Buying a home is usually the largest financial decision a person will make in their lifetime. The process is exciting, but can also be very stressful. Following a few simple steps can help make the home buying experience a positive one.
Most often the buyer’s initial search for a home begins on-line. There are numerous search sites available, but for the most accurate information, you should use a site that is directly linked to your area’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). We have made it easy for you to search for homes in the Lee County area by providing a direct link above. It is important to look at a variety of home styles, locations, and price points in your search. Buying home is a big decision, and you to not want to rush through this phase of the process.
How much can I afford to spend? This is a common question for first time home buyers. If you have been renting, you may think that you need a house payment that equates with your rent. But there are many factors that affect your mortgage payment. Establishing a relationship with a trusted lender is very important. Your lender will work closely with you during the purchase process to make sure your dream home is one that has not just physical comfort, but financial comfort, as well. The Jager Kohn team works with several great lenders in our area. Please feel free to ask us for recommendations, if you do not already have a lender in mind. We encourage the use of local lenders, as they tend to know our real estate markets better than national or on-line lenders.
Real estate agents are important allies when buying or selling a home. Agents provide services that go way beyond unlocking doors. The home purchase transaction can be complicated, and filled with negotiation. It is important to find an agent armed with skill and knowledge who can guide you through the negotiation process. Real estate agents often have access to information on homes and neighborhoods that is not readily accessible to the public. As a new home buyer, a real estate agent will represent YOUR interests during the entire process, from home search to closing day. Even better, using a real estate agent to assist you in the purchase of a home does not cost you anything. Buyer’s agents are typically compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house. But most importantly, the relationship between a buyer and an agent is founded in service and communication. The agent is your go-to for all your questions in purchasing your first home.
Let’s look at some houses! This is the most fun part of the home buying process. Looking at homes on-line is a great way to start, but you cannot get the “feel” of a home without walking through it. This is the time to pay attention to your list of home requirements. It is beneficial to prioritize your list of needs versus your list of wants. A good buyer’s agent can help you think about what is most important to you in a new home. You should take as much time as you need, and look as much as you want, to find the right home.
You have found your dream home! Now what? It is time for your real estate agent to submit an offer on your behalf. You will work with your agent very closely during this phase to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the area, while staying within your budget. Once you and a seller have reached an agreement on price and terms, the house will go into escrow. This is the period of time it takes to complete the final stages of the purchase process.
Even though you have a sales contract in place at this phase, the work is not done. At this point you will have a home inspection done on the property you plan to purchase. This is a very important step in buying a home. You want to enter into the purchase with as much assurance as you can that the home is in good condition. This often becomes a time of additional negotiation between a buyer and seller. A seasoned real estate agent can offer advice and guide you through this phase.
Your lender will be very busy during this time, as well. They will begin the underwriting process, in which you will receive final approval to borrow funds, and the home will be appraised to make sure you are not overpaying for the property. It is important to stay in close contact with your lender during this time to provide them with any information they need in a timely manner.
The day you have waited for is finally here! CLOSING DAY! At closing, you will sign all the paperwork required to complete the purchase of your home, including the final loan documents. Closing usually takes place at an attorney’s office. They have prepared these documents for you and will perform the legal services to transfer home ownership from the seller to the buyer. Our team also works closely with wonderful attorneys, and we are happy to refer you to one. After closing, you will become an official homeowner!