Step 1: Finding out how much home can I afford? – Finding affordable real estate that fits into your budget is an important part of buying a home. There are many tools (including one on our site) that can help you with this process. A good place to start is a mortgage calculator. If you are renting now and that monthly commitment is comfortable for you and your family, you can easily see how much of a home that same payment will buy you. Once you have an idea of your budget you are ready for the next step finding one of the best mortgage companies available to help you acquire a loan.
Step 2: Shopping for a loan – Speaking to a mortgage professional is probably the most important step in the home buying process. Not only can they help you determine how much home you can afford, but they are also knowledgeable about special programs that your credit or profession can qualify you for. Additionally, it is imperative to have your pre-qualification letter when you have found your next home. It may mean the difference between your offer and any others submitted on the same home.
Step 3: Education – There are many areas of this process that a Realtor can assist you with, this one is probably the most. Knowing the difference between neighborhoods, school districts and land types are just a few items that a knowledgeable Realtor can bring to the table. Also, if you are looking at a short sale home, for sale by owner, or a REO Foreclosure -there are specific contracts and addendums that you will need to protect yourself.
Step 4: How to shop for a home – There are many places to start, most people these days start online through various sites like Yahoo, Zillow, Realtor.com, etc. All of these sites can be a good place to start but more information will be needed when you are ready to make a move. As a Realtor, we help you gain access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A search by MLS by a Realtor that knows what you are looking for can lead to finding a home that you thought may have been out of your reach, or it can help you narrow down what is really important for your next big purchase.
Step 5: Having gone through steps 1-4, you are now ready to put in an offer and start the negotiation. This step in the process can be daunting for even the most seasoned investor. As part of the home buyer package we have put together some contracts and form you will see routinely used in the Northeast Real Estate marketplace, please click this link to see some of these forms and a brief explanation of how each one is used. It is important to note that while a majority of the forms used in this area are standard there is always as opportunity for you to see something a little different.
Step 6: Acceptance of my offer – You have submitted the offer you have heard back from the seller and things are ready to move forward. There are still many considerations that need to be addressed including but not limited to…
Acceptance of your binder | Scheduling Inspections | Purchasing Title Insurance
Finalizing your mortgage details | And other steps that will surface with no warning!
Step 7: Closing Day – The house has passed the inspections, any repairs that were required have been completed and re-inspected, the title work has come back with no issues and you are now ready to close. This is the day when everyone’s work comes together, you have found the right house, your Realtor has guided you and supervised the process and your mortgage agent is ready for you to sign on the dotted line. Even though everything is lined up, our office still recommends one more walk through neither the before or the day of closing!
Step 8: Moving Day – Regardless of whether you have roped in your friends or you have hired professionals, this can be a taxing day. Please take a moment to look at our moving checklist to ensure you have your bases covered.
Step 9: Ensuring your Family & Friends have the same great experience you did!