Tips on Becoming a Homeowner
Â Are you interested in becoming a
homeowner and want to know how? Here are few suggestions to simplify the process from start to
STEP #1: Ask about financing. There are state and government programs
designed specifically for first-time homebuyers. Consult with a mortgage lender
to determine which financial option is right for your specific needs. Coldwell Banker Residential
Brokerage is affiliated with NE Moves Mortgage, LLC.Â Through this relationship, I have access to
knowledgeable mortgage loan officers who can help you determine which program
is right for you.
STEP #2: Take the mystery out of mortgages. It's important to be aware
of what mortgage lenders look for. Know your financial status as it affects the
terms of a mortgage and the interest rates or types of mortgages you qualify
STEP #3: Get pre-approved for a loan. It's critical to be pre-approved for a loan because it serves as
a commitment to lend a specific amount based on the information you provide. A
pre-approved loan gives you the confidence and buying power you need.
STEP #4: Do your homework.Â Get to know the market you are
interested in. Spend time researching different neighborhoods, school
districts, transportation, etc.Â Go online to sites such as NewEnglandMoves.com
to obtain information on buyersâ€™ resources. Doing this type of homework gives
you a better understanding of what is available and at what price.
STEP #5: Simplify your search. Create a checklist of the important
features you want in a home, such as location, or the number of bedrooms or
bathrooms. Other questions to answer: What will the commute to work be like?
Are there shopping centers, parks, and schools located near the home?Â
STEP #6: Find an agent. A sales agent will help you identify homes for
sale and in the right price range. The agent also can help with tasks such as
writing contracts, negotiating the asking price, and closing the purchase.
STEP #7: Make an offer. Once you find the right house, make an offer.
Make sure it is contingent on two items: 1) You're able to obtain adequate
financing (if you haven't already done so), and 2) you can pull out if the
property doesn't pass the home inspection and the owner can't come to terms
about how to fix the problem. Be prepared for counter-offers from other buyers
and some negotiation with the seller. Make an earnest money deposit, which is a
check you'll give your agent to indicate you are serious about buying the
house. The check will apply toward the sales price if the deal goes through; if
not, you get it back. You should also set a time limit with your agent that the
offer you've made is good for three days. If an offer is accepted, it goes to
the contract phase.
STEP #8: Be safe, not sorry. You've found your dream home! Now you need
to ensure it's worth every penny.Â Making an offer contingent on an
inspection by a registered home inspector can save thousands of dollars by
avoiding unseen problems. Inspectors check the house for any structural damage.
In the contract with the seller, it should state any necessary repairs to be
made before the closing. Prior to closing, walk through the house and to see if
the repairs have been made.Â
STEP #9: Protect your investment with homeownersâ€™ insurance. Lenders
require homeownersâ€™ insurance to protect the new homebuyer's interests as well
as their own. There are many providers so shop around for the best rates.
STEP#10: Before, during and after the closing. This is where the seller
and buyer sign settlement-closing papers to transfer the ownership of the home
and all transactions are finalized.
Â If you need any assistance or guidance
throughout the home buying process, please feel free to contact me.
Pat Baker, Realtor, ABR, Green
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
One Chapel Street,
Needham, MA 02492