Buying a house is not that easy. I mean, from a consumer perspective, it would seem that all you do is find a house, put an offer on it, get it inspected, and go to the closing table. What happens behind the scenes is the difficult part, but you, as the consumer, shouldn’t have to deal with much of it. As a Realtor, I find myself accidentally assuming that people know what my job entails. “How do you buy a house” is a loaded question. Whether it’s your first house or your tenth house, you need to know that buying a house changes all the time. Even if you’re about to buy your tenth house, there’s a good chance that it will be completely different than your previous purchases. So what do you need to know about buying a house these days? Here’s how to buy a house:
One thing that doesn’t change from year to year is that you will want to get your representation in line before you do anything else.
1> Bank / Mortgage Lender – It is imperative that you know what kind of mortgage you qualify for. How will you know which homes to look at if you don’t know whether or not you can buy them? NOTE: Just because your friend or your cousin is a loan officer doesn’t mean that you should use them. If someone hasn’t already recommended a lender to you, your Realtor can provide recommendations for quality loan professionals.
2> Realtor – You need someone who will negotiate and navigate the process on your behalf. You need someone with market knowledge who deals with the home buying process on a daily basis. If you don’t know a Realtor or you don’t trust the ones you know, I will be happy to speak with you and see if we could work together. 502.509.9278 – firstname.lastname@example.org
The fun part begins when you know what you can afford and you actively begin searching for homes. Your Realtor should have a website that you can log into in order to view all the homes that are listed for sale in our area. Similarly, your Realtor should set you up for automated property search emails to be sent to you directly from the local MLS when something hits the market that fits your needs.
1>Pick an area of Louisville and stick to it.
2>Write out your top three “must have” qualities in a home. If you are husband and wife you should come up with these three items together as well as separately.
3>Whether your budget is $50,000 or $500,000, you WILL HAVE TO COMPROMISE ON SOME THINGS. Be prepared.
4>Keep in mind that most people look at around 10 homes before they buy one. Don’t drive yourself crazy looking at houses.
Once you find a great home, make an offer. Don’t hesitate, don’t delay. If you like the home, pay for it. If you spend too much time deliberating in this market, someone else will buy it right out from under you. Your Realtor should be able to price the home for you to make sure it’s worth what it’s listed for, and then give you an idea of what a good offer will be. There are a lot of aspects to writing a contract besides just the price. There are time frames, inspection deadlines, home warranties, closing costs, and tons of other items that your Realtor can guide you through.
Once your offer gets accepted, there are hundreds of things that your Realtor and your loan officer will take care of for you. The main item for you to take care of is getting the home inspected. You want to make sure that the home is not falling apart and that there are no major, active issues that could cause you problems down the road. If you don’t know a home inspector that you trust, your Realtor works with home inspectors all the time and should have a list of quality Louisville home inspectors that they work with for you to choose from.
Suggestions: Don’t freak out. The home inspection will ALWAYS uncover a list of at least 10 or more items that need attention. It’s ok. If your Realtor is good, they deal with repair requests on a weekly basis, and they see inspection reports all the time. The Realtor knows which items are commonly found and repaired by sellers. Look for their guidance on how to request items to be repaired.
Once your Realtor has negotiated the repair requests, the final contract contingency is the appraisal. Your bank or mortgage lender will order the appraisal, through a third party management company for you. The appraisal is an opinion of value that is based on recent sales data within close proximity to the home you are buying. The bank basically wants to make sure that the home you are buying is worth the price that you are paying for it. The appraisal usually takes 3 to 5 days to come back.
When the appraisal comes back there will be some last minute items that your loan officer will have to deal with. They will most likely get some updated income documents from you and have to send everything to underwriting for one final push. Once everything has been calculated and completed, the title company will issue a final settlement statement, known as a HUD-1. This document itemizes all the costs associated with the transaction and breaks them down into two categories: buyer and seller.
Once you close on your new Louisville home you get the keys! The whole process takes anywhere from 30 to 45 days from the time you offer on the home, to the time that you get to move in. There are a lot of things to remember during this process. Real estate is constantly changing, but if your lender and your Realtor are good at their jobs, you should not miss a beat!
Thinking about moving to Louisville or relocating within Louisville? I would love to speak with you about your next home – 502.509.9278 – email@example.com