By: Wendy Manaco
This is a great question to ask a Glad Heart Real estate agent. We are here to help and especially like helping first time home buyers. This is a big purchase, probably the biggest financial investment you will make for a while.
The first thing we will ask you is if you have talked to a lender. Financing the house is pretty important, there are many trusted lenders and you can apply online with most of them. There is no fee to see if you can qualify for a loan, and it generally doesn’t take a long time to find out how much you can spend and what your monthly mortgage will be.
Now the fun starts! Once you have that preapproval in hand it’s time to go house shopping. Most people will be perusing the internet and looking at tons of houses already. It’s fun! We will set you up on an automatic email with houses that meet your criteria, such as location, bedrooms, garage etc. Your professional Glad Heart Agent will make appointments and take you to view the homes. In my experience the most you can see on one day is 6-8 houses and that can be exhausting. It is all fun and games looking at the first 2 or 3, but then they all start running together and you are “which one was that now, I can’t remember that one at all”. For this reason 4-6 would be a good start on the first day. This gives everyone a chance to get an idea of what is really important to you and what you can live without.
Once you find that special first home, your agent will walk you through the contract. The important questions being Price, Seller Paid closing costs, Earnest deposit, Closing date, Home warranty, type of financing and expiration date of your offer. The offer will be submitted to the sellers agent and then onto the seller. The seller may accept your offer as written or counter offer some of the terms or price. Once all terms have been agreed upon, you are officially in contract!
There is a 10 day inspection window. This gives you a chance to have any inspections done on the home, whole house, termite, and radon is what is typical. It is always best to get to these right away, don’t wait 8 or 9 days. At this stage you basically have another time of negotiation to ask for repairs or you can back out of the contract due to inspections. You would be able to get your earnest deposit back in this case.
The appraisal is the next hurdle, but you are almost home free. The appraisal is ordered by your lender to make sure the home is worth what you are paying for it. If there is some repairs needed or the appraised value is less than your purchase price your agent will be going to bat for you to get this resolved. If the appraisal is higher, which we all hope it is, you have instant equity in your home!
You should be in contact with your lender during this process. They will be needing a lot of documentation, w2’s, paystubs, bank statements, blood type, and so on. Just kidding on the blood type, but sometimes you will feel like, GEE! What else can I possibly give you? Be prepared to get a little frustrated with this part. You will get homeowners insurance in place, get utilities turned on in your name, go to closing and break your hand signing 50 million papers, get your keys!
Then the fun really starts … MOVING.