8 Steps to Buying Your Home



1. Decide to buy.
   Buying Homes in Avon, Westlake, and North Ridgeville Ohio

Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.  But be sure to keep these points in mind, in making your decision to buy a home:

*Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.

*If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy.

*There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.

*The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase.

*A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home.  As your real estate agent, I can help you explore all finance options available to you, and get you prequalified. 

*The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now.

*Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way. 

2. Hire your agent. 

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals – insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. As your real estate agent, I will expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and will represent your best interests throughout the transaction, from start to finish.   

As Your Buyer’s Real Estate Agent, I will: 

*Educate you about your market.

*Analyze your wants and needs.   Homes for Sale in Avon, Avon Lake, Westlake, North Ridgeville, Bay Village, Lorain County Ohio

*Guide you to homes that fit your criteria.

*Coordinate the work of other needed professionals.

*Negotiate on your behalf.

*Check and double-check paperwork and deadlines.

*Solve any problems that may arise.  

All real estate agents are not created equal....Before Selecting Any Real Estate Agent to Represent You, Ask these Eight Questions: 

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent: 

*Why did you become a real estate agent?

*Why should I work with you?

*What do you do better than other real estate agents?

*What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?

*What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?

*What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?

*What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?

*Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?  

3. Secure financing. 

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.  

From start to finish, as your real estate agent, I will guide you through a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home. 

Six steps to Financing a Home

*Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).   Find Your Avon, Westlake, North Ridgeville, or Lorain County Home

*Make a loan application and get preapproved.

*Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.

*Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.

*Get an appraisal and title commitment.

*Obtain funding at closing.  

4. Find your home. 

You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long – if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why I will help you assess your home wants and needs, and help you focus on finding the homes that have those features, and hopefully match you with your dream home.  

Questions to ask yourself: 

*What do I want my home to be close to?     Call JoAnn Today to Search for Your New Avon, Westlake, North Ridgeville, Lorain County Home

*How much space do I need and why?

*Which is more critical: location or size?

*Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?

*How important is home value appreciation?

*Is neighborhood stability and priority?

*Would I be interested in a condo?

*Would I be interested in new home construction?

*What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?  

5. Make an offer. 

When searching for your dream home, you were just that – a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective about your market.  As your Realtor, I will go over things to consider when sitting down with you to write your offer. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada). 

Price – the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value o fthe home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision. 

Terms – the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.  

Terms fall under five basic categories in a real estate offer: 

*Schedule – a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.

*Conveyances – the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.  

*Closing costs – it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.

*Home warranty – this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.

*Earnest money – this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.  

6. Perform due diligence. JoAnn Abercrombie Selling Real Estate and Homes in Avon, Avon Lake, Westlake, North Ridgeville, Bay Village, Lorain County Ohio

Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important. 

A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways: 

*Against loss or damage to the property itself

*Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property  

The property inspection will expose any latent issues a home might have, so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers. 

Your major concern is structural damage.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.

As your Buyer's Agent, I will be there each step of the way during the inspection process.  She will be with you during the home inspection, and if a big problem shows up in your inspection report, she will recommend that you should bring in a specialist, and assist you in determining your plan of action...whether to negotiate a remedy of repair or compensation, or whether to walk away from the purchase.  

7. Close. 

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation and approval of the home’s value, while verifying that you will receive clear title, and the lender will also do an indepth assessment of your income and credit documents, and officially issue your final loan approval. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and issue  finance.  As your agent, I will keep you posted on how each step of the closing is progressing.  

You just have a few preclosing responsibilities: 

*Stay in control of your finances.

*Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.

*Communicate with your agent at least once a week.

*Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.

*Obtain certified funds for closing.

On closing day, the escrow agent will meet with you, and separately with the home sellers, to get all the necessary closing documents signed, to make sure all terms of the contract have been met and signed off on to everyone's satisfaction, and then to forward those documents to the mortgage lender for their final review.  Once the lender gives the escrow/closing agent the official okay to file, then the closing agent will get the necessary documents to the courthouse, and have the transfer recorded there.

To summarize, the escrow agent will:  Getting the Keys to Your New Avon, Westlake, North Ridgeville, or Lorain County Home

*Finalize the signing of your mortgage documents.

*Pay the seller his net proceeds, if any, out of the escrow monies from the combination of the money from the lender from the mortgage you obtain, as well as from the down payment collected at this closing, as well as any earnest money that you have already paid.

*Disburse monies to all parties, according to the purchase contract.

*Transfer the title from the seller to you.

*Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience. 

During this process, as your agent, I will be there to answer any questions you might have about the closing process, and any documents you are asked to sign at the closing.  I will have coordinated things so that the closing is a smooth process, that all terms of the contract have been completed, that the escrow agent has all documents pertinent to the contract, inspections, addendums, proof of repairs made, etc..  Also, I will make sure that the closing agent is aware of any last-minute issues, and that all documents are in the hands of the closing agent prior to documents being signed.

I will assist you by providing any utility company contact info, and to let you know what date you should have the utilities put into your name, so that nothing gets shut off. 

And then comes the most exciting part of all...I will meet you and give you the keys to your new home, on the day of possession.  I prefer to walk through the home with you at that time, to make sure everything is as it should be, and to make any additional suggestions about things you may need to keep in mind. 

8. Protect your investment. 

Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you and I, as your agent, have spent a lot of time together, and we've gotten to know each other fairly well. That's a great reason for us to stay in touch, even after the deal has closed.  I am grateful that you have trusted me to look out for your best interests throughout one of the most important things you will do in your lifetime, buying your home.  I encourgage you to call me if any questions arise at any point during your experience as a homeowner, and to keep me in mind to do the same great job assisting your friends, family, associates in buying or selling a home.  I love referrals!

Even after you close on your house, I can still help you: 

*Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.

*Help your friends, family, co-workers buy or sell homes.

*Keep track of your home’s current market value.

Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. 

Home maintenance falls into two categories: 

*Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.

*Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.