How I Can Help You Buy a Home
Whether it’s your first home or if you’re an experienced buyer, purchasing a home is a complex process.
By working with me, you’ll find a home in the neighborhood where you want to live,
one that fits your budget and meets your goals for features, quality and value.
Once you’ve found the home that’s right for you, I will guide you through the process of making an offer;
negotiating the terms of the sale; getting your potential purchase inspected, repaired and appraised; and closing the sale.
Top Tips For First-Time Home Buyers
The challenge of buying a home for the first time can seem so daunting that it’s tempting to continue to rent. To help you demystify the process and get the most out of the purchase, I’ll examine what you’ll need to consider before you buy and what you can expect from the buying process itself
The first thing you’ll need to determine is what your long-term goals are and then how home ownership fits in with those plans. It could be that you’re simply looking to transform all those “wasted” rent payments into mortgage payments that actually give you something tangible. Others see home ownership as a sign of their independence and enjoy the idea of being their own landlord. Narrowing down your big-picture homeownership goals will point you in the right direction. Here are four questions to ask yourself:
1. What type of home best suits your needs?
You have many options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse or a condo. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your homeownership goals, so you need to decide which type of property will help you reach those goals. You can also save on the purchase price in any category by choosing a fixer-upper, although the amount of time, sweat equity and money involved to turn a fixer-upper into your dream home might be much more than you bargained for.
2. What specific features will your ideal home have?
While it’s good to retain some flexibility in this list, you’re making perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, and you deserve to have that purchase fit both your needs and wants as closely as possible. Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size, all the way down to smaller details like bathroom layout and a kitchen that comes with trust-worthy appliances.
3. How much mortgage do you qualify for?
Before you start shopping, it’s important to get an idea of how much a lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $300,000 home, but lenders may think you’re only good for $200,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you’ve been at your current job.
4. Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?
As a real estate agent I will help you locate homes that meet your needs and are in your price range, then meet with you to view those homes. Once you’ve chosen a home to buy, I can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, and completing paperwork. My expertise can protect you from any pitfalls you might encounter during the process.
The Buying Process
Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, let’s explore what you can expect from the home buying process itself. Here is the basic progression you can expect:
1) Find a home.
As soon as you decide to work with me, I’ll set you up on an automated email notifications system. Properties already listed on the MLS and newly coming to the MLS that meet your search criteria will be automatically emailed to you.
2) Consider your financing options and secure financing.
First-time homebuyers have a wide variety of options to help them get into a home, including federally-backed loans and loans for homebuyers who don’t have the standard 20% minimum down payment. Your state may also have its own programs for first-time homebuyers.
3) Make an offer.
As your real estate agent I will help you decide how much money you want to offer for the house. I will then present the offer to the seller’s agent; the seller will either accept your offer or issue a counter-offer. You can then accept, or continue to go back and forth until you either reach a deal or decide to call it quits. If you reach an agreement, you’ll make a good-faith deposit and the process then transitions into escrow. Escrow is a short period of time (often about 30 days) where the seller takes the house off the market with the contractual expectation that you will buy the house – provided you don’t find any serious problems with it when you inspect it.
4) Obtain a home inspection.
Even if the home you plan to purchase appears to be flawless, there’s no substitute for having a trained professional inspect the property for the quality, safety and overall condition of your potential new home. If the home inspection reveals serious defects that the seller did not disclose, you’ll generally be able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back. Negotiating to have the seller make the repairs or give you a credit to do the repair yourself are other options if you find yourself in this situation.
5) Close or move on.
If you’re able to work out a deal with the seller, or better yet, if the inspection didn’t reveal any significant problems, you should be ready to close. Closing basically involves signing a ton of paperwork in a very short time period, while praying that nothing falls through at the last minute.
When you work with me, you will:
- Be more likely to find the home that meets all your criteria
- Lessen the amount of time it will take to find your home
- Understand all the terms, processes and documents used when buying your home
- Have up-to-date market information that will allow you to make informed decisions
- Have a skilled negotiator working on your behalf, one who is committed to looking after your best interests
- Enjoy peace of mind, knowing that all the details of your purchase are being taken care of by an experienced and knowledgeable professional