What You Can Expect

So you’ve decided to buy a house? The first thing to remember is that there's no “right” time to buy, any more than there's a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don't try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don't usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won't stay on the market long.  Whether you are a first time, or experienced buyer, the process can be nerve-wracking. This will likely be the biggest one-time investments you'll ever make, and when successful, will be the most rewarding. To lessen the stress of the buying process, we've developed this overview to help ensure your buying experience is a positive and satisfying one.


  1. Research Real Estate.Decide on the type and style of house you'd like to call home, and the features that are important to you.  Research neighborhoods to see which best accommodate your lifestyle, which are the strongest and which markets are on the rise. Depending on your family's size, figure out how much size you'll need to live comfortably.
  2. Contact lenders. The lender will, based an estimate on assets, credit history and income, run a preliminary estimate on how much of a loan you can afford.  This is the time to take care of any loose ends that may arise.  Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make it much less attractive to sellers.  This stepcan also help you further narrow your search to areas and houses you can afford.  Make double, triple, quadruple sure you are on top of all the paperwork chasing you are doing for the loan. 
  3. Find a REALTOR®Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one, and finding a good agent to work with will take some of that pressure off of your shoulders. Buyers' agents specialize in representing the particular interests of homebuyers. It's critical that the agent you choose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality, because seeingeye-to-eye with your agent when house hunting will save you a lot of time. 
  4. Begin House Hunting.Your agent will be able to provide you with a list of available homes, schedule appointments to view houses, and notify you of open houses. Keep a list the pros and cons of each property, and compare their features.  It is also a good idea to keep your agent notified of your decisions.  Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go.  Eventually, the perfect house will present itself. 
  5. Make an Offer.Once you are ready to make an offer, your agent will do the leg-work for you. It's important to stay in contact with the agent during this process since some markets are highly competitive, and offers can be rejected and accepted at a moment's notice. Don’t feel discouraged if you receive a counter-offer from the seller. The negotiating process could go back and forth through several counter-offers.  Although negotiations are definitely a part of the real estate process, don’t try to be a killer negotiator; trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.  Understand that a little buyer's remorse is inevitable and will pass. 
  6. Schedule a Home inspection. Unless you're comfortable performing an independent walk-through of your new house, you will need to hire a professional inspector. An inspector will note the current state of the house and list major repairs or renovations needed. Something will always be wrong, so be ready. Ask for repairs or not. The seller does not have to fix anything. Can you live with it or fix it when you are the owner?  The earlier you schedule a home inspection, the more time a seller will have to perform any necessary repairs. Otherwise, you can ask for the costs of these repairs to be deducted from the price. 
  7. Satisfaction of Contingencies.Once all of the inspections have been completed, and any last minute concerns have been addressed, you can now start getting attached to your new home.  Waiting for the closing date can make for some really long days.  Use this time to finalize any last minute lender requirements, shopping for homeowners insurance, and packing. 
  8. Moving towards Closing.  In the days leading up to the closing you will have the opportunity to review the Title Commitment and preliminary closing documents/ numbers.  You will also schedule a final walk-throughof the home with your agent to ensure the home is in good standing order.  This is also the time you will finalize a closing time with all other parties involved. 
  9. Closing.  Today is the big day!  Now is the time to sign all applicable lender required documents, as well as any documents needed to transfer the property into your name.  After about 40 minutes you get your keys; Congratulations, you are now a home owner!!!

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