Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home is intimidating for many people, but with a little up-front planning, it isn't too complicated. So they'll know exactly what to expect, I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you begin looking for a home, there are plenty of things you need to take into account. It's likely that you'll want to put together a list of features you want to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good guideline to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd like to set up a time to meet with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Arcadia area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you begin the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Arcadia, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll point out good features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Arcadia housing market is a leading component in your home search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can alert you to some areas are "hot" and require immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

As we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent in Arcadia will tell you they truly know the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at 863-494-9009 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find the home of your dreams in Arcadia, and when we do, I'll carefully create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we send in your offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll talk over whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
After the contract is finished, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it won't take long at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and comfortable occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just contact me at 863-494-9009 or e-mail me at .