10 Steps to Homeownership

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1. Hire a Realtor

Some key reasons for hiring a Realtor include but are not limited to; paperwork, experience, negotiations, pricing, network of resources and ability to understand current market conditions. I urge you to select a realtor that is focused on your best interest.

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3. Key Factors to Consider

  • Down payment

  • Interest rate

  • Debt-to-income ratio

  • Closing costs associated with your transaction or lender

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5. Making an Offer

Please keep an open mind throughout this process because anything can happen. It is important to stay positive and remember that what is meant for you will be yours! Once you’ve found the home you wish to purchase you must evaluate sales price, comps (comparative market analysis), earnest money, financing terms, inspection period, closing date, personal property and sellers’ contributions to your closing costs, if any. (Your realtor should explain each of these terms to maximize your understanding)

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7. Submitting the Loan

​Once you've summited all required documentation pertaining to the property your lender will submit the loan and it will enter the underwriting stage.

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9. Receive a Loan Approval

​If your appraisal clears and your file has been fully underwritten a final underwriting approval will be issued. This is considered your “Clear to Close” and your lender is ready to fund your loan. 

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2. Pre-Approval

Your Realtor should provide contacts from their network of preferred mortgage lenders to begin your pre-approval process. By doing so, they can direct you to a lender who will be best suited to fit your needs. For pre-approval, you will need two consecutive years of employment, two years of tax returns, and qualifying credit. Credit requirements will be dependent upon the type of mortgage or program that you have selected. NOTE: You may select any lender. It is not necessary for you to choose from your realtors’ network.

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4. Discussing Your Desires

When searching for your home you must first accept that no home will be PERFECT. It is important to decipher your WANTS from your NEEDS. I highly recommend going over the desires of your heart and the deal-breakers with your trusted realtor.

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6. Inspections and Homeowners Insurance

​You will have a select period of time to complete your home inspection and negotiate any repairs. Your inspection should include the following: general home inspection, 4-point, and wind mitigation. Your financing may or may not require a WDO (wood destroying organisms) inspection, but it is always a good option to consider. Once your inspections are complete you will be responsible for obtaining homeowners insurance. It is important to shop insurance policies early to best understand how your insurance premium will impact your mortgage.

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8. Appraisal

An appraisal is an unbiased evaluation of value conducted by a licensed real estate appraiser who visits the home and inspects its size, condition, function and quality. They will then research and compare the property to similar homes in the area. By doing so they will create an appraisal report and determine whether the home is being sold within the rage of market value.

 

Note: he lender will select the appraiser. You are responsible for paying the appraisal fee to the lender who will then pay the appraiser.

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10. Closing Day!

The day you have been waiting for! On the day of closing you will complete a final walk through with your realtor. This will ensure the seller’s belongings have been removed and all repairs have been completed. If you asked for appliances to stay, ensure that they are in place. Make sure all the lights, heating/air and plumbing are working properly. You will want to make sure these contingencies are completed prior to closing. Once you’ve completed your walk through and your standards have been met your realtor will confirm you have all necessary documents and funds with you for closing. If so he or she will prepare your seat at the closing table and congratulate you on completing your journey to homeownership!