I pride myself on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why.
As your buyer agent I will; Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria. Guide you through the entire home buying process, from finding available homes to shop, to getting the best financing. Make sure you don't pay too much for your new home, even experienced buyers will find asking prices vary in every locale. Help you avoid costly mistakes and save money. Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.
Calculate closing cost to expect in your individual situation;: Lender fees include charges for loan processing, underwriting, preparation and establishing an escrow account. Third-party fees include charges for insurance, title search, and other inspections such as termites. Government fees include deed recording and state & local mortgage taxes. Escrow and interest fees include homeowner's insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, and occasionally private mortgage insurance
Sure- purchasing your home is a big step, & comes with some very serious decisions. Don’t be intimidated by the process! Some homebuyers even continue paying off their landlord’s home- renting much longer because they put off the task, & losing money! However, if you break the home buying process down into these simple steps, and follow these important tips, the process IS simple.
1) Before You Begin, Ask Yourself One Question Will you live in your next home for at least 2 years? If the answer is "Yes," you should probably purchase, rather than continue renting. With only average appreciation, you'll break even on your closing costs after 2 years, and have enjoyed the home mortgage tax deduction to shelter some taxable income during that time. You start making money in an average market on the home itself at the beginning of year three. Every year after that will put more money in your pocket! The most expensive aspect of real estate is buying & selling, so the longer you can live in the home the greater the growth in value will be, in an average market. So, purchasing makes sense if you can make at least a 24 month ownership commitment. And in our current local market you should expect better gains during this ‘bonus growth period’, for as long as it lasts.
2) You Don't Always Need a Down Payment! It always surprises me how many people want to purchase a home, but don't because they believe that a hefty down payment is required. Zero down programs are very common, and with low interest rates are quickly becoming typical, rather than the exception . Because your new home is collateral for the loan, there are bank programs that will offer the chance to loan you 100% of its value. Perfect credit isn't a requirement, either. Because real estate typically appreciates in value, at times it can be easier to be approved for a mortgage than it is to borrow 100% for a car! Find out from me how to review and improve your credit to get the best mortgage opportunity & save your money.
3) Get Pre-Qualified It’s easy! Pre-qualification is a very important step, and the step that first time home buyers dread the most. But it is the easiest step of all & can be done from home, even in the evening. Of course, you will continue to shop rates, and aren't obligated to borrow one penny from any particular lender, but will get instantly information worth a lot to you such as; your current credit score, today's interest rate, & probable sales price range. (note: rate shopping for a home mortgage alone will not affect your credit score!) I can share information on good places to start shopping, & your own bank is also an excellent starting place.
Pre-qualification is what gives you buying power + allows you to confidently make an offer on your dream home when you've found it. More importantly, pre-qualification will let you know how much your new home will REALLY cost - in monthly payments. A $150,000 or $300,000 home doesn't mean a lot to most buyers - but $1200 per month and $2500 per month are tangibles that everyone can understand. After your first ‘bid’ from the initial lender that lender pre-qualifies you, you may continue to shop around for a lower rate. Ask me for a "payment table" that shows you a rough estimate of TOTAL monthly payment based on purchase price & probable interest rate. Pick your payment, and you know the price range to shop in.
4) Consult me, a Real Estate Professional, ASAP Many first time home buyers avoid contacting any Real Estate Agent because they dislike high pressure sales. However, Real Estate Agents have an advantage over traditional salespeople because they have access to the Multiple Listing Service, which is a database that lists roughly 99% of the homes for sale in a given market. This means that your Real Estate Agent doesn't have to ‘sell’ - I merely present your options, & match your requirements. You are the ‘driver!’ I will just help you find the course to the destination you want.
The most important qualities to look for in any Real Estate Agent are his/her knowledge of your specific market and their willingness to help. Offering you full access to all market information is in your best interest, and in my best interest, too. You'll find all information, help & experience are presented only as facts for you to review, and you and your wallet will be glad you contacted me sooner, rather than later.
5) Make a List of "Must Haves" & "Wants" Many new home buyers mistakenly think that they will "just know" when they "walk up to the right one." This is a better approach for finding a spouse than a house! While some buyers DO fall instantly in love with a home, this is not the norm. You'll find your search is easier, and you will be more confident in your decision should you get that "feeling," if you take a systematic approach to your search. The best way to organize your search is to make two lists: Your "must haves" and your "wants." Your "must haves" are the more necessary criteria in your new home menu- in fact, viewing a home if it doesn't have all "must haves" will be a low priority. Great examples of your "must haves" are price, school district, size, etc... Your "wants" are the qualities that you would like for your new home to have, but it's not a necessity. Great examples of "wants" are color, flooring, kitchen appliances, surround sound, and type of exterior. By taking the time to articulate what you need and want in your new home, you will know exactly what to look for when viewing prospective homes.
6) Pick Your Favorite Neighborhoods You can always make changes to your house, but you can never change its location. Most home buyers already have a good idea of where they would like to live because of school districts, work, or other factors. However, neighborhoods can be pretty different, even in the same area of the city. I provide listings by email. Ask me to email you a list of homes in the specific area of town you're interested in. Seach the MLS in the provided section of this site, if you prefer. Find out how much homes are selling for in the individual areas using the InstaCompare tool also available. Take a drive through the different neighborhoods on the list emailed to you. Choose your favorites. Pay attention to the amenities in each area, they are outlined here on this site! You will see for yourself how well the various yards & common areas are kept, and whether you see a number of "for lease" signs ( can be an indication of a heavy rental area,) and review each area for "pride of ownership." After you have picked your favorite neighborhoods, and you know your "must haves" and "wants," we will literally make a list of EVERY home available that meets your criteria, and view those homes.
7) Make Your Decision!!! Homebuyers often hesitate after they've found the right home because they're not confident about their decision, or their decision-making process. Your home is probably the largest investment of your life, and everyone feels butterflies before putting a new home under contract. However, if you have made a thoughtful selection - and you have if you followed the steps above - then you will have your bases covered. Remember; you’ll enjoy entertaining your good friends when they visit, but it is you who will live in your new home & ultimately pay for it. Listen to others, then follow your own heart & brain! If you've found a home that meets all your "must haves," most of your "wants," is in the right neighborhood, + in your budget - it's the home for you! Don't wait and let another buyer take away YOUR home!
Buying your home can be extremely fun & exciting. If you think that buying a home is right for you, it probably is. Follow these important tips and you'll know you made the right decision & improved yourself financially