THINKING OF BUYING A HOME?

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“The journey’s easier with someone to guide you.” 


Deciding To Purchase


Purchasing  a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever  make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced  buyer, this decision must be made carefully.


Why Do You Want To Buy?


Are  you tired of paying rent? Have you decided to pay your own mortgage and  not your landlord’s? Have you outgrown your current home? Are you  looking for an investment portfolio? Are you looking for a rental  property? Would you like a larger yard? Would you rather live in a  different area? Do you want to shorten your commute? Having a clear  sense of your reasons for buying will help you choose the right  property.


Has Your Income Grown?


Property  ownership is an excellent investment; whether you are looking for your  dream home, a rental property, or to expand your investment portfolio.  Owning real estate is one of the least risky ways to build equity or to  obtain a greater return on your initial investment.


Preparing To Buy


Before you start shopping for your property, it is a good idea to make some preparations.


Build Your Green File.


A  green file contains all your important financial documents if you will  need it to secure financing for your property. The typical green file  should contain:



  • Financial statements
  • Bank accounts
  • Investments
  • Credit cards
  • Auto loans
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Tax returns for two years
  • Copies of leases for investment properties
  • 401K statements, life insurance, stocks, bonds, and mutual account information.


Check Your Credit Rating.


Your  credit score will have a huge impact on what type of property you can  buy, and at what price. It is first recommended to check your credit  rating with an experienced lending institution so that we can determine  what you can afford. The lender will research your credit ratings from  the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.  We will be happy to recommend experienced, knowledgeable lenders in the  residential, construction, and commercial and investment real estate  fields.


Be Careful With Your Finances.


Now  is not a good time to make sudden career changes or large purchases.  You want to approach your property purchase from a position of financial  stability. In other words, do not apply for loan and change jobs or  retire.

Do not brake any large purchases or move monies to new or “unseasoned” (less then 2 months) accounts.


Choosing A Real Estate Agent


Buying  a property requires making many important financial decisions,  understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. It helps  to have an expert in your corner when undertaking such a large  purchase. We can guide you through this process, and also provide you  with access to property listings before they hit the general market.


Here are some factors to consider when choosing your real estate professional:


  • Look for a full-time agent – one who has experience completing transactions similar to yours.
  • Interview a few agents: Are they familiar with the area in which you are interested?
  • Ask how much time the agent will have for you, and if they are available at night and on weekends.
  • Ask  about their credentials and education: A good agent will continually  strive to improve and gain knowledge of the latest real estate trends  and hold the highest designations in their respective fields of  expertise.
  • Does the agent return your calls promptly? Time is money when attempting to buy a property.
  • Ask for a list of properties they have sold or a list of references.
  • Choose an agent who listens attentively to your needs and concerns. Pick an agent, with whom you feel comfortable.


Time To Go Shopping



Once those preparations are out of the way, it is time to find the right property for you.


Take a Drive.



Get  to know the neighborhoods, compounds, or subdivisions, which interest  you. Drive around get a feel for what it would be like to own a property  in the area. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those  areas.

Drive areas of interest at different times of day to see if there are any factors that will affect your enjoyment.


Narrow Your Search.



Select  a few properties that interest you the most and contact us to make  appointments to visit them. Ask your real estate agent about the  potential long term resale value of the properties you are considering.


Time to Buy.



Once  you have picked out the property you want to purchase, we are here to  help you make an offer that the seller will accept. A good broker will  investigate the potential costs and expenses associated with the new  property. Our goal is to help you draft your offer in a way that gives  you the advantage over another offer.


Escrow Inspections and Appraisals


The Process, Step-by-Step


The Initial Agreement and Deposit.



An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller.

Some important tips to keep in mind to streamline the process:

  • Keep  written records of everything. For the sake of clarity, it will be  extremely useful to transcribe all verbal agreements including  counter-offers and addendum and to convert them into written agreements  to be signed by both parties. We will assist you in drafting all the  paperwork for your purchase and make sure that you have copies of  everything.
  • Stick  to the schedule. Now that you have chosen your offer, you and the  seller will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of  closing the real estate contract. Meeting the requirements on time  ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is  not in breach of their agreements. During the process, we will keep you  constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step.

