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ARE YOU A FIRST TIME HOME BUYER? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED!

By: Karen Behfar



Winter is upon us and we all know what that means– new buyers on the market! Well, for everyone else it means hot chocolate and four layers of socks, but for those of us in the real estate world it means a whole new wave of buyers. For that reason, I decided it would be helpful to give you guys some first-time home buying tips as well as the actual steps involved in buying a home. What you’re about to read is just a snippet of a full guide that’s perfect for any first-time home buyer. If you’re interested ingetting your hands on a copy, send us your email address today!

15 Steps to Buying a Home

Get Pre-Approved –Call your mortgage banker to discuss your credit income, debt, co-signer, etc. Many people think that they will automatically get approved, but there are many issues that may come up. Be sure that the mortgage broker/banker gives you a pre-approval letter.

Begin Your Home Search –Make sure to be open-minded
when you search for a house as well-priced homes sell quickly
in Midwood!

Submit an Offer –Submit a written offer for a specific price on the house that you found.

Negotiations –There will most likely be counter negotiations and finally an accepted offer. The seller may come back and ask for a slightly higher amount to seal the deal. All parties agree on a certain price and we are now ready to move forward.

Order Home Inspection –This is a really important step as it allows you to make sure that there are no issues with the house that you cannot visibly see when you walked through. This usually takes one to two hours. The buyer does not need to be there – as the agent will be present at the time of inspection. I recommend that buyers come, as you learn a lot about the home.  Sometimes these are issues that require attention, such as an active leak, termites, asbestos, or foundation or structural problems. Sellers either fix the problem, or give some credit to the buyers.

Attorney – Give your attorney’s information to the agent.

Buyer Signs Contract –The buyer gives 10% of the down payment and reviews the contract with his attorney. The deposit is usually wired or given over by check. You should ask the attorney for their preference. Occasionally, the sellers will agree to less than 10% by contract. Remember to ask your mortgage banker beforegiving over the check if it is from an allowed source. (Money can be gifted but it must come from a relative and cannot come from someone else’s business or gemach.)

Seller Signs Contract –The contract is then sent to both attorneys. It’s a fully executed contract as soon as both parties have signed.

Formally Apply for a Mortgage –Although you were pre-approved, it is now time to give everything that’s needed to your mortgage banker, including the executed contract and all documents needed from you and your co-signer (if applicable). Run any changes on your credit score by your mortgage broker, such as a new credit card, car lease, etc.

Bank Orders Property Appraisal –An appraiser comes to the house to determine the property’s market value. The buyer should not attend, as this will be handled by the real estate agent.

Mortgage Banker Processes Your Loan –The bank will likely ask for more documents. Remember, this is not likeapplying for a credit card. You are requesting sometimes over $1M, so the bank will ask for a lot of items. Make sure to give over all the requested items in a timely manner to ensure a speedy process.

Underwriting – The bank reviews all documents and approves the loan. Keep in mind that most times, the approval is only conditional, which means that they still want more items such as homeowners insurance, title, etc.

Clear to Close –Once you sent back all the items your banker asked for, you are now ready to schedule closing - both attorneys work on scheduling.

Final Walk Through –A final walk through of the house is with the buyer and the agent. Make sure that the house is clean and there is no new damage.

Closing –Buyer and co-signer both need to be there. This takes approximately two hours.