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6 Steps To Home Buying

From the Desk of Courtney Okanlomo:

6 Steps To Home Buying

Buying a home is scary enough. Couple that with buying your first home and we have encountered an entirely new level of anxiety! To better prepare you for the process, I have put together this cheat sheet of 6 home buying steps: 

  1. Get Pre-Approved - This may go without saying, but it is extremely important so that buyers are looking in the proper monthly payment range from the beginning. You will first complete an Application for Credit with the Lender of your choice, submit basic qualifying information such as pay stubs, W-2's and tax returns, and the Lender will respond with the programs that are available to you based on your financial profile. 
  2. Search For Your Home - It takes approximately 30-45 days to close on a property from start to finish, so I always advise that my clients allow about 2-3 months of search time. For example if your lease ends August 30th you would be able to give your 60 day notice on June 30th, and you should begin the pre-approval and search process right away. It is always better to have more time than less time to allow for emergencies, unforeseen delays, etc. 
  3. Submit Your Offer - Once you've found your dream home, you and your Realtor® will draw up an offer and begin negotiations (if applicable). When a fully executed contract is in hand, the earnest money (usually 1% of the home sales price) would need to be available for submission to the seller. These are good faith funds demonstrating your seriousness to purchase, and the amount is credited back to you at closing. 
  4. Begin The Underwriting Approval Process - By this time your Realtor® will have sent the fully executed contract to your Lender. He/she will order an Appraisal and begin to work the numbers, underwrite your file, and request any additional documents if needed. As your Realtor® I understand that the financing piece is one of the most important components to the transaction. As such, on a weekly basis, I will be in the background assuring that things are moving as they should and that the close date in the contract will be met. 
  5. Conduct Your Due Diligence: Have a Home Inspection - This is what I will always advise my clients to do. It is what you will use as a guideline and framework to the strengths and possible weaknesses of the property you've chosen to buy. If further negotiations to the contract are necessary due to certain repairs, this will be done and must be done in the time allotted per the agreement.  
  6. Prepare For Your Closing - This is the waiting period. In the meantime while your Lender is doing their magic, you will begin to collect other information to prepare you for your move - past utility bills (if desired), HOA rules/restrictions, home insurance quotes, etc. During this time-frame it is also imperative that no new additional applications for credit, loans, or major purchases are made. This can be detrimental and devastating to your transaction if any of these activities occur. If you are looking to buy furniture, appliances, etc. as your Realtor® I strongly recommend waiting until (at minimum) we have received a clear to close from your Lender. Additionally, the purchase should be made in cash and not on credit. You can literally go on the day of your closing (after it has funded) and buy a whole car if you wanted to - but not a minute before then!

Home Buying Steps

As a Realtor® I am often asked how the home-buying process works, how long it takes, and most importantly what the home buying steps consist of. My passion lies in relationship and trust building in real estate, so informing my clients is paramount to my success more than anything else. Home ownership is a huge predecessor for wealth building, and I want us ALL to have access to it. 

Start planning today, so that you can share your testimony with others soon after. Allow me to assist you every step of the way!