The Closing Agent. Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as a closing  agent. The closing agent will hold the deposit in escrow and will  research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that  the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and  that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some  properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities  such as a building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded  easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use your  property.

How to Hold Title. You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to  hold the title. Different methods of holding title have different legal,  estate and tax implications, especially when selling or upon the death  of the title holder.

Inspections. Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will need to have a  licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame  that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. You may  elect to have different inspectors inspect the property if you wish to  obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a  specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). If you are purchasing a  commercial property, then you will need to have an environmental audit  done on the site for the lending institution. We can recommend several  different inspectors.

Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:

1.  Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will  be removed, bringing you one step closer to the close, or

2.  The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests a  renegotiation of the terms of the contract (usually the price).

Appraisal and Lending. It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender,  who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve  your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is  conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a  licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution,  via a third party. This is done so that the lending institution can  confirm their investment in your property is accurate. Appraisers are  specialists in determining the value of properties, based on a  combination of square footage measurements, building costs, recent sales  of comparable properties, operating income, etc. When you are within  two weeks of closing, double check with your lender to be sure the loan  will go through smoothly and on time.

Association Approval. If the property that you are purchasing is conditional upon an  association approval, request the rules, regulations, and other  important documents from the seller as soon as you have an effective  agreement to purchase. Make sure that the application documents and  processing fees are submitted to the appropriate person at the  association by the required time. Fill out all of the information  completely and legibly so there is no delay in processing the  application. If you are required to meet with the association for your  approval, make an appointment as soon as possible for the interview.  Most associations require a certificate of approval before move-in. Your  closing agent will request that the original copy of this approval  letter be brought to the closing so that it can be recorded with the  deed in the county public records.

Property Insurance.If  you are obtaining a loan, you will be required by your lender to  purchase a certain amount of insurance on the property. The value will  depend on the lending institution and the purchase price of the  property. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on  homeowners insurance by shopping around for insurance. You can also save  money with these tips.

  • Consider a higher deductible.Increasing your deductible by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
  • Ask your insurance agent about discounts.You  may be able to get a lower premium if your home has safety features  such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm  shutters or fire-retardant roofing materials. Persons over 55 years of  age or long-term customers may also be offered discounts.
  • Insure your house NOT the land under it.After  a disaster, the land is still there. If you do not subtract the value  of the land when deciding how much homeowner’s insurance to buy, you  will pay more than you should.

We will be happy to recommend experienced knowledgeable insurance agents for every property type.

Moving In

Closing Day

If  you have come this far, then this means that it is almost time for  congratulations, but not yet. Do not forget to tie up these loose ends:

Final Walk-Through Inspection.

More  of a formality than anything else, the final inspection takes place a  day before, or the day of the closing. You will visit the property to  verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when you  last viewed the property, that there are no extra items left behind, and  that everything included in your purchase is still at the property.

Home Services and Utilities.

We will provide a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.

Be Prepared.

We  are ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at  this last stage. Something at the property breaks down, or some other  minor detail – no need to worry. We have encountered these problems  before so we know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress-free  manor.

Closing.

The  closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement  statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions  enacted in the process. You and the seller(s) will sign this statement,  as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are  obtaining financing, you will have to sign all pertinent documentation  required by the lending institution. If you are unable to attend the  scheduled closing, arrangements can be made depending on the  circumstances and the notice that we receive. If you are bringing funds  to the transaction, you can elect to either have the funds wired  electronically into the closing agent’s escrow account, or bring a  certified bank check to the closing in the amount specified on the  settlement statement. The seller should arrange to have all property  keys and any other important information for you at the closing so that  you may receive these items at this time.

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Contact Us To Find Your Dream Home

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