The Basic Steps to Home Buying

Although it can definitely get complicated, buying a home does have some consistent steps that you can count on and plan for. Just like most areas of life, if you surround yourself with the the right team (Realtor, Loan Officer, Home Inspector, Title Company), everything will come together. But it is important to have a basic plan and realistic expectations. Here are some basic steps (simplified) to prepare yourself for buying a home in this area. 

1. Find Out The Amount You Are Willing & Able to Spend on a House.

Talk to a loan officer. Before looking at houses or even finding a Realtor, it is important to have a realistic idea of what you can afford to spend on a house. Most people will either go to a mortgage broker or directly through their bank. I have several good recommendations here in the New Braunfels area, so if you do not know who to use I can help you out. new_braunfels_home_buying_stepsTypically the loan officer can give you a quick idea of the amount you “pre-qualify” for based on the information you provide to him. In many cases you can get a number over the phone. The pre-qualification amount is a good idea of what price range of house you should be looking at. Typically, a borrower is pre-qualified for a loan that amounts to 28%, or less, of their gross monthly income.  This is not a guarantee of a loan, but a good guess of what you can get. Your loan officer will likely give you a list of homework. These will be things he needs you to gather in order for him to secure your loan.

learn more about:

-Types of home loans
-The difference between banks and mortgage brokers

2. Find A Real Estate Agent

Finding the right agent is important. You will want to find someone that can communicate with you in the way you prefer (email, phone, text) and as often as you want. Let your agent know the things that are important to you in a new home, what your availability is in looking at homes and what kind of time frame you are working with. Your agent will want to know what features are most important to you in a home. Some example of things you should know: price range, neighborhood or subdivision, school districts, proximity to work, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, storage space, garages, yard requirements/preferences. If you decide to use an agent, make sure you enter into a Buyer’s Representation Agreement. This ensures that the agent will represent you, as the buyer, in the selling process, and not represent the interests of the sellers.

3.  View Houses

Your agent might provide you with a list of homes that fit your needs, but you probably will have a few picked out as well. Make sure you give your agent enough notice to schedule appointments to preview these houses.

4.  Make an Offer

Your agent should be able to help you compare the home you are interested with others on the market to decide what a fair amount to offer is. She will submit the offer for you with your pre-qualification letter to show the sellers that you have started the loan process already. Be prepared to write a check for earnest money and the option period – both of which are negotiable amounts. Your agent should be able to give you and idea of what amount is standard in the offer you are making. You will also need to decide what Title Company you prefer to deal with as they will be the people handling the closing. I also have recommendations for the New Braunfels area if you need some recommendations.

5. Under Contract

If the offer is accepted then the house is considered under contract. During this time it is important to stay in touch with your loan officer and title company to ensure they have everything they need from you to have make the closing happen on time. At this point everything else is going to depend on how you made the offer, but most likely you will have an option period in which you can obtain more information about the house (gather the survey & have a home inspection done). Option period is negotiable, but 10 days is common.  I do have recommendations on licensed home inspectors in this area as well.

6. Closing

If there are no discoveries or changes to the contract during the option period then the next step is the closing. This date is set up in the offer and the closing usually takes place at the title company office. You will sign all the required documents and pay the agreed amount for your new home. Congratulations!

I would love to help you assemble the perfect team to help you through this process.

Call or email me to set up a time for us to meet!

Clair Devers
Key Real Estate Services
Licensed Realtor
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