I know you want to jump into browsing for homes to see what’s out there. But, trust me, you’ll just be wasting time. If you’re in browsing mode, no problem, but by the time you’re ready to make an offer, the homes you think you could afford at the time you’re browsing will have either increased (or decreased) in value by the time you’re ready to buy. So, you’re just going to get your hopes up.
Start with a NO HASSLE, NO COST Home Loan Pre-Qualification from a reputable lender. Most loan officers will provide you with a general estimate of how much you can afford. They will go over your current assets, income and will estimate your mortgage and other payments based on your purchase price. Don’t skimp on the info. Make sure they ask you to give (or at least ask you for) items like your tax returns. A lot of loan officers will just tell you what you want to hear so that hopefully you will use them. But, if they can’t analyze your financial information properly, they can end up costing you thousands when your loan doesn’t get approved.
If you’re paying cash, great! Be ready to provide a copy of your bank statements verifying your assets. Your bank statement will need to be included with your offer.
After assisting thousands of home buyers, we know the ones that love their home the most, are the ones that love their community! With Hyper Local Expert knowledge in thousands of different communities and diverse lifestyles, our team of Local Community Experts can help you find something perfect for you.
What’s your lifestyle? The mission of our team is to only hire the top local experts that know their community and sell/promote their lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for the best community to raise a family, you want a social/active lifestyle or you’re a beach bum, we can help you find the community that’s right for you. If you’re not sure of the right community, check out our Local Community Guides or call our Client Relations team who can answer your questions and connect you with a Local Realtor that shares your lifestyle.
Okay, Now that you know how much you can afford and what community that you want to live in, its time to start browsing. Get setup with a home search account on the local MLS where you can setup and save your searches. We agree, websites like Zillow or Trulia are good to double check data, but those websites are strictly advertising based and not regulated by the Department of Real Estate. The most accurate information comes from the MLS. Only an agent has access to all properties on the MLS, however, an IDX or RETS powered website like the one in our Home Search will provide you with the most accurate information available to the public.
Get setup on a MLS Search from a Licensed Agent! As mentioned above, all information available to the public is actually only a fraction of what’s actually available. Only a paying member of the MLS can provide you with all properties actively listed.
Now that you have an idea of what’s out there, I am sure you want to start checking out homes, right? You can search through our Associates with The Local Realty or if you want to see agents from all companies, feel free to check out the International Network of Agents at LocalRealtors.com.
Your offer should include a your pre-qualification letter or a copy of your bank statements, along with a copy of your deposit check. If you’re unsure of who the escrow holder will be, your deposit check should be paid to the order of: __________________ Escrow. Leave enough space blank to fill in the escrow holder once your offer is accepted.
When reviewing your offer, make sure you understand the time periods. You may have a Financing Contingency, Appraisal Contingency, Inspection Contingency or other contingencies in the contract. Be Aware: Once all contingencies are removed, if you decide to back-out of the contract, your deposit may be in jeopardy.
Congrats, your offer was accepted and escrow has been opened. The escrow holder will be responsible for coordinating the transaction and will be the 3rd party holder of all monies. Take that deposit check and get it into escrow!
Talk to your loan officer or get your money liquid. Make sure that if you’re using a lender that they get the appraisal ordered asap. Your loan officer should provide you with a list of items they need to complete all conditions in order to approve and fund your loan. Make sure to get all items back asap to make sure your escrow closes on-time, so you’re not penalized.
We recommend that you make sure to have a home inspection performed. The inspector should review the entire home, including: the roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical, etc. They should provide you with a full report of their findings and make you aware of any issues with the home.
You will receive all the sellers disclosures which list what the seller knows about the property. These disclosures are to make sure that everything known about the property is documented. If the seller knows something is wrong with the property and they don’t disclose to you, they can be liable for damages even after the transaction is closed.
Now that all the paperwork is done, all that’s left is to fund your loan or send your cash to escrow. As soon as all of the money is transferred and documents are signed, the deed can be recorded.
Congrats, you just went through the steps on Buying a Home! Now, lets make it happen in real life, shall we?