Are you buying a home and curious about the process? Learn about the homebuying process straight from the mouth of Mike Jensch, Real Estate Salesperson:
Homebuyers: People who put their trust and confidence in a Real Estate Professional and their ability to find them a house and negotiate a mutually acceptable offer between them and the seller. Most often this is a long process, let’s call it more a marathon than a sprint.
What should you do first? Contact a lender and get pre-approved, be it at your local bank or credit union, or maybe you’ll reach out to a mortgage broker. They will ask you for your financial information, both income and expenses. From this information they will determine how much money you are permitted to spend on a home, and which type of financing is best for you. If you are fortunate enough to be a cash buyer, you already know the answer to those questions and can skip to the next step.
Then we begin the hunt to find a home that meets your wants and needs, get together and go see the property or properties (“later, rinse, repeat”, as they say on the shampoo bottles). By the time it is all over you will most likely know this drill all too well. Often it seems as if it will never happen for there is a lot of give and take in the process and seldom is there a single house that has everything on your list of needs – things will have to be sacrificed. Never give up hope, remember it is a marathon.
And then it happens. There, in its shining glory, is “your” house. You and your agent negotiate a deal with the seller and sign the purchase contract.
Suddenly there is the frantic rush to get all the necessary documents to the lender, pick an attorney to represent you, schedule the home inspection and the bank appraiser. Then maybe a little more negotiating to address some of the problems found in the home inspection. Now we have entered the really stressful part of buying a home: “the waiting”…the seemingly never-ending waiting.
“What are we waiting for?” you ask. The appraiser to visit the property, prepare the appraisal report and send it to both you and the lender. Sometimes the lender will have contingencies, things that they want done to the home before they will finance it. These can be as simple as replacing burned out lightbulbs to prove that the fixture is not faulty, to the home needing a new roof (ouch). Sometimes these are deal breakers, but more often they are taken care of.
Then we wait some more as the lender dives deep into your financials, asking you for even more information all the while the title research is happening and the background. Then you wait some more. The stress levels climb. Waiting on things to be done you start to pack your belongings for the big day. “Will I need this before we move?” No, box it or yes, leave it out. As your home starts to look empty and void of any of your personality you venture toward the big day. Then, when you least expect it, you get that call from the lender or attorney. You are cleared to close and the attorney will now schedule your closing day and time. If it is your first home you get nervous, as the enormity of what you are doing suddenly hits you hard.
We do a final walk through of the house the day before or of the closing. You take a deep breath and arrive for the closing: you’re almost there. The attorney sits down with you and drops the biggest stack of paperwork onto the table that you have ever seen. An hour later, with a bad hand cramp from signing your name so many times, it is over.
Congratulations! You are now a homeowner, and the homebuying process is now complete! Go unpack those boxes and settle in. The house you looked so hard to find is now your “home”. Go and make some memories.
*Always remember this: never change jobs, go crazy on your credit cards buying things for your house-to-be, or buy a new car/truck/boat etc. during the home buying process. These things can impact your credit rating and income to debt ratio and change the amount of money a lender will be able to loan you for a house. Something this simple could make you unable to close.