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Eight steps to buying your home

1. Decide to buy.

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home and enjoyment of owning your own property as well as wealth building ranks among the top of the list. I call home ownership the best accidental investment most people ever make! But, I believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an intentional investment that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
  1. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy and buying can be less expensive than renting.
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.
  3. The lack of a substantial down payment doesn't prevent you from making your first home purchase as there are many grant and down payment assistance programs to help you.
  4. A less-than-perfect credit score won't necessarily stop you from buying a home.
  5. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now.
  6. Buying a home doesn't have to be complicated! I can help you and make it an easy smooth process for you.

2. Let's start working together and I will be your agent and friend along the way.

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals such as insurance agents, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer's agents, seller's agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is my responsibility as your personal agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout. I'm here to help you.

Seven main roles of your real estate agent

A Buyer's Real Estate Agent:
  1. Educates you about your market
  2. Analyzes your wants and needs
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria
  4. Coordinates the work of other needed professionals
  5. Negotiates on your behalf
  6. Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines
  7. Solves any problems that may arise
I promise that I will work diligently to ensure a smooth and easy process for you! Remember, shopping for and buying a home can be fun and exciting!

3. Secure financing.

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.

From start to finish, you will follow a three-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

  Your three steps to Financing a Home
  1. Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist)
  2. Make a loan application and get preapproved
  3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option

4. Find your home.

Now the fun part! Let's get started finding your dream home. You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it's true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting and fun part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long. if weeks go by without finding what you're looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That's why I say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants and needs, both for the short and long terms. With these needs and wants in mind I can help you find that perfect home.

Questions to ask yourself
  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability and priority?
  7. Would I be interested in a condo?
  8. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  9. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. We found your perfect home so now we make an offer.

When searching for your dream home, you were just that, a dreamer. Now that you're writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies.

Price: the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. I will help and guide you every step and negotiate each little detail to get the best house at the best price and in top condition!

Terms: types of financing and timing factors will all be included in the offer I write for you:

Terms fall under four basic categories in a real estate offer:
  1. Scheduling of events that have to happen before closing.
  2. Conveyances are the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
  3. Closing costs. We can either ask the seller to pay these or you may decide to pay them.
  4. Earnest money is given to the title company to hold on your and seller's behalf. Giving earnest money makes the contract valid and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Now we perform our due diligence.

Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why home owner's insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner's insurance policy protects you in two ways:
  1. Against loss or damage to the property itself
  2. Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection will expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers and is our tool to get the seller to fix those issues.
  • Your major concern is structural damage.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked and others can be fixed by the seller.
  • If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.

7. Close.

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender's confirmation of the home's value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. I will keep you posted on how each is progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
  1. Stay in control of your finances
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly
  3. Communicate with me at least once a week
  4. Several days before closing, I will confirm with your lender and title that all your documentation is in place and in order
  5. Obtain certified funds for closing
  6. Conduct a final walk-through right before we close to make sure the home hasn't been damaged or changed.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and myself, you'll sign documents that do the following:
  1. Finalize your mortgage
  2. Pay the seller
  3. Pay your closing costs
  4. Transfer the title from the seller to you
  5. Title will make all arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record

Then get your keys and move into your new home! As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience. It's a very happy day.

8. Protect your investment.

Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, we have spent a lot of time together and we have gotten to know each other fairly well. There's no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, I want you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, I can still help you:
  1. Handle your first tax return as a home owner
  2. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling
  3. Help your friends find homes
  4. Keep track of your home's current market value
I'm honored to help you with buying your home and happy to help you in any way as I am your realtor for life!

Michelle Hall / Co Real Estate Group LLC / cell:  720-394-4620 / office: 720-295-4620 /