In today’s world, there is a very distinct process involved in buying a home. It is not like it was in the past. You need to prepare yourself with the information and tools to make a swift and accurate offer on a house. There is no better way to prepare than to engage a knowledgeable and qualified Real Estate Agency. Gleason Realty has been in the business for several years and has an understanding of these modern techniques.
1st Step in Buying a Home- Identify a Comfortable Mortgage Payment
The first step is to identify a mortgage payment that is comfortable within your budget. When considering this payment, it is important and responsible to exclude any discretionary income that is not guaranteed. This would include income like bonuses and overtime unless you experience a steady number year after year.
2nd Step in Buying a Home – Contact Your Mortgage Broker or Bank
Once you have identified that payment it is time to contact your mortgage broker or bank. When you contact your mortgage professional, be sure to advise them of your comfortable mortgage payment established in Step 1. Also, it is important to have the necessary documentation available for that call to send to your mortgage professional. Below is a list of documents that you will need. It is not an inclusive list because every situation is different. But, it is a good starting point.
- Two (2) years of Tax Returns
- Past 30 Days of Pay Stubs
- Two to Six Months of Bank Statements
- Know Your Credit History ( Credit Karma is a tool for this)
- Letters explaining any monetary gifts
- Renting History
3rd Step in Buying a Home – Obtain a Preapproval from Your Mortgage Professional
In this market, offers without an escrow deposit and a pre-approval are useless. The stronger the deposit and preapproval the stronger the offer. At a minimum, you should obtain a prequalification. You should be forewarned though, an offer with a preapproval will almost always win over an offer with a prequalification. Sellers enjoy seeing the security that a transaction will make it to the closing table by the confidence supplied in a preapproval.
4th Step in Buying a Home – Find that Dream Home
Start to search within your comfortable and preapproved budget. As a rule of thumb, I usually will explain to my clients that you do not want to go too much higher than your pre-approval amount. Sellers in today’s market are getting what they are asking for. So, the whole era of deals on foreclosures and chomping down the seller have sailed away.
5th Step in Buying a Home – Place an Offer
When you find that dream home be sure to place a reasonable offer that reflects the value of the house. With your offer, you will have to offer a reasonable deposit. A good rule of thumb is anywhere between 1% to 2% of the offer price if you have a preapproval. Sometimes I will recommend to my clients that are making an offer with a prequalification to steer closer to the 2% to increase the strength of the offer. Once your offer is accepted you will have to forward the executed contract to your mortgage professional. You will also forward the closing agent and title agent’s information.
6th Step in Buying a Home – After Offer Acceptance
After your offer is accepted and your contract is executed there are several things to make sure you keep on your radar. Review your contract for all time stipulations. Write down the due date and expiration dates for certain sections of the contract. Your inspection date and mortgage approval dates are important. If an application to a homeowner’s association (HOA) is required, that will also be important to complete on time. These applications often take approximately 30 days to process. Your inspection will allow you to cancel your contract if serious problems are found with the house and your seller wishes to not fix or rectify the situation to your standard. Your mortgage approval must be obtained by the date in your contract. Missing any one of these dates can jeopardize your escrow deposit.
7th Step in Buying a Home – Final Walk Through
About a week or less before closing your mortgage professional will send you a set of documents. This is the time to review the documents and ask them any questions you may have. This will end up saving you a lot of time in the future.
8th Step in Buying a Home – Final Walk Through
Do not pass up the opportunity to conduct a final walk through. These are usually conducted the day of closing or no more than 24 hours prior to closing. This is your chance to verify that the home was left in the same condition as the date of the offer. This also gives you the opportunity to verify that all of the appliances and any extra items indicated on the contract are still in the home. If you come across any discrepancies, you will need to bring them to your Realtors attention as soon as you can.
9th Step in Buying a Home – Closing
This is the most exciting part of the whole process. It will often feel like the longest part of the process too. If you are not paying cash and have taken out a mortgage, be prepared. You will be signing more pages than you can probably keep track of. Your closer will go over all the documents. After signing your documents, you will want to make sure you get the following before leaving:
- Copies of the documents you signed
- Keys to the house (unless other arrangements were made)
- Garage Door Opener
- Any passwords to security systems or Security Camera Systems
- Any gate clickers/pool key for the HOA
- Mailbox keys
- And anything else your Realtor suggests
Sound Like Too Much to Keep Track Of?
Here at Gleason Realty, we have sold many houses, condos and more. We are the experts in real estate within the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and extended areas. Don’t go through this stress, hire the Professionals at Gleason Realty to alleviate that stress. We have seen it all and can help you navigate these waters with ease.