type of repairs can be renegotiated based on the inspection. This may be another time to negotiate during the buying process.
6. Close the escrow
- When all the terms of the contract have been met you and the seller will sign all the documents on the closing date. If you are out of town the escrow officer will make arrangements with you to sign at a location available to you. The funds will be transferred and you will get the keys to your new home.
7. Celebrate – Now it is time to enjoy!!…..
So, that is the basics of buying a house. As we go through the process together I am there to answer questions as they come up. If it is your first house remember that people buy their first house every day. Then they enjoy living in them and often wonder why they took so long to become a homeowner. I know I did after we bought our first home. Having more room and your own space definitely adds up to a more enjoyable life!
Let me help you find your home to make your memories in!
I will be happy to provide you a “Buyers Packet” that has all these details and more laid out. Just give me a call or text and I can arrange to get it to you.