Purchasing your home in Lexington

Purchasing a home intimidates most people, but with some up-front planning, it isn't that hard. I like to supply buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. 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 answer any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are several things you need to consider before you search for a home. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to form an outline of features you need, plan for what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good guideline to follow.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We can plan a time to get together 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 everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Lexington area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you with figuring out which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
After our initial meeting, I'll begin finding homes on the market that best suit you. I'll research many of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll call attention to good features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to update their wish list as we tour houses and some things become more substantial than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Lexington market is a crucial component in your house search. And I assure you I'm conscious of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll alert you to which districts are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as any real estate agent will tell you they know the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I know we'll find the home of your dreams in Lexington. When we do, I'll carefully create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is usually put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the first offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon signing the deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it shouldn't take much time at all. However, you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and stress-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you call me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at .

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