Buying a home is the American dream and one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make. A home is a place to raise a family and create memories. You can customize your home to fit your unique personality, character and lifestyle. It is Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber’s distinct pleasure to be able to help you along the way and make this process enjoyable and memorable. Below is a quick guide to the steps you take during the exciting process of purchasing your home.
Familiarize Yourself With the Mortgage Process
Before you start looking at homes, you will want to know what price of home you are comfortable fitting in your budget. To find an accurate number you must talk to a mortgage professional and get pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified for a loan not only lets you know what price range is best for you, but it also gives you more negotiating power with home sellers because they know that you are a good buyer. Getting pre-qualified is free, it only takes a few minutes, and it can even be done over the phone! You can talk to your personal banking institution to get pre-qualified or talk to a mortgage broker such as CBRWG’s mortgage partners at Hallmark Home Mortgage.
Find Homes That Fit Your Lifestyle
Now that you know the price range you are comfortable with you can start to find homes that meet your criteria! Knowing which home is right for you involves many different factors. Location is vital and is something you can’t update in a home. We suggest driving around to find neighborhoods you like in addition to searching on MovingIndiana.com. You can also walk through an open house and see what range of square footage works best. MovingIndiana.com has an outstanding feature where you can login to set your search criteria and save your favorite homes. You can also receive automatic email alerts when a home that meets your criteria comes on the market. When the market is hot it is important to get into desirable listings right away as to not miss your opportunity!
Now that you have narrowed down your list of favorites it is time to look at some homes! Your CBRWG agent can take you to see any home for sale no matter who it is listed by. It is necessary to see a home in person to get a feel for the layout and character of a home. Your agent can set up showings for you whenever you want but it is customary to show during daylight hours and give at least 24 hours notice to the seller. Generally you will look at several homes in a row so that you can compare. You can open doors and cupboards but should not touch any personal property of the seller and should respect the cleanliness of their home.
Writing an Offer
After you have chosen the home that works best for you your Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber agent will write an offer for you to sign and submit. You will need to of course think about what price to offer, but also what closing date works best for you, if you require inspections, a survey, or a home warranty, and which items you are asking for that will remain with the home. Many times your first offer will be countered, but you will have the assistance of your agent during the negotiation process and your CBRWG agent will have done research on what the homes actual market value is. This is why it is important to use a buying agent and not just call the listing agent for showings. When the offer is accepted you must submit an earnest money check (which counts towards your down payment) up front to show that it is a valid offer. The earnest money check can be as low as $500 or as high as you wish.
Getting to the Closing Table
Between the time you have an accepted offer on a home and the closing there are a few more steps in preparation. You must officially apply for your mortgage early on so that it has time to process before closing. It is also recommended that you have a home inspector check the home for any defects. CBRWG also recommends that you get a boundary survey to see where your property lines are. You will need to call your insurance company about insuring your new home, and a title insurance company to make sure you have clear title to your home. Hupe Insurance is a trusted, family owned company in the area that quotes affordable rates for CBRWG clients, and Riverbend Title is an entity of CBRWG that provides title insurance to our clients. There are costs associated with title insurance, closing costs, surveys and inspections, but you can ask your agent how to get money from the seller to assist with these costs.
Closing is where you get the keys to your new home! You will pay your down payment at closing, meet the sellers, and start to move in! In the days prior to closing, the last step is making sure that the utilities are moved over into your name. Closing day is an enjoyable time and we look forward to seeing you at the closing table!