Buying A Home
Is now a good time to buy a home? How much of a down payment do I need to buy a house? What credit score do I need to buy a house? How much is interest on a mortgage right now? How many bedrooms do I need? How many bathrooms do I need? Should I buy a two story home or a one story home. Do I want to live in a big city, a suburb or a more rural area? Should I buy a pre-existing home or a brand new house (new construction)? What is Private Mortgage Insurance(PMI)?
These are all valid questions you may be asking yourself. Buying a home involves many steps, each of which can affect your time and your money. Choosing a Real Estate Agent with experience in each of the following steps, such as myself, is crucial to a smooth and positive experience buying a new home.
Steps to Buying A Home
In our initial consultation, I will get to know your needs and wants including your preferences on bedrooms, baths, square footage, lot size, which cities you are open to and so much more. I ask the right questions to make sure I fully understand what will work for you and what will not. You can also ask me any questions you may have. If everything looks good, we can sign some paperwork and move into the pre-approval process to accurately understand your purchasing power.
In the Pre-Approval phase, we get you in contact with the lender(s) of your preference and they verify credit and income requirements and give us your total pre-approval amount. There are a wide variety of options for W2 Employees, self-employed individuals, first time buyers, down payment assistance, veterans and much more. In this phase, we determine which program would work best for you and your goals. Once you are pre-approved, we can start scheduling our showings!
Showings are appointments we make to see homes in person. This could be homes on the market, properties I know of that are off market homes for sale, open houses or private appointments. We will work around your schedule to view potential homes that fit the criteria we discussed in the consultation and in the pre-approval. We will adjust the criteria as necessary to find homes you absolutely love. Once we find a home you can see yourself buying, it’s time to make an offer!
Writing an offer is an art form. While how much you are willing to pay for a home is very important, we also have to consider lots of other variables. We may have to get creative with terms and contingencies in combination with price. The goal of an offer is to get it accepted by the seller and to open escrow. In a competitive market, having an experienced agent, such as myself, with you during this phase is crucial. Once your offer is accepted, we can open escrow!
Step one is to securely place your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) with escrow. Our transaction coordinator will help us with most of the paperwork which can be signed digitally to help save time. Depending on your offer’s terms and contingencies and your schedule, we will coordinate various steps of the process including contingencies and terms, inspections, appraisal, any repairs or pest control related work, loan related timelines and any minimum government standards.
Contingencies are protections for a buyer or seller which can give them the right to rescind a contract if the contingency is not waived in a given time frame. An example of a contingency is a loan contingency. This protects the buyer if for any reason, they cannot get financed. There are lots of different contingencies including inspections, appraisal, contingent on selling a different property and much more. Once all of the contingencies are satisfied, they can be waived.
Funding is the deposit of the money from a loan used to purchase a home from the lender into escrow. This usually occurs once the lender completes all paperwork and requirements for a mortgage and the loan is underwritten (DU Approval). Once all contingencies are waived including the lender reviewing the appraisal, the funds are deposited into escrow to cover the purchase price of the home. If there are any out of pocket closing costs, these are usually collected here.
Once all contingencies are waived, paperwork is complete, the loan funds, money is distributed and the deed is recorded, escrow can close. Closing escrow can be done in as little as 10 days for an all cash offer. Offers using funds from a loan take approximately 21-35 days to close depending on the terms and contingencies of your offer or lender. Having an experienced agent, such as myself, is essential to make sure all steps are completed and we are clear to close!
Simply put, possession is the moment you can move in. This is usually determined in the terms of your offer. In some cases, you can move in at the close of escrow. In others, the seller may need some time to move and may request a lease back. In this case, the buyer and seller would agree on who would pay for prorated costs of staying in the home. I work extremely hard so there are cases where everything runs so smooth that we can close escrow and you can move in early!