Let your agent walk you through the process and help prepare you for each step, what to expect and the time frame for each phase of the transaction. Talk with your agent about what you want and need in a home. From the type of home, location of the neighborhood and any interior and exterior amenities and features you require.
• Pass home inspection
• Meet appraised value
• Clear title & escrow
Take a day to drive around, check out neighborhoods, look at homes, study your route to work and regular errands and try to imagine where you see yourself living.
Keep in mind that a home is not always what drives the value, the location and amenities play a big part and have a direct impact on real estate prices in the area.
Consider freeway access, public transportation, school districts, grocery stores, services, restaurants, parks, and recreation. Keep detailed notes of the pros and cons. Taking pictures can also keep your memory fresh.
When you find your favorite home, it's important to determine a price you can comfortably afford but will also be a realistic offer for the seller to accept.
You'll want to choose a number that is comfortably within your price range but competitive enough that it won't cause the seller to immediately reject your offer.
Before you sign any paperwork, it's important that you carefully read over the contract with your agent or lawyer to ensure there are contingencies - that is, if something falls through with your mortgage, you aren't still obligated to buy the home.
Earnest money is essentially a deposit a buyer makes on a home they want to purchase. It's paid when you submit your offer to show the seller that you are serious. Think of this as your security deposit. When your offer is accepted, it's applied to your down payment or closing costs.
Make sure your offer outlines the conditions for refunding the amount. Earnest money deposits can be anywhere from 1–10% of the sales price, depending mostly on market interest.
It's wise to get an experienced professional to walk the house to ensure that there aren't any lingering problems or maintenance issues that might not be visible at first glance. You don't want any serious maintenance or structural issue right after you move in.
They are not usually required by mortgage lenders but I highly recommend it. The cost will vary based on location and home size.
$200.00 - $500.00 depending on the size of the home.
Work with your chosen lender to submit your mortgage application, and review predicted closing costs. After you send the required financial information to the lender for approval they will open title and escrow.
An appraisal is usually required by your lender to evaluate and estimate the market value of your home and can anywhere from
$300.00 - $600.00 depending on the size of the home.
There are many costs commonly associated with closing, including attorney fees, title insurance, courier fees, government recording fees, and taxes.
Closing costs are typically low for buyers and represent the fees associated with paperwork and lender charges. Sometimes the cost can be rolled into the loan so they are not out of pocket.