What to Expect
Know your FICO and credit score. If you have credit issues or negative marks on your credit report, take care of them immediately. Eliminate any revolving credit (typically credit cards where you are paying off a little each month). Finally, do not close any existing accounts, and do not apply for any new credit (for a big purchase).
Evaluate your personal finances. Purchasing a home is a huge investment and commitment. Look at your monthly expenses and make an honest evaluation regarding where your money is going. Can you make reasonable reductions in spending if necessary? Have a healthy savings account that shows you can save. If you have the opportunity to use gift funds, get those funds into that savings account as soon as possible.
Create a home buying priority list. This list should be in order of importance, should focus on your particular lifestyle and should include both features you want inside your home like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, orientation, attached garage, views, one or two story, turnkey or fixer; and then features you want outside your home - do you want to be close to transportation, parks/trails, schools, shopping, day care, medical, employment, recreation, or the beach.
We recommend talking with a mortgage advisor as soon as possible. We want to make sure we focus on properties that meet your budget. Home mortgage financing has gotten extremely complex and confusing, with a host of potential loan programs and options. But your advisor will guide you through this process and will recommend a loan program that they feel is best for you based on your income, debt and credit worthiness. If you are a veteran or on active military duty, click Here to see our NEW program where you can get up to $5,000 of your closing costs covered as a gift from us, for your service.
We will meet with you to discuss your home buying priority list. We will identify what housing options are available to you based on your approved loan amount and your specific lifestyle. If you are considering an "attached" home like a condo/townhome in a Common Interest Development (CID). We will discuss with you the differences between the available home types and how they may impact your lifestyle needs. We will also advise you regarding owning and living in a CID. We will show you properties that meet your needs and budget, and as you go through this evaluation, we will give you critical information to allow you to compare each property, so you can make the decision which home is the ONE for you.
Once you have selected a property, we will provide to you guidance to determine an offer price. Comparative Market data based on closed sales will be provided to you. We will provide all of the necessary information so you can make an informed decision, but the final decision on price will be yours. We will submit a formal offer to the seller on your behalf. There are a number of documents that you will need to sign as part of the Residential Purchase Agreement. Click Here to see a sample of a Purchase Agreement. There may be several rounds of counter offers and contract addendums before a final purchase agreement is agreed to. We will be representing you during these negotiations, always acting in your best interest.
Once your offer has been formally accepted by the seller, "escrow" will be opened, and your deposit will be given to the escrow company. Escrow is a neutral, third party entity that is responsible for collecting all required documents and disclosures by all parties. They protect the interests of all parties to the transaction. Sellers are required to provide a number of disclosures about the property. Typically a home inspection and pest inspection will occur. A Title report will be prepared, along with an appraisal of the home. Your loan will go to underwriting for approval. Contract contingencies will be removed. A new deed will be prepared. You will sign loan documents. You will then be ready to close! Escrow typically takes 30-45 days. The number of documents that are involved in a typical transaction will seem endless, but they are all necessary to protect all parties. We will be there by your side to explain everything. Click Here to see a typical escrow flow chart.
After all conditions and requirements of the transaction have been fulfilled, escrow will initiate the closing. Actual "closing" does not occur until all funds have been released to all appropriate parties and the Title company goes to the County and records the deed. You will then be able to take possession of your new home! We will make sure you receive all keys, garage door openers, warranty info, utility providers phone numbers, etc.. We will also assist you with any additional needs you may have during your move, assuring that your possession of the home goes smoothly.