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Buying a Home

Whether you’re diving into the housing market for the first time, or climbing the ladder of home ownership, there are some basic rules of thumb you should follow before making a purchase.

Rule #1 is (obviously) get yourself a great REALTOR.  If I may – I prefer those with the initials “J” and “A”…

In all seriousness, I could give you a hundred rules of thumb, but for the sake if this primer here are 3 more:

Get yourself a good lender!  Very few people can whip out their checkbook or wallet and pay cash for a home.  In my opinion, nothing will make a home purchase go south faster than working with a lender that doesn’t have his or her act together, so shop around before you settle on a bank, broker, or other option.  Ask about origination fees, interest rates, and other expenses you may incur during the course of a purchase.  Your lender should provide you with an estimate of costs to purchase a home and should be able to explain clearly what you’re paying for.  I can’t imagine entering into a contract like a mortgage without sitting across a desk or table from the person you’re dealing with, so I would strongly recommend finding a local lender you can meet with in person.  And trust your gut!  If you don’t feel comfortable with a lender, keep shopping.  They’re an integral part of the home buying process and you need to make sure it feels right.

Find the perfect home!  Once you’re ready to begin the home search in earnest, I’ll set you up with regular updates from the Northstar MLS, bringing properties that match your chosen criteria directly to your inbox.  You’ll tell me where you want to live, how big the house must be (square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms to start), how much you want to spend, and everything else that really matters about the home you want.  I plug it all into “The MLS” and VIOLA….homes for you!  Will every one of them be a perfect fit?  Probably not.  Will any of them be a perfect fit?  Wouldn’t that be great!?  If you’re not finding the right fit, we can tweak the criteria to narrow things down.  I’ll also be networking with other agents and reaching out to the community to uncover non-listed properties. We’ll see the homes that look right, cross of those that don’t work, and ultimately whittle it down to your perfect home!

Get those keys in your hand!  You’re pre-approved with a great, local lender.  We’ve scoured the earth and you’ve settled on a great home….and you’re ready to make an offer.  Now what?  First things first - let’s do a little due diligence and find out what the home’s market value is.  That’s my job, and I’ll share the results with you before we draw up a purchase agreement and all the appropriate documents.  We’ll talk about when you want to close on the sale, how big your down payment and earnest money will be, and all the other elements of the transaction.  I’ll thoroughly explain every document to you before signing, submit the offer, and open the lines of communication with the other side if negotiations are necessary.  One we have an agreement I’ll guide you through the inspection process and make sure your lender and closers have all the documentation and information they need close to the sale.   We’ll walk through the property prior to the closing, grab a cup of coffee on the way to the Title Company office, do some hand stretches to prepare you for the gazillion documents you’ll sign and – FINALLY – get the keys to your new home in your hand!

That’s all…easy right?  Guess what?  Home buying isn’t easy….it’s a lot of work.  And that’s for a good reason, buying a home is the biggest transaction most of us will make in our lives so it’s important that you take your time and make smart decisions.  I’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.  I love showing clients homes and learning more about what they like and dislike as we hone in on the right property.  And to me, nothing is more satisfying than seeing the keys being handed from seller to buyer at the closing table.  One side wrapping up a chapter of their lives and another beginning a new one.  Let’s get you started on your latest chapter today.