Buying or selling a home? Jason Compton can help.

Purchasing a home is stressful for most people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't all that complex. So they'll know exactly what to expect, I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
There are many things you'll want to take into account before you look for a home. You'll want to make an index of items you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We can set up a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Lexington area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of Lexington's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers change their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through the listings again and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
My awareness of the Lexington housing market is a leading aspect in your home search. I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll let you know which districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Be mindful and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions, as every real estate agent will convince you they know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find the home of your dreams in Lexington, and when that happens, I'll meticulously create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts don't close on the initial offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Once we sign the final contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it shouldn't be a long process at all. But you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

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

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and stress-free affair.

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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