Why Does Buying or Selling a House have to be filled with so much anxiety?

Buying a Home

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a real estate investor, buying a home is exciting but can be an intimidating process. With The Perkins Team it doesn’t have to be. The Perkins Team has over 50 years of combined real estate experience to help you through the process. They will help you every step of the way. From discussing the benefits of buying vs renting to the closing table, The Perkins Team has the knowledge and experience to guide buyers.

Characteristics that make Ginger and The Perkins Team your choice as a Buyer’s Agent:

The Perkins Team 8 Easy Steps to Home Buying:

1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks at the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. We  believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.

  1. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy.
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.
  3. The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase.
  4. A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home.
  5. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now.
  6. Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way.

2. Hire your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance providers, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

Main roles of your real estate agent:

  1. Educates you about the market and analyzes your wants and needs.
  2. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria and coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
  3. Negotiates on your behalf and checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
  4. Solves any problems that may arise and brings the transaction to a successful close.

Important questions to ask your agent:

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent and why should I work with you?
  2. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  3. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  4. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  5. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  6. What others do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  7. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

3. Secure financing.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment. From start to finish, you will follow an easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

Steps to Financing a Home:

  1. Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist) and make a loan application and get preapproved.
  2. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
  3. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase contract and all requested documentation as soon as possible.
  4. Hire a Home Inspector, get an appraisal, loan and title commitment.
  5. Obtain funding for closing.

4. Find your home.
You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long – if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I want my home to be close to and how much space do I need and why?
  2. Which is more critical: location or size and is neighborhood stability a priority?
  3. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper and do I have the money and/or time for this?
  4. How important is home value appreciation?
  5. Would I be interested in a condo or in new home construction?
  6. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. Make an offer.
When searching for your dream home, you were just that – a dreamer. Now that you are writing an offer, you need to be a realistic business person. You need to approach this process with a cool head and an open minded perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).

Price – the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision. Terms: the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer. Contingencies: a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.

  1. Conveyances – the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
  2. Commission – the real estate fee, for both the agents who work with the seller and buyer.
  3. Closing costs – it is standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract. Understand the Seller is not paying your closing costs; he is allowing you to finance them with your loan. Therefore, the financing of closing costs does not reflect any part of the market value of the property.
  4. The home warranty would provide coverage for a year after closing.
  5. Earnest money – this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly canceling the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why homeowner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:

  1. Against loss or damage to the property itself
  2. Liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection will expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.

7. Close.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and financing. Your agent will keep you posted on how each is progressing, but your work is pretty much done. It is imperative that you do not open any new credit lines before closing.

You just have a few pre-closing responsibilities:

  1. Stay in control of your finances.
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
  3. Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
  4. Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
  5. Conduct a final walk-through and obtain certified funds for closing.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your real estate agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:

  1. Finalize your mortgage.
  2. Pay the seller and pay your closing costs.
  3. Transfer the title from the seller to you.
  4. Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.

8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:

  1. Provide a copy of your HUD-1 for your first tax return as a home owner.
  2. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
  3. Help your friends find homes.
  4. Keep track of your home’s current market value.

Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.

Home maintenance falls into two categories:

  1. Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
  2. Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.


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