Buying a Home Can Be Stressful, But It Doesn't Have to Be.
If you’re like most of us, buying a home is one of the biggest purchase decisions you’ll ever make. The weight of that decision and debt can sometimes be a little overwhelming. Take a deep breath! It’s my job to guide you through this process. I often joke that a real estate agent’s job is half helping people buy and sell homes and half therapist! Don’t be afraid to ask a million questions and even vent every now and then. I’m here for you every step of the way!
There are a lot things to consider when buying a home. I’ve compiled a list of helpful info to get you started on your journey.
BUYING A HOME, STEP BY STEP
It may be tempting to get out and start looking at all the beautiful houses for sale around town. Stop yourself. The first step in the home buying process is figuring out how much house you can afford and how much you’re willing to pay.
Just because you can qualify for a large mortgage doesn’t mean you want to be saddled with that kind of payment every month. Try using the mortgage affordability calculator at the bottom of my site to get an idea what you can afford.
It’s a good idea to get pre-approved for a loan early in your home search. I have a list of trusted lenders that I’ve worked with previously. I’m a stickler for excellent customer service, so I only add them to the list if I’ve had a good experience. You can also ask your friends and family who they trust.
The pre-approval process requires the lender to pull your credit information and assess your financial situation. Once that assessment is complete, you’ll receive a letter that states the amount they would be willing to lend you. If you get in a multiple-offer scenario, being pre-approved may give you an edge because the seller will have more confidence that you will be approved for a loan large enough to purchase their home. I’ll do my absolute best to keep you out of a multiple-offer situation, but it’s always better to be over-prepared!
THE HOME SEARCH
Woohoo! You’re pre-approved. Now, we can start the fun part — house hunting! We’ll sit down and discuss your needs and wants in a home. Yes, I said needs AND wants. Remember to be realistic about your search. There will likely be things you’ll have to compromise on in order to check off the needs on your list.
I’ll take all this info and compile a list of houses for us to tour. Chances are you’ll discover some new things to love or hate about all these homes and we’ll refine your search until we get it right!
SEALING THE DEAL
Alright, this is usually when the butterflies hit. After all that searching, you’ve found your dream home! Now it all comes down to the dollar signs. Remember, the listing price is only a starting point. We’ll work together to make the best offer for you, whether it’s below, at, or above the listing price.
This is the time to consider any contingencies like whether or not you need to sell your current home before the sale is finalized. Once we’ve submitted the offer, the waiting game begins. There are three responses – yes, no, and counteroffer. If you get a solid no, it’s back to the house hunt. If you get a counteroffer, we’ll sit down and discuss our options. If you get a yes, it’s time to celebrate!
This is a big day. Your inspector will look over the property to make sure there are no unseen defects that we would want to ask the seller to repair or replace. Contractually, the home inspection is optional, but it is recommended. The termite inspection may or may not be required — depending on your lender. The day of the home inspection is likely to be the longest stretch of time you’ll get to spend in your new home until closing. It’s a great time to bring your tape measure and start figuring out what goes where!
HAPPILY EVER AFTER...
This is THE big day! Today you get to read and sign stacks and stacks of paper. Not to worry, I’ll pair you with a GREAT closing attorney. Together we’ll be with you as you sign all those pages, and before you know it you’ll have the keys in your hand! The contract you signed to finalize your home purchase will detail the date that you are officially allowed to move in. Sometimes it’s by a certain time on closing day. Occasionally, moving day will be a few days after closing. Whenever it’s scheduled, it’s the last phase of your home buying adventure!