Looking for a home and not sure where to start?
Making the decision to buy a home is a big one, especially if you’ve never done it before. It can be fun to look around on the internet and see all the drool worthy homes for sale, but how do you actually begin the process? We here at Residential Elite are here to help!
First of all, we highly recommend hiring a realtor to assist you through the process. We would of course love the opportunity to work with you, but even if you don’t hire us, we feel this is a very important place to start. An experienced realtor can skillfully guide you along every step of the way. Your realtor should be a wealth of knowledge about the home buying process, and should also be able to lead you to people you can count on in regards to a mortgage, title, and inspectors to name a few. Our team utilizes people that are leaders in their industry.
One of the first steps we take is meeting with new clients to go over the buying process, providing recommended lenders, and getting a good sense of what you are looking for in a new home (must haves vs. wants). We encourage questions, as we want you to be knowledgeable of the process and understand what you are about to embark upon.
Next, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. Most people need to finance their home purchase, and meeting with a mortgage lender will let you know if you’re qualified, as well as how much you are qualified to borrow. A big part of that discussion should be what you are comfortable with spending vs. the amount you are qualified for. Once you have that number, voilà, you have your budget!
Now that you know your spending limit, we will create a custom housing search that sends you email alerts when new homes come on the market. Then it’s time for the fun - go look at some houses! There really is no defined time for how long the search will take. For some, it can be a longer process while waiting for the right home to come on the market. Others find the home they love right away. Be sure to read the listing carefully. We do! Does the condo building allow pets? Do the monthly fees seem high? Does that row home have parking for your lovely new automobile? There are many questions to consider depending upon your needs and wants in a new home.
Once you’ve found the space that sends a skip in your step and your mind to configuring couch placement, it’s time to have a talk with your new best friend, your realtor. They will be able to assist you by going over comparable properties that have recently sold. This can be very helpful as you decide your offer price, how to structure your offer, when you want to settle on your new home and what contingencies you will want (for example, a home inspection). Having someone you trust that has the expertise to guide you at this point is invaluable.
Between your offer being accepted and settlement, there is a lot working behind the scenes. There might be a home inspection, an appraisal (ordered by the lender) to determine the value of the property, and/or a financing contingency, so your realtor should be ensuring everything is progressing as it should. They should be checking in with you regularly to let you know how everything is going, and should give you a list of steps to follow in order to get utilities, garbage collection, insurance, etc. set up. We send out emails to our clients with all the reminders once you go under contract as well as when you get close to settlement. Getting all these tasks completed before you move in can make the moving part all that much easier. Don’t worry – we are there to walk you through each step!
If you are thinking of buying a home and have some additional questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be happy to talk with you over the phone, or meet with you in person. No question is too small, and every client means the world to us. We’d be happy to help get you started on the path to home ownership.