Buying or selling a home? Jason Compton can help.

With a little planning ahead of time, buying a home isn't too hard, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to give buyers a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are plenty of things you should consider prior to beginning your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to put together a check list of features you want to have, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good principle to go by is that your mortgage payment should be around 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Lexington
This is where I can help. We can schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Lexington area.

I can also help you get started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our first meeting, I'll start finding houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview most of the houses and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll point out good features and bad ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to change their must-have list as we view homes and some features become far more substantial than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
My understanding of the Lexington home market is an imperative element in your home search. I am informed of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll alert you to which areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for more examination.

When we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask lots of questions, as any REALTOR in Lexington will tell you they comprehend the housing market. If things don't add up, contact me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream house in the Lexington area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's often applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts don't close on the first offer – it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market conditions. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Once the contract is finished, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't take very long at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and calm affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at .

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