Lake Tapps

The Home Buyer’s Guide

Owning a home is more than a smart financial investment it is also a quality of life investment. Below we have provided you with a detailed “Home Buyer’s Guide” to help you navigate through the process. And we promise to be by your side every step of way.

Over time you’ll generally lose money by continuing to rent versus owning your own home. You can build up equity in your own home instead of paying your landlord’s mortgage.  Although there are periodic market drops, owning a home has historically been an unequaled financial investment. You also gain many ongoing tax benefits, such as deducting the interest on your mortgage and property taxes from your income tax.

Getting your finances in order is important. A mortgage broker can help you with this process. They will also perform a credit check and general financial analysis to determine what purchase price and/or loan payment you qualify for. It is necessary, in today’s market, to provide a lender’s pre-approval letter along with your offer to purchase a home.

Generally speaking, if you’re financially qualified and ready to own your own home, the timing is right.
As experienced real estate professionals, we can assess the current local market conditions and fully inform you about your options. As community insiders,  we will often have the scoop on great real estate opportunities you might otherwise miss!

Buying a home usually represents your single largest investment, as well as debt. Adequate research, knowing what you want, don’t want and what you can afford is essential information to ensure you make the best possible decision.  We will help you through this process to ensure the best possible outcome.

These steps will help you get started. And remember, we will be there for you every step of the way:

    1. Define your goals, research your options, and develop an action plan Giving the green light to future home ownership means educating and preparing yourself as much as possible. Know what your personal reasons are for buying, and determine the kind of home, neighborhood, and features you want. Since buying and financing a home are fundamentally connected, you’ll also need to examine your current financial situation to know what you can realistically afford.Once you’re clear on the above, we’ll be in a better position to create an action plan and timeline for moving forward.
    2. As your real estate professional Buying real estate is a complex matter with many factors to consider.  No two homes or transactions are alike. We will will guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation, inspections, title, escrow and the many issues of the transaction processes.
    3. Get preapproved for a loan It’s important to get pre-approved for a home loan before you start viewing homes. As stated above, it is necessary, in today’s market, to provide a lender’s pre-approval letter to the Seller with your offer to purchase a home. The pre-approval process generally takes about 30-minutes and involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and work history.  They should be able to provide your pre-approval letter afterwards.

The benefits of pre-approval include:

      • You’ll know how much you will be able to borrow and what price range to look for your new home.
      • You and your offer will be given more consideration as a serious Buyer.
      • Lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you better afford the home you want. (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer)

Financing is available from many sources, and as your real estate professional, we will be able to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services.

Finding the right home for you. With today’s mobile apps and online real estate websites, you can view homes, see details, take video tours, and access neighborhood info. Technology can be a great tool in your search process! However, it’s absolutely necessary to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, quality workmanship, cleanliness and other aspects.

As your real estate professional, we will walk you through every house you are qualified for and want to consider.  We will provide you with vital information regarding the home as well as the community that may not be available to you with only the Seller’s agent comments and/or photos of the home.

Make an offer and negotiate with the seller When you’ve found the home you’d like to buy, it’s time to make an offer. Together we will draft a Purchase and Sale Agreement which will enable you to specify a purchase price and also allow the inclusion of clauses specifying various terms of purchase, such as possible inspections, closing and possession dates, your deposit amount, financing, and other conditions. We will carefully review these clauses with you to be sure they accurately express your intended offer. In addition to drawing up the contract, we will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process.* Once we have written your offer,we will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. At that point, the process will vary somewhat depending on the market you’re in. Generally speaking, the seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process. The goal is to obtain mutual agreement between you and the Seller. Negotiations involve many factors specifically relating to different market conditions, homes and sellers, and other variables.

    1. Secure your financing Once you have a pending agreement, it’s time to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal. This means finalizing your down payment, interest rate, regular payment schedule and all other financial conditions associated with the closing. As the saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware’. Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions. Thus, it’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life.
      • Close the deal If you’ve efficiently taken care of everything connected with purchasing your new home, taking ownership should be a positive joy with no surprises. Key steps to the closing, also referred to as the “escrow” or “settlement”, include:
      • Getting a title search – you will need a historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of the property – to ensure that there are no claims against the title of the property. It’s also necessary to purchase Title Insurance for protection in the event of errors in the records or mistakes in the review process.
      • The final walkthrough – you will be given the chance to look at the home one last time to make sure conditions of the sale have been performed.
      • The settlement – typically, on the Closing Date you’ll meet with your real estate professional, or escrow agent to verify and sign all the paperwork required to complete the transaction. The settlement will include paying your closing costs, legal fees, property adjustments and transfer taxes. At that point, you’ll receive the property title and copies of all documentation pertaining to the purchase.

Oh, and one more thing – you’ll get your keys! In most cases, possession date will fall within a few days, and you will be able to move into your new home



Finally, it must be reiterated that the loan you ultimately qualify for will depend on your credit status. The best rates and terms are only available to those with solid credit so, if possible, pay off your credit cards and make all other bill payments in full and on time.

  1. Get your documents ready, then apply! Once you’ve reached a pending agreement with a seller to buy a home you’ll be ready to formally apply for a mortgage. Your chosen lender will need you to provide information about your household income, job tenure and stability, assets and existing debt, and regular expenses to complete the application. This may take the form of pay stubs, bank and investment statements, tax returns and other documentation. The lender will check your credit status during the application process, and you’ll review the different loan options and programs you qualify for, as well as finalize the size of your down payment. If you place less than 20% down, the lender may require the mortgage to be guaranteed by a third party such as the Veterans Administration (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or a private mortgage insurer (PMI).Since so much is at stake, remember to bring all of your questions to the table. As your trusted and knowledgeable real estate professionals we can help you understand the loan process.

One benefit of using their services is gaining the inside track on listings right when they come on the market. In fact, sometimes even before they’re on the market. And that’s just the beginning.  We will…

  • Educate you about Buyer Agency, outlining our professional responsibilities to you, including complete Disclosure, Loyalty, Confidentiality, and Accountability.
  • Help you explore your financing options and to help you make the best possible decision.
  • Save you time by regularly searching the market for affordable homes that meet your criteria.
  • Email your desired home requirements to other top producing agents in the area so they know they have a qualified buyer for a home they will be listing.
  • View homes with you and provide you with a comparative market analysis to verify the value of the home.
  • Refer you to expert home inspectors that will provide more in-depth analysis and advice, if you desire.
  • Provide consultation in relation to your written offer to purchase a home, with all terms approved by you
  • Negotiate the best possible price and terms for you and take care of all the details during the closing process.
  • Keep you fully informed about all activities leading to the transaction closing.
  • Ensuring that when you close on your home, all terms of your contract have been met, so you are happy with your new home and can relax and enjoy the benefits of home ownership!

When you choose a Community Realtor, you will be represented at the highest level of professionalism, integrity and care.  We always provide you with comprehensive-high-quality service from the beginning to close, and even after!
Relax and let us do the complicated work. We want you to enjoy your home-buying experience.

Click here for Your Lake Tapps Community Realtor

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