Do you agree that buying a home may be the largest purchase you'll ever make? I think so. And, it can be a difficult process. So, to give you an idea of how the process works, I have complied a list of items I "think" may be of help when you are starting your House Hunting and through the purchase.
- Get a Realtor. NOW. For that search, read my HOW TO FIND A REALTOR ...or call ME. If you are not buying in my area, I can help find a Realtor for you!
- Contact your Lender to discuss "How much" you can afford, or how much you want to spend. IF you're not working with a lender, ask your Realtor for a list of several names. Once you've contacted your lender, ask for a Pre-Approval letter to give to your Realtor. This will be submitted with your offer when you find the "perfect" home.
- Let's go over your Criteria List: size of home, size of lot, bedrooms, baths, garage and, of course, location. Schools may play a big part in your decision, so you'll want to research the district you wish to live. YOUR Realtor can help you with this.
- Prioritize your list: things you really NEED verses what you WANT. This may make your choices of homes broader and will help your Realtor when he/she is searching.
- When you go previewing homes with your Realtor, take a notepad and keep notes on the properties you see. IF a house is absolutely NOT a possibility, get rid of that listing. Keep narrowing down the list and before you know it, you'll be very close to what you NEED and want.
- Look Beyond cosmetics. Maybe the home is not as spiffy as you'd keep it. Maybe it needs paint and a little TLC. Look past that. The most important thing is structure and once you've decided on a home, and an offer is submitted and accepted, you'll have a Home Inspection (or should) and the inspector will tell you about items that may be of concern verses just needing a good cleaning or simple repairs.
- WHEN you KNOW you've found "the one," sit down with your Realtor and get an offer prepared and submitted.
- Once your Realtor has presented your offer to the other Realtor, and it's accepted, contact your lender. The loan process MUST begin ASAP.
- Escrow is opened (in CA, we use escrow companies--( description of escrow )to handle the funds of the transaction.
- Get your Home Inspectors set up. Ask your Realtor for a list of local inspectors if you don't have one. Be there if possible so he/she can explain points of concern during the inspection.
- You'll be given seller disclosures, a preliminary title report, Natural Hazard Report (in CA). Read these carefully before signing them. IF you have any questions or concerns with any of these documents, discuss them with your Realtor.
- After the home inspection, you MAY wish to ask the seller to make some, or all, repairs found on the inspection report. BUT keep in mind, the seller may or may NOT agree to repairs. The only thing a seller HAS to do (in CA) is have the water heater braced and working smoke and carbon alarms.
- The buying process is now moving along....and before you know it, if you accept all findings of the inspection, disclosures and your loan is approved, you'll be handed the Keys and You'll be a Home Owner!
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