How to Buy a Home

Buying and owning a home is part of what most people call The American Dream. Although the dream has changed over time, the home still remains the main focal point. Buying a home is something most people do at least once in their lifetime. Today owning a home doesn??™t necessarily mean buying a house. People now buy duplexes, upscale apartments, townhouses, and even condominiums. The conventional way of buying a home is a procedure that takes a lot of time and patience. It is a life altering decision and one of the most important one someone can make in their lifetime. There are many steps and procedures that are included in buying a home. They include getting pre-qualified by a loan agent to determine the maximum dollar amount of mortgage you can truly afford, seeking a realtor, searching for homes, making offers, hiring a title company, an appraiser, home inspector, and an opening and closing escrow.
The first step is to be pre qualified. This is the first step that a person should take rather than seeking the direction and advice of a realtor which is the usual path that the typical person normally takes, unless the realtor is very experienced and has a lender that he or she already works with and refers the buyer to that individual. A buyer must always meet with an loan officer first so he or she can have an idea of what they can truly afford considering their financial situation. A buyer might find a loan officer by going to the bank, looking through the local yellow pages, or even browsing the internet. The loan officer advises the potential buyer of the available terms and conditions of what he or she can afford. Once he or she is qualified for a loan, a pre-qual letter is given to the new potential home buyer and sent off or in most cases referred to the buyers realtor.
Once acquainted with a realtor, also known as a real-estate broker or real-estate agent, the buyer should interview and question his or her experience. A real-estate agent can help in finding different homes that suit the person??™s needs. Realtors may also be found on the posted signs in front of the homes for sale. An agent can help in negotiating the price, and showing what the potential buyer needs after finding a home. Quality of a good realtor would be open, interested, relaxed, confident, and qualified. Keep in mind, you should find one that you get along with. For this person will be helping you find your most important investment, which is your house.
After the buyer discusses what he or she is looking for in a home, the realtor goes into a data base that selling agents go into to find good matches. The data base shows the realtors all the houses in the area that fit??™s the criteria that the buyer is looking for. Once the realtor presents the homes to the buyers and the right home is chosen, then they can
move on to making an offer to the seller. Getting a realtor isn??™t really necessary but for a first time home buyer it is a very smart and important thing to do.
After the buyer has agreed on a house, it is the realtors job to close and seal the deal. The realtor then goes to the seller making a proper offer and presenting it once the buyer had agreed to do so. It is up to the buying agent to put together an offer that will be the lowest and best possible price the buyer can purchase for and for the seller to be willing to accept. The offer must be a mutual beneficial transaction, meaning it would be a good deal to both the seller and the buyer. The realtor writes an offer letter to the seller. Then the buyer either accepts the offer, reject the offer, or make an counter offer. Furthermore, before the deal is sealed the seller must sign all disclosers. Disclosures are part of a contract that includes anything that the buyer should be aware of. For example, paint problems, robberies, pipe problems, etc.
When the buyer is serious about buying a house, he or she makes an earnest payment, which is an deposit to tell the seller that he is serious about buying the property. If the buyer ends up purchasing the house, the earnest payment goes toward the purchase price. But if the buyer decides not to go through with the deal then the money will be returned and the search starts all over again. Now if the deal goes through then that??™s when the buyer and realtor move to the next step and the seller agent opens an escrow.
An escrow is a non bias company that holds the documents and money involved in a real estate transaction and insures that all conditions of sale are met. It handles all the transactions and makes sure they are done legally. Once escrow is opened, the seller hires a title insurance company. A title insurance company insures that when the house is
bought and put under the buyers name, there are not any liens on the house. Meaning that no one else has any claim to it or lien against it and say that the property belongs to them.
The other two key procedures that go into buying a house is getting it appraised and having it inspected. The lender of the money usually orders the appraisal. Appraisals are estimates on how much the house is worth. Appraisals are important so the house is brought for the right amount of money. A very important procedure which is to be done before the escrow is closed is to have the house inspected thoroughly to look for any unforeseen damages. The inspector must also look for termites. Because if the house is purchased without an inspected job performed, then the pay for the damages will have to come out of the buyers pockets and buyer would have gotten cheated out of some money.
The final procedure in buying a home is getting all the documents and property under the buyers name. This last and final step in buying an home, usually conducted in an title office, involves signing documents related to the property and the loan arrangements. The papers that are to be signed include the deed, proving you own this house, and the title, which insures no lien against the house. Once this procedure is complete, the home is finally legal property of the buyer.

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