1. Decide to buy.
Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy. Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many professionals who will help you along the way.
2. Hire your agent.
Seven main roles of your real estate agent:
- Educates you about your market.
- Analyzes your wants and needs.
- Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
- Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
- Negotiates on your behalf.
- Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
- Solves any problems that may arise.
3. Secure financing.
Six steps to Financing a Home:
- Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
- Make a loan application and get pre-approved.
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
- Get an appraisal and title commitment.
- Obtain funding at closing.
4. Find Your Home
Before you drive around with your agent, ask yourself:
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability and priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- Would I be interested in new home construction?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
5. Make an offer.
Your agent’s market research will guide this decision.
The other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
- A schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
- Conveyances? The items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
- Commission? The real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
- Closing costs? It’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
- Home warranty? This covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
- Earnest money? This protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
6. Perform due diligence.
You can’t return your house.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:
- Against loss or damage to the property itself
- Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property
- The property inspection show expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.
- Your major concern is structural damage.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
- 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.
Tatyana Ladd-Thomas is Lithuanian born graduate of Vilnius University Law School. As a Realtor at Keller Williams with her Real Estate on Heels website, she brings her marketing and networking skills and some European style and fashion to help her clients find the perfect lifestyle. Her Real Estate team is multilingual. Since becoming an American citizen, Tatyana has been a Commercial and Mortgage leader at Bank of America, a licensed Financial Advisor and founder of The George Commerce Club. She is also the owner of marketing agency Mike’s Ad Shop.
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