Determining Needs

  • Determine real estate wants and needs in relation to financial capability
  • Obtain a mortgage pre-qualification from a trusted financial institution. 
    • This will help you understand your total costs of purchasing a home included estimated home owners insurance, taxes, and private mortgage insurance if needed

Viewing Properties

  • When beginning the home buying process, thoroughly search the internet for available properties and communicate favorite properties with your real estate agent
  • Go beyond your initial wants and needs and look for an alternative solution. Often times looking at some different properties enables buyers to find their dream home

Writing an Offer

  • After finding a great home, your agent will sit down with you, review comparable sales in the area and help determine a reasonable offer price.
  • The signed offer will be sent to the sellers agent and negotiations begin.

Negotiations

  • Everybody wants to make a good deal, and working a motivated seller into a bargain purchase price is the goal of most buyers. Be sure to talk to your agent about how this will influence the process in almost every aspect through to closing. Getting a seller to their rock-bottom price will generally ensure that they will not agree to further concessions for repairs or money to correct inspection problems.
    • This is where that mortgage pre-qualification comes in very handy showing a home seller than you are qualified and good to go!
  • A really low first offer can backfire on you. Its not unusual for a seller to receive a low offer, and sellers simply come back with a high counter offer to draw the buyer up to a more reasonable price. However, sometimes a very low offer can offend them, almost guaranteeing negotiations will not go in your favor.
  • Make sure to use your Realtor as a total resource. Don't be hesitant to ask him/her about local resources including inspectors, appraisers, lenders, lawyers, etc.

Home Inspection

  • After an offer is accepted by both buyers and sellers, the buyer will have a defined number of days to perform a home inspection if they choose. 
  • A thorough home inspection by a reputable company could cover hundreds of items both inside and outside of the house including:
    • Foundation
    • Exterior
    • Walls
    • Roof
    • Attic
    • Basement
    • Kitchen
    • Bathrooms
    • Windows
    • Insulation
    • Air and Heating Systems
    • Interior
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing

Closing

  • New homeowners are often taken aback by up-front closing costs such as mortgage and title insurance, attorney fees, recording fees, and loan points, which can run into the thousands of dollars. But there is no need to be afraid of these charges. Your agent will help you understand these costs, what their purpose is, and how they are applied. Examples of closing costs included:
    • Non-Recurring Costs
      • Title Policies
      • Escrow or closing
      • Notary
      • Wire Fees
      • Courier/Delivery
      • Attorney Fees
      • Recording Feeds
      • State, County, or City transfer tax (not common for buyers)
      • Home protection plans
    • Recurring Costs
      • Insurance Premiums
      • Property Taxes
      • Prepaid Interest
  • There are so many variables involved in a closing that it's not that unusual for there to be last-minute delays that move a closing a few days farther out. Many times this is due to loan documents, as the lender wants to see all appraisal, survey, title. and other documents first. If any of these are delayed. then the closing could potentially be delayed as well. 
  • Don't buy that new furniture until after the closing! Avoid major purchases during the home process, especially ones that could affect your credit. Your lender will review your credit right before closing to verify nothing has changed.