THE BUYING PROCESS
If you’re ready to own a home, the first thing you need to determine is how much of a loan you can qualify for and what loan program suits you best. Generally, your mortgage payment should not exceed 35 percent of your monthly gross income, however, other factors will also affect how much house you can afford to buy, like your down payment and mortgage terms. Your lender may approve you for more than you are comfortable with.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
It’s essential that you first get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Going through the pre-approval process means your lender has reviewed your financial status by verifying your income and debt status. Once you’ve completed the pre-approval process, your lender will be able to tell you with confidence just how much house you can afford to buy based on the loan amount for which you qualify. Don’t confuse the pre-approval process with a pre-qualification, which will simply ballpark how much you can you afford to spend based on unverified income and debt estimates.
Start your wish list
Get started by creating your wish list, a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves. Keeping it in mind during your search will help you remain focused on your goals and save you time.
One of the things we can set-up for you is a personalized online portal. You will receive daily emails of newly listed homes fitting your specific criteria. You can also track a favorite neighborhood for sold prices and days on market. Contact us and we'll be happy to set this up for you.
How to Determine your Offer Price
Everyone wants the best possible deal when purchasing a home. However it’s not always easy determining how much to offer, especially in the face of constantly changing market conditions. We can help you craft a reasonable offer based on the current market. In addition to sticking to your budget, we will review a range of factors including the number of for-sale homes competing for your offer, the terms sellers look for in a clean offer, and any negotiable points that are likely to appeal to a specific seller. Whether the market favors buyers or sellers, there will always be comparable market data and fluctuating contractual terms that we will be able to analyze before submitting a winning offer.
Submitting an Offer
A real estate purchase offer is a legally binding contract that a homebuyer uses to make an offer on a property. It is a document that contains information about the purchase transaction and the buyer’s and seller's rights and obligations. The primary elements of the purchase offer include the offer price, down payment, earnest money deposit, and contractual dates that stipulate when the transaction will close and how many days the buyer has to meet certain conditions including the property inspection, appraisal and loan periods. Within the purchase offer, you will also commit to various additional details including escrow costs, real estate transfer taxes and if any local point of sale ordinances will be paid. Once you make an offer, you may need to negotiate counter offers to reach final agreement.
The Closing Process
Once your offer has been accepted and your inspections completed, you will need to attend the signing of your loan documents at the title company. This is when you bring in the balance of your down-payment funds, typically 3-5 days prior to the closing, or recording, of the sale. The recording is the legal transfer of ownership from the seller to you. The title or escrow officer will prepare the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, which outlines all of the costs for both the buyer and the seller.
About the same time as the signing of documents a final walk-through of the home will be scheduled to ensure that any agreed-to repairs have been made and that the home is in the condition outlined in the contract.
You can expect to receive your keys once the sale has recorded and ownership has transferred to you, 30-60 days from offer acceptance to closing is typical.