Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.
Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.
I chose Leon lopes as my Realtor® because of his impressive reputation in our town of Plymouth. When I told people whom I had chosen, the reaction was always he's the best. I had lived in this house for 32 years so letting go was hard. He knew this and walked me through with the patience of a saint. He would always be present anytime the buyers would come to the house. When we had problems with the new smoke detectors he was there three times to meet with the fire department. He sat with us on numerous occasions to review everything that needed to be done. He handled all the difficult questions with the buyers' Realtor® with confidence that took the...— Seller
We cannot say enough wonderful things about Leon, he is absolutely the best. Being first-time home buyers we were very nervous about which Realtor® to use, but Leon came highly recommended to us by 3 different people so we took our chances and we are so glad we did. Leon is extremely supportive, very knowledgeable, approachable, and there when you need him; but most importantly you can tell he is looking out for his client's best interests. Home shopping for us during a hot market proved to be challenging but Leon kept us on track and managed to keep us feeling positive about the whole experience. We are happy he took the journey with us and with hi...— Buyer
We selected Leon based on his experience, knowledge, and previous success in selling homes in our area. We were very satisfied with his marketing plan and recommendations to ensure success in selling our house. He is very knowledgeable and informative as to every step in the selling and closing process. His positive can-do attitude was very encouraging. Leon has an excellent response time, in getting steps accomplished and getting back to us with any questions or follow-ups. He offers factual information and advice to assist you in making your decisions. We would strongly recommend Leon Lopes to all interested in selling their houses.— Seller
We're here to help you find the home of your dreams. With a team of experts guiding you every step of the way, our extensive knowledge and experience will ensure you have the best home buying experience possible.
Our team is good at helping our clients identify, negotiate, and close on the home they choose. We listen to your needs and even non-negotiables to know which home, neighborhood, and even particular street will appeal to you specifically. In the end, you would be most concerned with the question "Which of these three great homes should I buy?"
We are experts in local areas. Our team knows the streets almost as well as the firemen and our GPS. With this local knowledge, we will:
Our expert negotiation strategies have helped buyers buy their home at the best possible price. Most of our buyer transactions are multiple offers, and we're proud of our high success rate representing clients. Our team will:
Who you choose to represent you is incredibly crucial not only for you, but also for the competitive market. We have a good reputation among our clients. Also, our relationships with our colleagues are long-standing, which helps our clients in buying and selling their homes.
Leon’s clients trust in his honesty, integrity, and valuable insights that he so generously shares. Consistently offering the highest level of expertise and exceptional personal service, he takes great care to ensure that his client’s best interests are always of the utmost importance.