Knowing how much you can afford is the first step. This will avoid any disappointments in the future in falling in love with a house that is out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment letter from the lender. This letter is paper gold. Sellers will be much more receptive to likely buyers that are pre-approved and will understand you are a serious buyer. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when your loan closes.
List of Needs and Wants
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). Don’t forget to list where you want to live. Location is the most important need, for most. The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not a necessity. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on a clear path for what you are looking for.
Representation by a Professional
Strongly consider hiring your own real estate agent – US. We will represent you, not the seller.
Let’s go Shopping!
Time for the fun part. At this point, you know your desired price range, location, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need. We can help you maximize your home search efforts.
Inspections and Appraisals
Initial agreement and Deposit
The first step in this process is to have your agent fill out the purchaser’s agreement that will be a binding legal arrangement between you and the seller.
The Closing Agent
Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as a closing agent. The closing agent will hold the deposit in escrow and will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions.
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things can happen:
• Each milestone is successfully closed, and the contingencies will be removed.
• The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a renegotiation of the terms of contract (usually the price).
Appraisal and Lending
It is vital that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution. This is how the lending institution confirms that their investment in your property is accurate.
This very exciting time happens when the appraisal comes back at agreed contract price of the loan.