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 buyer’s guide will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know what area or neighborhoods you are most interested in? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? Now is the time to start researching online and reviewing what's available. 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.
This is not determined by how much the mortgage company will loan to 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.
Just because you feel that you can afford a certain payment every month, that 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, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. Having a prequalification letter takes very little time, but it can be a big advantage, because some sellers require buyers be preapproved prior to approving a showing appointment. Further, when you make an offer on a home, you have to submit a copy of the letter with the offer, because sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an experienced agent to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. We may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process, other than moving in! We will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. We take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. We don’t limit our time with you to the home itself. We make sure you take the time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close the home is to necessities like school, work, entertainment, and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, you will work with us to craft an offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. 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. We will be able to help you negotiate to ensure you obtain the best possible house and get your dream home under contract.
In almost all cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We will help you arrange this. Any inspections are scheduled within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there are issues, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, you can ask the seller to make repairs, or you can cancel the contract.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year or 30-year conventional, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans.
Your lender will order the home appraisal so there is an independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your agent, lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll be the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new home. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
Just completed a deal in Northshore. It went very smoothly and Jonathan was excellent to work with. I highly recommend contacting him if you are thinking of buying or selling.
As inexperienced home buyers, Jonathan helped us decide not only which house we wanted, but our wants and must-haves when looking for a home. His knowledge of the area exceeded our expectations and I will recommend him to all o...
He is one of the best REALTORS I have worked with from start to finish. He is very knowledgeable and friendly. I had many offers to help me find our first home and the reason I chose Jonathan was because he made me feel like fa...
Jonathan did an outstanding job representing the seller. He was very knowledgeable of the local market and comp prices. He always responded to inquiries and to our questions in a timely fashion. Most importantly his negotiation...
I am very happy with the decision to hire Jonathan Young to sell my house. Throughout the entire process, he was very accessible. Any time a decision needed to be made he would provide me with several options and weigh the pros...
Jonathan is the most patient man I know! I had to be the most undecided client he’d ever met, but I knew what I wanted and I didn’t want to settle on just anything. Jonathan took his time and kept working with me until we found...
If you need to sell your property, contact us today to see how our extensive marketing experience and advertising campaigns will result in your home being sold for the highest possible price. Although we specialize in luxury real estate, we work with buyers and sellers in all price ranges.