Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home can be stressful for a lot of people, but it's not all that complex with a little up-front planning. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are several things you should take into account before you start looking for a home. You'll probably want to form a check list of must-have features, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good rule of thumb to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Huntington Beach area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of Huntington Beach's best mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that best suit you. I'll research many of the homes and remove the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll point out good features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. As a rule, buyers change their must-have list as we view houses and some items become more essential than others. If that's the situation, I'll search all the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My knowledge of the Huntington Beach housing market is an imperative factor in your home search. I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll communicate some neighborhoods are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful consideration.

When we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions. Any REALTOR will tell you they know the housing market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (714) 595-5103 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the house of your dreams in the Huntington Beach area, and when we do, I'll carefully create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we send in your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts don't close on the beginning offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Once we sign the final contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. This shouldn't be a long process at all if you've been pre-approved, but you need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your loan application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and hassle-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just call me at (714) 595-5103 or e-mail me at .

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