Now that you’ve saved sufficient cash for a down payment on a home, it’s time to start looking. Here are some of the important steps involved in starting the process of home buying.
Hiring a Real Estate Agent
You’ll want an experienced and established full-time real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the area that you want to live in. He or she will have participated in countless closings, and you’ll find his or her guidance to be invaluable.
While you’re looking at homes, get your paperwork together for purposes of employment and income verification. Have two years of tax returns and bank statements ready. You’ll have a short deadline for submitting a mortgage application, and you don’t want to be late on that obligation because you failed to prepare for it.
The Contract to Purchase
You’ve found the home that you wanted at the price you can afford, so now it’s time to take the plunge. Your agent will complete the contract to purchase, and you’ll sign off on it. Sellers will either accept it, ask for a little more money or propose some minor changes of details. Eventually you’ll have a valid and binding contract. Your agent is getting the job done.
You’ll want to work with an established mortgage company and loan officer. If you haven’t looked into mortgage lenders, your real estate agent can point you in the right direction. Some companies know that having an accurate assessment is needed when applying for a mortgage. Lenders have programs that fit just about any buyer. Tell the loan officer what you want, and it’s likely that there’s a home loan program out there that fits your needs.
You really don’t want to go into the largest investment in your life without the assistance of a real estate attorney. They’re surprisingly inexpensive too. If you don’t have one, your real estate agent is certain to know several attorneys who he or she can refer you to. Legal issues can arise years later that an experienced real estate attorney could have resolved for you at the closing table. You want to protect against those issues before you ever take title to the property.
Assuming that both sides have done what they’re expected to do, your closing should take less than two hours. Don’t forget to bring proof of homeowners insurance with a mortgagee’s clause covering your lender. By the time you leave closing, that home will be titled in your name. Live there in good health.
About the author: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. The information in this article was provided by Assurance Financial Group.