Buying or selling a home?

For a lot of people, buying a home is a stressful event. However, with a bit of up-front planning, it's not that complex. I like to provide buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. These 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
Prior to beginning your home search, there are plenty of things you should take into account. You'll most likely want to create a list of must-have features, get a plan of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Valencia
This is where Scenic Hills Realty comes in. We'll set up a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Valencia area.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Valencia, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search all the listings again and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
Your agent's awareness of the Valencia market is an essential element in your house search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll alert you to certain areas are "hot" and require immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for bargaining and when I know the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions, as every real estate agent will tell you they understand the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 661-373-9973 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I know we'll find your dream house in Valencia. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including many contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is most often applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After we sign the final contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this shouldn't be a long process at all, but you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and relaxed occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at 661-373-9973 or e-mail me at .

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