Buying or selling a home?

With a little up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't very hard, but the event is stressful for many people. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are many things you need to consider. You'll probably want to form a checklist of features you want to have, get an idea of what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good rule to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Cedar Park
This is where Homes With Heart, Inc. comes in. We'll arrange a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Cedar Park area.

In addition, I'll assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Cedar Park, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a house
After we meet, I'll start searching for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll point out good features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to change their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become far more essential than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings once again and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Cedar Park housing market is a necessary factor in your house search. I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can communicate some areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and when I think the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Any real estate agent in Cedar Park will tell you they know the housing market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at 512-789-7541 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in the Cedar Park area, and when we do, I'll carefully develop your purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is often put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals don't close on the first offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon signing the deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, this shouldn't take much time at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and easygoing affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply contact me at 512-789-7541 or e-mail me at .