Everything you need to know about the process of buying a new home.
Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
Candi is a true pleasure to work with. It is obvious that Candi is self-motivated and enthusiastic about their career. Her professionalism and partnership are refreshing. Because of her consistency, I always look forward to par...
This being the latest of over a dozen real estate transactions in the panhandle area through Beachy Beach, we were so lucky to have Candi lead the sale of our beach home. The price point of this particular home and selling duri...
This house would have been impossible to sell due to the pandemic/Covid crisis that would have most agents in a panic. Candi was amazing from the start. We lost hope in getting anything sold when Covid changed everything but wi...
Candi is one of the most knowledgeable, caring, friendly, attentive, and great women I know. She has not only helped me but I have sent numerous others to her for future real estate endeavors. She has always surprised and surpa...
Candi is the real deal! A class act full of professionalism, grit, and bending over backward for her clients. Every time I’ve asked her a question or help with something, she finds the answer. She’s punctual and goes above and ...
I am beyond thankful for the quick and easy manner in which my property was sold. Candi is very professional. It was a pleasure to work with her. She made it seamless and took care of everything. I highly recommend her. Sincere...
I love working with Candi. She is extremely responsive and handles all the details for her customers. She knows the area and the market. Candi handles her customers with the utmost care and professionalism. It is always a pleas...
Candi is an amazing asset to have on your team when buying/selling a home. She’s trustworthy, knowledgeable, fast, and well connected. I highly recommend Candi as a Realtor® and will refer her to friends and family.
Candi is responsive and so relatable. She made looking for our dream property a breeze. A truly hospitable experience. I highly recommend Candi if you are in the PCB area looking for properties.
Candi is a valuable member of the Real Estate industry. She is a natural leader, go-getter, and an all-around amazing person. She is very professional, personable, and at the top of her field.
Thank you Candi for all of your attentiveness while I was buying my first home. You are amazing at what you do. If I could give this girl more than 5 stars I would!
Honestly, she is the best. Always made sure I got what I wanted and still comes to my aid when I'm in trouble. I'm very happy with my service and my care.
Candi is a very timely, professional, and hard worker. I know of many people she has helped with good intentions, both personally and professionally.
Candi is always available to answers any questions and goes above and beyond to make sure everything is done right.
Candi was absolutely amazing to work with during the sale of my condo. Candi works with are the best around.
Incredibly helpful, resourceful, and knowledgeable. Highly recommend Candi for all your real estate needs!
Candi is an absolute pleasure to work with!
Candi is extraordinary at what she does!
We had an amazing experience with Brad and Candi! Another realtor advised us not to list our house over a certain price. I was referred to Brad through a friend and decided to get a second opinion. He agreed with us that our ho...
I want to express my gratitude for the great job that Brad and Candi did while selling my home. We could not be more pleased. Their dedication to the task, focus on landing a contract, and drive to maximize my return could on...
Want agents who'll listen to what you want in a home? Need agents who knows how to effectively market your home so it sells? Give them a call! The Sunset Collection will be eager to help and would love to speak with you.