Buying A Home 

Buying a home can be a daunting process.  Whether it is your first home, or you are an experienced buyer, The Curry Group is here to help you successfully navigate the process every step of the way. 

 

Great pointers for first-time buyers. 

Are you prepared to be a homeowner? 

  1.  Save for a down payment.

  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

  3. Find a real estate agent.

  4. Go house hunting.

  5. Submit an offer.

  6. Get a home inspection.

  7. Close on your house.

Step 1: When to Buy a House

Evaluate your finances and income security.  Once you have saved for a down payment, your job is steady and you feel comfortable taking on a mortgage, spend time acquainting yourself with the housing market.  Make a list of the key attributes of your new home that will be important for your decision-making process.  Research the towns of interest to determine your ideal setting and determine what your goals are from homeownership.  

 

  • Down payment: It is recommended to put down at least 10% on your new home.  A 20% down payment is even better because you avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). That's an extra cost added to your monthly mortgage payment, and it doesn’t go toward paying off your mortgage balance.  

  • Closing costs and prepaid: Save around 3% of a home’s purchase price for closing costs and prepaids.  That percentage can vary depending on how expensive fees and taxes are in your area.  Closing costs are the fees charged by title companies and lenders involved in your real estate transaction.  Prepaids cover any prorated property taxes and insurance items.

  • Moving and other expenses:  Moving expenses can vary depending on factors such as the size of the move, storage requirements, and the moving distance.  It is recommended to get 2-3 quotes to optimize your negotiating power.

 

Step 2: Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

A lender will need to verify your financial information and submit your loan for preliminary underwriting.  This is a key step to have completed when you start your home search.  A preapproval letter is often required and demonstrates you are a serious buyer. 

Which mortgage option is right for you?

  • A fixed-rate conventional loan:  With this option, your interest rate is secure for the life of the loan, leaving you protected from rising rates. 

  • A variable rate mortgage:  With this option, interest payments will be adjusted at a level above a specific benchmark such as LIBOR.  There are also other loan instruments that are adjustable rate mortgages which may include an initial fixed period followed by a variable rate that resets periodically.

  • 15 versus 30-year term: Your mortgage payment will be higher with a 15-year term, but you’ll knock out your mortgage in half the time of a 30-year term and potentially save thousands of dollars in interest.

  • Monthly payment:  Your monthly mortgage payment should be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay.  This leaves plenty of room in your budget to achieve other goals like saving for retirement or putting money aside for your kid’s college fund.

 

Step 3: Contact me!

My experience and expertise can help guide you through the house-hunting process.  People who have worked with me say that I 

  • Provide a concierge level experience for each buyer

  • Have fantastic communication skills

  • Personalize your buying experience and work hard to achieve all of your goals

  • Am knowledgeable about the markets I represent

  • Possess impeccable character and integrity

 

Based on your desired goals, I will work relentlessly to find your ideal home.  When it comes to making an offer, I will negotiate on your behalf and in your best interest so you don't pay more than you have to.  

 

Step 4: Go House Hunting

Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, you are ready to start your search! 

  • Don’t compromise on location or layout.  Two key things you will not be able to change: location and floorplan.  While minor modifications can always be done, assess the impact and cost required to make changes as part of your overall investment.

  • Look past the surface. Don’t let ugly carpet or bad paint keep you from an otherwise great home. 

  • Understand Home values in your area: Are they on the upswing? Or taking a decline? 

  • School districts Research even if you don’t have kids.  School districts can be an important factor when you sell. 

  • According to the National Association of Realtors, the average home buyer can look approximately 10 weeks before finding their home. 

Step 5: Submit an Offer 

 

You’ve fallen in love with the perfect home and now it’s time for us to submit an offer.  I will work with you to submit a good offer.   Being pre-approved with your lender and having a flexible closing date can help make your offer strong.   Your purchase agreement will include details of the real estate transaction like:

  • Buyer and seller information

  • Property address

  • Purchase price, lender information, and down payment amount

  • Earnest money deposit

  • Items to be left with the home (like appliances or light fixtures) 

  • Contingencies like the home inspection, appraisal, and final mortgage approval

  • Closing date

 

Step 6: Get a Home Inspection and Appraisal

Once you get to this step, you’ll officially be under contract on your new home!  Being under contract also means you’re done with the most time-consuming stages of the home-buying process.  Your main task now is to work through the contingencies in the contract.  They provide a safety net for you to back out of a sale without losing your deposit if something goes wrong.  Even if you’re in a competitive market, don’t let your emotions lead the charge.  You should never skip these contingencies because they offer important protection for your home purchase.

Home Inspection This is one of the most important precautions you can take before purchasing a home because it keeps you from being surprised by structural issues or potentially expensive repairs.  If the inspection reveals major problems with the home, you can ask the seller to fix the problem, reduce the price, or cancel the contract.

Appraisal.  If you’re getting a home loan, your lender will require an appraisal evaluating the value of the property.  An appraisal protects you from paying more than the home’s true value.  

Step 7: Close on Your House

The final step in the home-buying process is closing on your new home.  Before you get the keys for your new home and officially call it your own, you have one more step ahead of you: paperwork. You should receive a copy of your closing documents to review ahead of time so there are no surprises on closing day.  Most likely, you’ll pay for:

  • Closing costs

  • Prorated property tax

  • Homeowner’s association fees 

  • Homeowners Insurance 

Please contact Dianne Curry at 201-993-6926

to discuss getting started on finding the home

of your dreams. We are here for you every step of

the way!

 

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