Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times of your life! Whether it’s your first home or you’ve purchased many, working with a knowledgable real estate agent will help you make your best purchase. And best of all, there is no cost to you.
Determine your basic needs. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need now? Do you expect your family to grow? What kind of neighborhood do you want? Are schools important? How long do you think you’ll live in this house? You may want to make a prioritized list, then call Todd for a friendly discussion.
Determine your budget. The best way to determine a price you are comfortable with is to speak to a reputable lender. All lenders will ask you questions about your income, savings and debt to determine your maximum loan amount. Good lenders will ask what payments you would be comfortable with and provide you with a price range that best suits your financial situation and comfort level. Ask Todd for a list of good lenders, then get pre-approved for a mortgage. When it comes time to make an offer, sellers are likely to negotiate more when they feel confident you have the financial ability to purchase the home.
Comparison shop online. Once you know the type of home you’re looking for and know a comfortable price range, it’s time to see what’s available. You can search ALL available homes for sale right here. Be sure to create an account to keep track of listings you might like to visit in person. If you have a specific requirement that isn’t searchable, please visit the Find It For Me page.
Start shopping in person! This is the fun part. You and Todd will visit homes together and there’s really no better way to understand what to expect for your investment. You’ll quickly discover which homes are competitive in the market and which aren’t. You’ll also likely discover that it’s tough to find the “perfect” home and your top priorities will become clear. Once you have identified some possibilities, Todd will discuss the merits and drawbacks of each property as it relates to your lifestyle, your investment and future resale potential. He will never try to “sell” you a home, only help you make an informed decision.
Make an offer. After searching online, after seeing a number of homes in person, most buyers just know when they’ve found the right home. It’s time to make an offer. Some advice – don’t delay. Good homes sell quickly and you’re not the only one looking. You and Todd will compare the home’s location, size, features, time on the market and pricing history to other homes on the market, as well as to similar homes that have recently sold. Together you’ll formulate your strategy to get the best price and terms for the home. It will be advantageous to have your pre-approval at this point to present with your offer.
There will be financing and inspection contingencies to protect you. There will be negotiation, usually limited to price, closing and possession, closing costs and included items like appliances and window treatments. Generally, you’ll submit a deposit with your offer of about 1% of the offered price that will become part of your down payment. With a little compromise and good faith, you have a deal!
Apply for a mortgage. If you didn’t make your loan application during the pre-approval process, now is the time to submit the documents your lender requests to obtain a formal approval.
Home inspection. You’ll have 10-14 days to have the home inspected at your cost, generally between $350 and $600, depending on the size of the home. It’s money well spent. You are encouraged to attend the inspection which is a great way to learn about the home and understand the scope of any defects. You and Todd will review the detailed inspection report with photos and decide which, if any, defects you should ask the seller to fix. The requests will vary based on what is typical for similar homes and there’s often some more negotiation about repairs.
Closing. Once the repair requests have been agreed to and your loan has been approved, it’s time to close the transaction. You and the seller will close together in the same room, it usually takes about one hour. You’ll bring your down payment or have it wired and lender will provide the balance of the purchase price. The seller will sign the deed and turn over keys at that time, or another mutually agreed upon time. Congratulations, you’re a home owner! Celebrate!
This is a general overview and there are additional details along the way. Don’t worry, Todd has helped hundreds of people buy homes. With Todd’s help, you can do this.
Questions? Call or email Todd.