Before the home search begins, Eve and Viveca at SK Real Estate Group will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help us better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home’s features and amenities.
Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
Bedrooms: How many?
Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
Stories: How many?
Square feet: How much space?
Ceilings: How high?
Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
Extras: Attic or basement?
Patio, deck, or porch
1. Decide to buy.
There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.
Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase
A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home
The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way
2. Hire the SK Real Estate Group
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.
The seven main roles of your SK Real Estate Group:
Educates you about your market.
Analyzes your wants and needs.
Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
Negotiates on your behalf.
Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
Solves any problems that may arise.
3. Finance your purchase.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.
From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.
Six steps to Financing a Home:
Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
Make a loan application and get preapproved.
Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
Get an appraisal and title commitment.
Obtain funding at closing.
Your lender will pre-approve you for a specified amount but ultimately, you will decide how much your willing to pay.
4. Find your home.
To avoid driving around for weeks on end, we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
Questions to ask yourself:
What do I want my home to be close to?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighborhood stability and priority?
Would I be interested in a condo?
Would I be interested in new home construction?
What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
Your criteria and priorities may change during the process but it’s good to start somewhere.
5. Make an offer.
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies.
Price – the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. The SK Real Estate Group will use market research to guide you in this decision.
Terms – the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
Commission-the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
Closing costs-it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
With knowledge and experience, we will help you write an offer that is attractive to a seller while serving your best interests.
6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why property inspections are so important.
The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.
Your major concern is structural damage.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. SK Real Estate Group will keep you posted on how each is progressing, but you still have a few more pre-closing responsibilities:
Stay in control of your finances. Talk to your lender first before you make any big purchases.
Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly to your lender, title company and agent.
Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.
On closing day, with our guidance and the settlement agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:
Finalize your mortgage.
Pay the seller.
Pay your closing costs.
Transfer the title from the seller to you.
Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.
8. Protect your investment.
Like any big purchase, you want to protect your investment. Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. Keeping up with routine maintenance is always more affordable than having to repair bigger problems later.
Home maintenance falls into two categories:
Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.
9. Stay in touch.
Now that the buying process is over and you are settled in your new home, all the trust and rapport we built up during the process should not be thrown out the window. We would like for you to stay in touch with you and also reach out to us with any real estate related questions you may have. We can continue to offer advice, suggest contractors for renovations or remodeling, keep track of the property’s current value. Last but not least, we welcome referrals from friends and family; as the ultimate compliment.