Contemplating purchasing a home in Cedar Park? Homes With Heart, Inc. can help.

With a little planning ahead of time, buying a home isn't all that difficult, but the event is stressful for a lot of people. I like to give buyers a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are several things you need to take into account prior to commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to assemble a list of features you need, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We'll schedule a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Cedar Park area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. I work with some of Cedar Park's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Cedar Park housing market is a leading factor in your home search. I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to certain areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

As we view homes, I'll let you know if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any REALTOR will claim to truly know the housing market. If things don't add up, just call me at 512-789-7541 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find your dream house in Cedar Park, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clear title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is most often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the first offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
After the contract is signed, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, this won't take much time at all, but you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at 512-789-7541 or e-mail me at .