Buying A Home Can Be Easier Than You Think!
We know that buying a home can seem overwhelming – especially when you are doing it for the very first time. The process can be easier, faster and more affordable than you would expect. We believe in the dream of homeownership. And we are committed to helping first-time homebuyers realize their dream.
Here are a few simple steps to follow when you are getting started:Pre-Qualification
This is the process that provides an estimate of your borrowing power. Simply meet with one of the loan officers in our offices, and he or she will help you determine how much money you might be eligible to borrow before you apply for a loan. This will help you determine the price of a home you can purchase.
When you pre-qualify, you provide the loan officer with information about your credit, assets and debts. Based on the information you provide, you will find out how large a loan you could qualify for. This is not a commitment to lend.Pre-Approval
Pre-Approval is a conditional agreement for a specific loan amount. It is based on a verification of your income, credit, and assets. It is also conditional upon a satisfactory appraisal of the property and title review, once you find the home you would like to purchase. With Pre-Approval, you can shop for a home with assurance because you will know in advance how large a loan you could qualify for. For additional assurance, you can lock in a rate to ensure the amount for which you pre-qualified doesn’t change.
Pre-Approval gives you an edge when buying a home since Agents and sellers will know you are a serious homebuyer.Savings and Credit
Your loan officer will explain to you how much money will be needed for the down payment on a home. You may need assistance developing a financial plan to help you save the necessary money for the down payment and closing costs.
It is important to have a good credit history by paying your bills on time, limiting your debt, and reducing the amount of credit cards you have and the responsible use of those cards. Our loan officers will review your credit report with you to make sure the record of past and current debt is accurate. The better your credit history, the better your credit score and the more mortgage options you will have.
Mortgage loans are subject to qualification, receipt of satisfactory appraisal, and verification of income, asset and debt information provided by the customer.Home Shopping
Once you know how much home you can afford, you can begin looking! Our web site makes it simple to find properties that fit your criteria. Search for properties that are currently listed. Register for My HomeSearch! and begin receiving email messages when properties that fit your special criteria come onto the market. Put homes you like into your Favorites Box and email information about properties to your friends and family.
You will want to consider the features in a home that are important to you, including proximity to your work, schools, etc. You will also want to determine if you want a new home or a pre-owned home and if you want to do repairs on a home that requires fix-up or want one in perfect condition.
Of course, Windermere’s real estate professionals are always available to provide you important information about neighborhoods, home values, or to find out specific information about homes you are interested in. The Agent can help you compare home values to make sure homes you are interested in are priced appropriately.
Your Windermere Agent will introduce you to homes that fit your criteria and will make appointments with sellers to look at homes you are interested in. The Agent will accompany you at these showings to answer your questions and point out significant things you may not be aware of.Choosing a Agent
It is important to choose a professional Agent to help you with your transaction. And contrary to what many people think, all Agents are NOT the same. You want to work with someone you can trust and who will explain the process thoroughly to you and help you navigate through the maze of details. You need someone who will listen to your special needs and work diligently to find properties for you that fit those requirements. Our job is to give you all the information you need to make the decision that is right for you.
At Windermere Tri Cities we pride ourselves on having quality REALTORS who work as your personal sales associates. They have received the best training available in the industry, and have aligned themselves with a leading real estate company. They have access to the most advanced real estate technology and services. They also have the support of a trained staff to make sure your experience purchasing your first home is easy, fun, and rewarding. Locate a Windermere Agent by viewing them on this web site.
When you find the home you wish to purchase, your Windermere Agent will help you prepare a written offer. You not only specify the price you are willing to pay, but also the details of the purchase including:
- How you intend to finance the home
- Amount of the down payment
- Who is paying the closing costs?
- What inspections will be performed?
- What personal property is included in the purchase?
- Terms of cancellation
- Repairs you wish to have done
- Date you will take ownership and possession of the property
- How disputes will be settled
- Contingencies – potential situations that allow you to cancel the contract without penalty
Once the offer has been submitted, you must wait for the seller to respond. The seller can accept or reject your offer. The seller may counter your offer with a different price or closing date or other changes. This begins the process of negotiation that will continue until both parties agree or decide to go their separate ways. Your Windermere Agent is a skilled negotiator and will assist with this process.Earnest Money
Once the offer has been negotiated and accepted by both parties, the earnest money will be deposited.The Inspection
In a typical inspection a professional licensed home inspector will inspect the property. In some cases inspections will be done by licensed contractors. Items that can be included in an inspection include (but are not limited to):
- Sprinkler System
- Septic Tank
Before the mortgage company will provide a loan, they require insurance on the title of the property. Homeowner’s insurance is also required. Your Windermere Agent will explain the details about insurance.Meeting Contingencies and Deadlines
The contract will set forth all the contingencies and dates that have to be met to stay ‘in contract’. Windermere has a trained staff in our Escrow Department that assists Windermere Agents to stay on top of the details of the contract. This service is just another safeguard to make sure your contract closes on time.The Walk-Through
Before the closing occurs, you and your Windermere Agent may visit the home to ensure that the house has been left in the expected condition. At this time you will make sure that items such as kitchen appliances, light fixtures, and other items you are expecting to be left in the home as set forth in the contract are there. Should any problems arise, your Windermere Agent will assist in correcting the situation.The Closing
Your Windermere Agent will guide you through the process of closing the transaction. The documents will be reviewed with you and all the numbers will be explained. You may ask as many questions as you wish so that you may fully understand the details of the transaction. The documents will be signed by both you and the seller, transferring title of the home into your name.You Are A Home Owner!
Your goal of owning your own home is achievable. Windermere wants to become your partner in helping you become a homeowner, the first time, and the next time.