Buying a Home

What you need to know!

Make this a smooth and hassle-free transaction!

This buyer’s guide is the framework for a smooth and hassle free sale!

You are looking for a new home and we are here to help you find the right home at the right price – Even if that takes MONTHS! We know that buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make and we want to make sure you make the most informed decision you can! We will always work on your behalf to get you the best price possible! And the best part is, as the buyer, you do not pay for our services!

First and Foremost!

  • Fraud is EVERYWHERE!
    • PLEASE ALWAYS VERIFY WITH THE TITLE COMPANY WHERE YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR MONEY!
    • IT IS BEST TO GO IN PERSON AND GET THE WIRING INSTRUCTIONS
    • NEVER TRUST AN EMAIL PROVIDING WIRING INSTRUCTIONS
    • YOU CAN USE A CASHIER’S CHECK FOR YOUR EARNEST MONEY (GOOD FAITH MONEY)
    • YOU MUST WIRE THE MONEY FOR CLOSING – THE TITLE COMPANY WILL NOT ACCEPT A CASHIER’S CHECK FOR CLOSING
    • WHEN IN DOUBT, GO IN PERSON TO THE TITLE COMPANY!

Need Financing? Get pre-approved

  • Contact a lender!
    • This is truly the first step!
      • Find out how much you can borrow and what you payments will be like
      • Just because you qualify for an amount does not mean you need to buy a home of that value
    • Choose a local lender
      • Banks are usually NOT the best place to go, they can charge higher fees, interest rates are not always competitive and are more likely to NOT get you to the finish-line (In my opinion and experience)
      • Credit unions can be great – most especially for Veterans, IF you go to the right credit union
      • Mortgage brokers can shop you to different lenders – which means they only need to pull your credit once
    • Type of mortgage?
      • click here for detailed mortgage info
      • Are you a veteran?
      • Do you have enough cash for a down payment?
        • VA / USDA loans typically do not require any money down
        • FHA loans typically require 3.5% down and you will pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan
        • Conventional loans usually require a minimum 5% down and you will pay mortgage insurance until you have at least 20% equity in the house
      • Do you have money for closing costs or do need closing cost assistance?
        • closing costs can cost between 3-5% of the purchase price depending on many factors
          • home owners insurance premium
          • real estate taxes
          • fees for your mortgage
          • are you buying down your interest rate
          • among others
        • Usually we can get the seller to contribute
        • Don’t expect a large price reduction AND the seller to pay your closing costs, since that means ultimately the seller is making less money on the sale of the house
      • What a about a variable rate mortgage
        • These are usually only good if you plan on being in the home a few years or you expecting a higher income before the rate changes
    • Shop for a mortgage
      • Mortgages are NOT all the same
      • Credit bureaus expect you to shop for a mortgage and your credit can be pulled by 3 (sometimes 4) lenders for a mortgage without damaging your credit
      • You will see a small credit score drop after the first pull, but the following pulls should not impact your credit
      • You can always ask mortgage brokers to price-match – they will work for you!

I have my pre-approval – now what?

  • What kind of property are you looking for?
    • location
    • size
    • bedrooms/bathrooms
    • living area
    • pool/fence/storage
  • What ab0ut foreclosures?
    • usually cash or conventional financing only
    • most banks prefer owner occupants over investors for foreclosures
    • the days of getting foreclosures for 50% (or more) off of market value are over – most foreclosures are priced at or above what the market will bear
    • most foreclosures have been empty for long periods of time, so they are more prone to having issues (AC, mold, appliances, etc)

I have a list of homes that I want to see!

  • Lets go find your home!
    • Tell me which homes you want and when you are free, I will schedule them, and try to arrange the most efficient order
      • I try to schedule the day before, if possible
      • Each owner has there own set of rules about showing
      • Homes occupied by tenants can be extremely difficult to schedule and see
      • Please respect the owners time by being on time
      • I usually schedule 15-30 minutes per property
      • If you are not feeling a property, best to just keep going, so we wont get behind
    • Best to not look at more than six homes in a day – they blur together
    • Take notes!
    • We can always go back to the ones that most interest you!
    • OCCUPIED PROPERTIES – WE MUST STAY TOGETHER!
    • MORE AND MORE OWNERS HAVE CAMERAS AND MICROPHONES RECORDING OUR VISIT – LETS TALK OUTSIDE!

Lets make an offer!

  • Here are the things to keep in mind when making an offer…
    • This is a business transaction AND it is a personal transaction – Money IS personal!
      • Sellers typically love their homes
      • Low-ball offers can be insulting the seller
      • The back and forth can get tiresome, let us handle that part
      • Sometimes to get “the perfect house” concessions will need to be made
    • We will make any reasonable offer you want-WE WORK FOR YOU!
      • you will typically have to give as well as take in the negotiations
      • what matters the most to you? Lets focus on these!
        • sale price
        • closing date
        • closing costs
        • appliances
        • furniture
      • what matters the least to you?
        • closing date
        • appliances
        • furniture

Offer Accepted – what next?

  • Make your earnest money deposit to the title company
    • Usually MUST be done within 3 days of your offer being accepted
    • Can be a cashiers check, money order or wire transfer
    • When possible get the wiring instructions in person!
    • I WILL NEVER PROVIDE YOU WIRING INSTRUCTIONS!
    • DO NOT ACCEPT EMAILED WIRING INSTRUCTIONS!
  • Schedule an inspection
    • Home inspection first
      • The inspector will identify potential issues, and we can schedule other inspections as needed
        • Termite inspection
        • Septic inspection
        • Roof inspection
        • Electrical inspection
    • Inspections are paid for by the buyer at the time the inspection is completed
    • If you decide to not purchase the house, you will NOT get your money back for inspections
  • Complete your loan application with your lender
    • This MUST be completed ASAP – usually within 5 days of your offer being accepted
    • Make sure you touch base with your lender every 2-3 days
    • Lenders will ask you for paperwork – lots of it, so be ready
      • Sometimes you will feel you provided what they needed, so ALWAYS confirm they have everything they requested
      • Some paperwork like bank statements and paycheck stubs “expire” and the lender will require updated documentation
      • When in doubt, ASK!
  • Once the inspection period is over (usually 10-15 days) the lender will want to order the appraisal
    • This is usually paid for when it is ordered
    • Some lenders will let you pay for it at closing
    • Appraisals can take up to 10 days to complete
  • After the appraisal is completed a survey might need to be ordered
    • Surveys are paid for by the buyer
    • Surveys can be paid for at closing
    • The seller might be able to provide a survey that the bank will accept
      • Survey must be in the Seller’s name
      • Seller cannot have made changes to the property such as adding fence, pool or other structure
      • Survey cannot be more than 10 years old (in most cases)
  • Home stretch – scheduling closing
    • The closing (per the contract) is to take place in the county the property resides
    • Remote closings can be arranged, usually an additional fee
    • Wire your money to closing
      • No cash or checks of any type are accepted at closing
      • Ensure your wire instructions are correct
      • Call the title company and verify instructions before wiring the money!
  • Closing date is here!
    • Do a walk-thru of the property before closing
      • Verify the condition of the property
      • Ensure everything that you are buying is there
      • Ensure the seller didn’t leave a mess for you to clean up
    • Sign Away!
      • Closing will take about an hour
      • You will have 200-300 pages to go over