Buying a Home
Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing where you will live over the years to come, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with information to help you understand the home-buying process. Remember, if you have any questions about this process, I'm only a phone call, text, or email away!
So, what is involved in the home buying process? There are several parts of this process, and each of those parts needs to fit together in order to get you into your new home. So, let’s go through these different parts.
- Finding a Lender – If you plan on using a loan to buy your home, this should be the first step in the process. While you can technically start looking for a home without have a lender lined up, it makes the process a little more difficult. If you begin the process with a pre-qualification, or better yet, a pre-approval, you know exactly how much you can borrow, which means you know which homes are truly within your realm of possibility. Also, being pre-approved makes any offers you put in on houses stronger, as it is less likely that the deal will fall through because of the loan.
- Finding a Home – This is where you get to look through all the possibilities on the market and decide which one will be right for you. You will quite often tour several homes, and you will get the chance to imagine yourself living in each one. If we don’t find the right one right away, don’t get discouraged. We’ll find the one that’s perfect for you, and the looking will all be worth it.
- Putting in an Offer and Negotiation – Once you find the home you can see yourself living in, we’ll prepare an offer for that home. I’ll be there to advise you and help you write a strong offer that has a good chance of being accepted, but the final decision on what to put in the offer will be yours. Once the seller receives the offer, they will have the choice to either accept it, reject it, or counter it. If the offer is accepted, you are now “under contract” and it will be on to the next part of the process. If they reject it, you will most likely be back to the house hunt. However, if they rejected it and did not accept another offer, you can try putting in a better offer. If they counter, you can accept that counter, reject it, or counter back. And thus goes the negotiation until both the seller and you come to terms that you both accept.
- Escrow and Loan Underwriting – Once you are under contract, escrow will open and the wheels will start turning on your loan. During this time, your escrow officer will be checking on the house to make sure that the house is free and clear to be sold. They will also be preparing all the documents to ensure a smooth transfer of title. Your loan officer will begin the process to get your loan fully approved and underwritten so the money will be available for payment on closing day. Your real estate agent will be following up with them to make sure everything is moving according to plan. During this time, you will be sent information and documents to sign both from escrow and from your lending agency. Be sure to stay on top of this communication and get any documents signed and returned in a timely manner. Any delay during this time could delay your closing, which means your move in date will be delayed as well.
- House Inspections – Home inspections are important. A good inspection will not only alert you to any issues with the property, but is also a chance to learn about and ask questions about the systems in your home. The inspection period is the first few days after contract acceptance. In this time you will definitely want a general home inspection that will look at all parts of the home including the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, drywall, appliances, etc. They will not open up the walls, so any defects hidden behind the walls will not be found. However, a good inspector should find any issues that are not behind the walls. A good inspector will also suggest other suggestions that may be needed to ensure the house is in good condition. Other inspections that may be needed depending on the property include:
- Lead paint
- Septic tank (paid for by seller)
- Pool/Hot tub
- Underground Storage Tank
- Any inspections suggested by your general inspector
Once the inspections are completed, you can put in a request to the seller to address/repair any issues that were found. The seller should then respond with what they will repair. If you find something that seems to be beyond repair, or the seller will not address the issues that are important to you, you can walk away from the deal, as long as you have not waived your inspection contingency.
- Closing Documents – A few days before closing day, you will be asked to sign closing documents. This is usually done at the title company. You will need to make sure you take a photo ID because some of the documents need to be notarized.
- Closing and Recordation – Once closing documents are signed, your escrow officer will finish up the final steps of the process. On closing day, all accounts will be paid and the deed will be recorded in public records with the county recorder’s office. Once the deed records, the house is officially yours!! I will contact you on how best to get you the keys. Once you have the keys in hand, it’s moving time!
The home-buying process will most likely take a few months from beginning to end. It’s an exciting process, but it can also be frustrating and daunting. However, I will be right there with you to help you understand the process, answer all your questions, and help you move in to a new home that is perfect for you!
Tierra Antigua Realty
77 Calle Portal Ste C140
Sierra Vista, AZ85653