Buying or selling a home? Jason Compton can help.

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't very complex, but the event is stressful for many people. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
Before you begin searching for a home, there are many things you'll want to contemplate. When you start your search, you'll probably want to create an outline of features you need to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We'll book a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Lexington area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin looking for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll identify positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. Frequently, buyers change their must-have list as we view houses and some things become far more essential than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My awareness of the Lexington housing market is a necessary factor in your home search. I'm conscious of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can alert you to what neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for more analysis.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any real estate agent in Lexington will tell you they understand the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, just call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
We'll find the home of your dreams in Lexington, and when we do, I'll precisely create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including many contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

When we present your offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is often put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the first offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Upon signing the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this shouldn't take long at all. However, you'll need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will give you a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and pleasant occurrence.

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

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