With some up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't all that difficult, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.
Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Prior to starting your home search, there are plenty of things you need to consider. It's likely that you'll want to put together a list of features you want, get an idea of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.
Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Waterville
That's where I come in. We'll arrange a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Waterville area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.
In addition, I'll help you begin the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Waterville, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They can help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.
Step 3 – Start looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.
When we tour the houses, I'll identify good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers change their must-have list as we tour houses and some features become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll search all the listings once more and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.
Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My understanding of the Waterville home market is a fundamental asset in your search. I am informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate certain districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.
When we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent in Waterville will convince you they know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at (207)649-8522 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.
Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I know we'll find your dream home in the Waterville area. When we do, I'll precisely develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind, including several contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.
When we present your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is most often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.
Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the first offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.
Market circumstances will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll create a deal that's best for you.
Step 7 – Secure your loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this won't be a long process at all, but you need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.
Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.
Then we'll close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and stress-free occurrence.
Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to call me at (207)649-8522 or send me an e-mail.