Decide What You Want
The first step to take when buying your first home is to decide what you want. The best way to do this is to create a prioritized list of features and amenities that are important to you. This list should serve as your guide to searching for a new home, keeping in mind that the home you eventually purchase might not include every feature on your list. Three important factors to consider in your search are location, personal tastes, and budget. An ERA real estate professional can provide a wealth of information on communities, subdivisions, school districts, local conveniences, and other neighborhood features that will play an important part in your final decision.
Select a realtor that understands your needs, who communicates well and stays in touch. There are several reasons for sticking with one realtor. You want a realtor who is committed to you and who you are committed to in return. Working with ONE realtor also means less people know your personal profile and personal information, which can be a factor in negotiations. Not all Realtors are alike! And not all offices provide the same services. Get the facts, ask questions! [check out ERA’s agents]
Determine What You Can Afford
Once you have made your prioritized list, it’s time to decide how much house you can afford. There are many things that factor into what you can afford: income, credit rating, current monthly expenses, down payment, interest rates, and long term goals. ERA offers many different calculators to help you determine what price range will fit comfortably within your budget.
Apply for a Mortgage
There are literally hundreds of mortgage programs available to first time homebuyers, and it can seem like a daunting task to know which program will give you the most for your money. With expert experience, a wealth of options, and a four-step mortgage process-Four to the DoorSM – contacting an ERA Mortgage consultant is one of several options to get a pre-approved home loan and learn about the many different mortgage options available to you. Selecting a local lender is a wise choice since they understand the market in the Sheridan community. The following information is usually required during the loan process:
- Your Social Security number
- Current pay stubs or, if self employed, your tax returns for the past two years
- Bank statements for the past two months
- Investment account statements for the past two months
- Life insurance policy
- Retirement account statements for the past two months
- Make and model of vehicles you own and their resale value
- Credit card account information
- Auto loan account information
- Personal loan account information
Shop for a Home
Now that you have an idea of the area you would like to live in and how much you can afford, you can start your search for your new home. To help you simplify the process as much as possible, you can register for a “portal” account which tracks the homes you prefer and provides you automatic emails on new/updated listings.
Once you see a few homes that you like, you should begin to visit homes in person. Your ERA sales associate can arrange visits for you and you can attend open houses in your target area and price range. Your ERA Carroll Realty agent can show you ANY property listed in your search.
Make an Offer
After you have found a home you like, you will need to make an offer. It is beneficial to have a real estate professional negotiate the offer on your behalf and provide you with representation for a smooth transaction. An important thing to remember is that if you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, be sure not to divulge any information about your move, current housing status, financial status or positive or negative feelings about the property. All of these factors will play an important role in future negotiations on the purchasing price.
Inspection and Insurance
Once your offer is accepted, you will need to set up, coordinate and interpret various inspections on the property. These can include insect, radon, building quality, oil tank, title, etc. It is important not to get discouraged if problems are discovered during this period. Your ERA sales associate is always there for you to make this process as easy and smooth as possible. Many homeowners find that consulting a real estate attorney can also help with interpreting and understanding the language involved in the contracts and paperwork that need to be completed.
In addition to the previously mentioned inspections, you will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize your mortgage agreement.
The Final Closing
How you get to closing is what distinguishes the difference between offices. ERA has 5 support staff, 3 acting brokers, and a team of 30 agents that work together. This allows your ERA agent to spend more time with you while the details are being handled by the experienced staff.Before you arrive at the final closing, you should make sure that all the necessary paperwork and deposits have been completed and forwarded to the appropriate parties. Missing or incomplete information can delay the closing, so it is imperative that everything is done prior to your closing date.
Once all the paperwork is completed, signed, and the loan has funded, you own the house.
For detailed information about the home buying process, contact one of our qualified Real Estate professionals.
* Please speak to your ERA sales associate for specific real estate processes, as each may vary according to state.