Buying a home – whether it is your first or fourth – can be one of the most exciting times of your life and the most stressful times of your life at the same time! To prepare yourself for this, you need to know what to expect during this process. This step-by-step buyer’s guide that I have created 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 are comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This 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.
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. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where my expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let me show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.
My Goal is to Provide You With the Most Personalized Service That is Designed to Help You Buy Your Dream Home
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you are interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and do not like, and make sure to pay attention to details. My local expertise in the Watch Hill and surrounding areas real estate market will also allow me to give you my opinion of the ‘value’ of the home you may be interested in.
Do not 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, shopping, entertainment, and the local beach access.
Once you have selected the perfect home, I will work with you to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market and any inside knowledge I may have of the property and/or situation. 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.
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.
Some Buyers may or may not need a mortgage. If you will be getting a mortgage, now is the time to go back to your mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with distinct 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.
If you are getting a mortgage, 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.
Geb was excellent. He is honest, kind, and very trustworthy, a genuine person. This is why we chose to use Geb.
Geb was confident throughout the process and very helpful in recommending competent people to solve a sellers problems, like inspections and regulations, etc.
Geb was outstanding to deal with. He did a great job of keeping us in the loop throughout the entire process. Geb made the purchase of our home smooth and easy (as much as anyone can).
Geb was great start to finish! He found a house which I originally was not aware of and turned out to be the one. His knowledge and contacts helped me with a quick and effortless closing. Great guy and very professional!
Geb was an outstanding agent, and helped us sell our house for a price we were very happy with. He was consistently helpful, professional, and knowledgeable about the local market, gave us some great advice, and kept us up to date on the sales process every step of the way. Overall a great job - I highly recommend Geb.
Geb is the best! He successfully completed the sale after a long journey of our home that had been on and off the market for many years. He was the only one who could get the job done. I would highly recommend him to my clients and friends. I too am a broker with Sotheby’s in New Canaan, CT and I appreciate a broker who is not only bright and professional but truly...
Geb was very proactive in looking for the right type of house for me. He listened to what I wanted and what I did not want. He also offered objective feedback on pros/cons of different houses for sale. He is very familiar with the Westerly market and had access to view some houses prior to going on the market. I am very happy with the house I purchased while workin...
Geb is a great person and realtor. He listened to what I was looking for and worked tirelessly to find appropriate homes. He was patient as we looked at many houses. We finally found the right home that matched all my needs. He followed up after the sale to see how things were going. I would and have recommended him to family. If you are looking for a realtor who i...