Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home, or investment property? Do you want an income generating property? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.
We have budgeting tools to help you account for every dollar.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, let's set you up with a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as most sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already pre-approved for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and find a home on your own? Absolutely yes in today's world with access to the internet. However, once you are ready to make an offer would you allow your largest financial purchase to be guided by anyone other than an expert? We advocate and negotiate fiercely on your behalf, guide you through repairs, advocate for seller credits and explain all of the legal paperwork with a heart of a teacher. Understanding the market and guiding you in your financial freedom is our highest priority. We will be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find not only an incredible home, or a cash flowing property but an investment that can lead to generational wealth.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). When we tour homes, your job is to see if the home and the neighborhood are a good fit for your family, are the rooms big enough, are you in the school district that you love, can you envision a life here? Our job is to look for hidden issues with the home and determine if it's a good investment.
Once you have selected your home, we work together to craft a strategic offer on the home that's is likely to get accepted. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. Once we reach an agreed upon price with the seller, we will have an accepted offer and will open escrow!
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We can help you arrange this, and we can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it or the seller will make the repairs or give you credit for those repairs.
Now is the time to make sure you give your mortgage lender all of the paperwork they request. You will be presented with various loan options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. We work with you and your mortgage lender to help you select the option you feel the most comfortable with. We can also put the loan options into a spreadsheet for a side by side comparison.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. This value will determine that the home is worth what you are buying it for. In different markets your new home can be valued higher, lower or at the same price as the purchase price.
Finish sending in any documents to the lender and then review & sign all of you loan documents and escrow paperwork! You will also wire your downpayment to escrow. The lender will make your loan active, you will record with the city and the home will be officially yours!
Once your home has recorded with the city, you are legally a home owner!!
We will meet to give you the keys and celebrate and you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.