There are many advantages to homeownership. For starters, homes typically increase in value, build equity and provide for a more secure future. Furthermore, the rental market is unpredictable and rents usually go up over time. If you finance your purchase with a fixed rate loan, your housing cost is stable and won't increase over time. Another advantage is that your interest and property tax portion of your mortgage payments are tax deductible.
Whatever your reason for purchasing, a Landmark Agent is here to guide you through the process.
It is a good idea to interview more than one real estate agent. Potential interviewees may include your previous agent, the local neighborhood expert, referral from someone you trust or an agent you found through the internet. Make sure the agent you choose is someone you feel comfortable with as you may be spending a lot of time together. Ask them for references and how they plan to find you a home. A Landmark Agent will always be prepared to answer all of your questions while providing a detailed analysis about the market and how it can affect your purchase.
Most buyers will need to obtain a loan to finance their new home. In the lending world, there are many different loan types. Interest rates are constantly changing. Because of this, it is generally a good idea to start the loan process before you look for a home. Your lender will have to run your credit report and verify your financial documentation. You should talk with more than one lender before making this decision. Ask your Landmark Agent for referrals to great loan professionals that can help you get the process started.
First, home buyers must compare their needs with their wants and understand the difference. Not every “want” will fit into the price range and it is important to understand what you are willing to compromise while searching. Keeping this in mind will help ensure you end up purchasing a home that meets all your needs and hopefully many of your wants. Another consideration is the properties re-sale ability. If the home you love is too unique to only your preferences, your investment in the home may suffer when you eventually go to sell. The more focused your needs, the easier it will be for you and your agent to identify potential properties. A Landmark Agent will use all the latest technology at their disposal, as well as networking with other real estate agents to potentially find you both on market and off market properties that meet your needs.
Now that you have found your home, it’s time to make an offer. Before making an offer you need to determine an offer price. List price is a good gauge for figuring out the starting point, but your agent will help you determine what the actual fair market value by looking at comparables. Furthermore, timing for both you and the seller, repairs, personal property, market conditions, and other factors will need to be considered when making the offer. Once you have discussed these with your agent, your agent will write up the offer for you to sign and then submit that offer along with supporting documents(Pre-qualification letter from lender, Proof of Funds to close to the listing agent for consideration by the seller.
Congratulations, they have accepted your offer. Now escrow will be opened, you will need to deliver your initial deposit to the escrow company, and start your investigations. Typically, the purchase and sales agreement will provide a contingency period for the buyer. These contingencies allow the buyer to investigate the property, conduct inspections, review reports and disclosures, investigate neighborhood conditions, appraise the property, and secure financing. Once the buyer has performed their investigations, the buyer has three options: (1) proceed with the purchase; (2) request repairs as a condition to proceed with the purchase; or (3) cancel the agreement. Once the buyer has decided to proceed, the buyer will need to remove their contingencies in writing and the buyer can no longer can cancel the agreement without being in breach of contract (in most instances). Your Landmark Agent understands the complexities of the real estate transaction and will make sure that you are fully aware of everything going on during the escrow period and what your rights and obligations are under the contract as well as ensure that your investigations are handled properly.
Once the parties have completed their obligations per the contract, the escrow holder will record the deed (or other evidence of title) and disperse the funds to the appropriate parties. At this point the seller will typically hand over keys and openers to the new property owner. Congratulations, you have now purchased your new home!