Why Buy With Me?
Everyone dreams of owning their own home. When buying your first home, it can be a very exciting, yet anxiety filled experience. However, if you know what to expect during the home-buying process you will be more relaxed and comfortable knowing that I will be by your side every step of the way, guiding you through it, and looking out for your best interests. Below are some of the things I will be helping you with along the way!Start your Home Search Here
Pet Friendly Housing
“Pet-Friendly Housing” is not a phrase I use lightly. As the expression goes, “If you are going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.” And I do. I fell into this pet-friendly niche quite by accident while looking for a condo for my family many years ago. The condo we were considering accepted one pet with a maximum weight of 60 pounds. To me, this was a no-brainer. I had two small dogs with a combined weight of 15 pounds. The condo said, No. I was incensed. I could not wrap my head around the logic, if there was any. And so it became a passion of mine to help others in this same situation.
Unfortunately, the term “pet friendly” is now used everywhere on listings, and listings are often incorrect. I do the work, the research, the countless hours it takes to ensure you and your furry friend or friends are looking in communities where they will be accepted. That’s where I differ from my colleagues. With a background in court reporting, research is second nature to me (we didn’t have Google back then!). After all, my dogs are part of my family, as I am sure your furry friends are part of yours. You don’t want to go under contract or get to closing only to find out your dog or dogs are not as welcome as you are.
Setting a Budget
Before the house-hunting process begins, it is important to know how much you can afford. Expenses to consider include the down payment, monthly expenses, property taxes and any home insurance costs. These will all have to be considered before the home-buying process begins, as they are typically included in your new monthly payment.
Since a person’s credit score determines their interest rate, knowing your score ahead of time can help you decide if now is a good time to buy or not. An individual’s debt-to-income ratio must also fall within acceptable limits of the home’s cost. Once you have determined these things, and if you feel that your budget has enough room to afford a new home, then it’s time to begin the home-buying process!Calculate your Payment
Getting pre-approved should be first on your list. We need to know how much house you can afford. When looking for a loan, be sure to get more than one loan quote to get the best interest rate and loan terms for your mortgage. Different banks and companies will offer different loan origination fees. By shopping around, you can oftentimes save yourself a lot of money.
Decide if you want to use a bank or a mortgage broker. Full-time mortgage brokers should be considered as they offer a variety of lending products, not just one or two as a bank may offer. They deal with multiple banks. However, this is a personal decision and you need to be comfortable. Be sure to also check your loan officer’s website for testimonials and information. A good loan officer will offer you many online resources and tools.
Before you lock in your rate, be sure to check the daily rate with the rate your loan officer gives you to ensure you are getting the lowest rate possible. Interest rates will determine how much a mortgage will cost each month. They come in fixed or adjustable terms. Mortgage lengths can range from 15 to 30 years with some loan providers now offering 40-year mortgages, as well. The longer the repayment term, the lower the payments will be. However, the interest accrued will also be higher on a longer loan.
Making an Offer & Negotiations
There is an art to making an offer on a home. Typically, sellers place their home’s value a little higher than their desired price. A buyer will send in a lower bid, in a reasonable range, and the seller will counter with an offer somewhere in the middle. I will be watching for signs of problems in the home and will make suggestions to you regarding the offer. Listen closely and be sure to ask questions, as your offer is an important part of buying a home. You want to make sure all of your bases are covered. That’s where having me as your Buyer’s Agent is most valuable so your rights and interests are protected, even with new construction, yes! With my experience on your side, I will be able to help you negotiate a lower price that sometimes includes concessions or closing costs and avoid homes that have problems. My job is to protect YOU in the contract.
Escrow and Closing Costs
Before the home is legally transferred to you, the closing process must occur. During this phase, you will sign all of the mortgage documents, pay closing costs, and sign various other legal documents. I will be there to help you through it all. Once all of the papers are signed and monies are transferred, the keys to your new home are yours! The only thing left to do is move into your humble abode. This may occur immediately after closing or at the date set in the closing documents.
Better Home Search
My website has the best online tools to search for your home! In fact, it is better than Zillow, Trulia and the many other real estate websites out there because I am directly connected to our local MLS! What does that mean for you? Accuracy and Advantage! When you search homes here, you get the most up-to-date homes and properties available with the most accurate information! AND, if you sign up for Deal Alerts, you will get alerted of NEWEST Property matches BEFORE any other site has them!
First, start by trying one of our Search tools in the menu. Try the Advanced search to choose specific options and customize your results based on all of the things you wish for in your new home. Second, Save your Search and you will be set up for auto alerts when a new home hits the market that matches! You can also try the Map search which offers a unique perspective by allowing you to use the polygon tool on the side to create boundaries on a map around the areas you want to live in. Already know the address of the property you want? Try the Address Search. OR if you have the property ID you can use the Listing Search to search by MLS#. Find a home you like? Simply click on the Schedule a showing button and send us an alert. I will schedule the time and confirm with you once it is set up!
Once you have started searching, be sure to check out your My Account page so you can manage your Saved Searches and Favorite properties. The My Account feature has a ton of great tools designed to cater directly to you and provide you with a great home-buying experience. And it’s Mobile friendly!Join Deal Alert
Lenders normally require that you insure your home. Home Insurance Policies cover the costs to fix any damages that might occur to the home. The price of this insurance is dependent on a home’s age, location, hurricane protection and value, and the insurance company you choose. Be sure to call around and get several quotes or ask me for a list of vendors I work with. Insurance agents will oftentimes be able to take your information over the phone and get back to you the same day with a quote. Once you choose a company to insure your new home, the cost of that policy is normally added into your closing costs and sent into an escrow account to be paid to the insurance company directly the first year.
Getting a home inspection is a vital part of the home-buying process. These inspections ensure that the home’s foundation, ceiling, air conditioning, plumbing, roof, and major systems are up to certain standards. Sometimes the bank will require a home inspection. However, many times they leave it to the buyer to purchase their own. It is extremely important to protect yourself by getting a home inspection right away. You typically have 10 days from an accepted offer to get the home inspected. Many buyers have been saved from disaster by taking the time to spend the extra $300 – $ 500 to get a home inspection only to find out the house has major problems, allowing them to back out of the contract before it is too late. If you need help finding a Home Inspector, ask me! I can give you recommendations for many service providers that I work with all the time!