For the vast majority of us, owning a home is part of the American Dream. Not only does it offer pride of ownership, owning your own home provides a sense of security and well-being. Also, you have control over your environment. Not only can you change your home to meet your needs, but you also aren’t subject to the terms of a lease or a landlord. As a homeowner, you can experience the emotional and financial security that comes from knowing what your housing expenses will be from year to year. Unlike rents, which can increase annually, most mortgages have fixed or capped monthly payments. So, as a homeowner, you can have a much better idea of what proportion of your paycheck goes toward your home. Think of it as the ultimate savings plan.
Most homes appreciate in value over time and can be a source of income for you, especially if you’ve lived in your house for many years. When you retire, you can sell your home if you need the funds or make use of a home equity conversion mortgage.
Finally, don’t forget about the significant tax advantages of owning your home. Interest on a home mortgage and property taxes are deductible. For most of us, mortgage interest provides the largest tax deduction. Also, a home is the single most important factor that determines whether you will be able to file a return which takes advantage of the wide range of allowable itemized deductions.
Our 7-Step Buying Process
First we’ll schedule a consultation to get to know each other. We’ll discuss your wants and needs for your home, financing options and where we should focus your home search.
In general, it is always a good idea to get pre-approved prior to initiating the mortgage process to determine the best type of mortgage for you and avoid rushing into a mortgage decision. In fact, I encourage my buyers to obtain pre-approval from a lender. Having a pre-approval letter indicating you’re a qualified buyer shows sellers you’re serious. It’s often a deciding factor that can tip the scale in your direction if there’s more than one offer on a home. It’s best to contact a mortgage professional to start your pre-approval process early, so you’re in the best position right from the start of your home search.
Your Home Search
Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to buy, it’s time to begin thinking about where you want to look. You’ll find there are many questions you must answer about the type of house you want to purchase. For example, are you interested in an older home or a new one? How big of a home do you need? Would you like to move closer to certain major roads or freeways? I can answer many questions about the homes and communities you’re considering, and in the meantime, I will provide you with the resources for you to begin your research.
Schedule Viewings and Attend Open Houses
Here’s where the buying process gets really fun! We’ll go to local open houses together and schedule viewings of the homes that you’ve loved from our listing alerts. Home visits are now adapting to the new normal. First we can do a Virtual Tour of the home, and if the home appears to be one you wish to put on offer on, we can visit the home together. Buyers often have a gut reaction to a home. First impressions count, but we will go over home values in the area and possibly reevaluate your priorities in the context of what’s available in your price range.
Making an Offer
Now that you’ve found the perfect home, it’s time to get the deal rolling. You’ll need to sign a residential purchase agreement, make an offer, possibly put down a deposit, conduct inspections and close the sale. If this all sounds overwhelming to you, don’t worry! I will guide you through each step.
Home Inspection and Appraisal
As soon your offer is accepted, I will schedule your home inspection with one of my trusted home inspectors. The home inspection is the best way to become informed of necessary repairs or problems with the home. In addition to the inspection, the home will undergo an appraisal by a trained professional. An appraisal is an opinion of the property’s value used primarily to protect the lender’s interest. Once again, I'll be there to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The closing is the day you’ve been waiting for: when ownership of the home officially transfers from the seller to you!
Congratulations! You’ve got the keys to your new home! Let’s stay in touch for future recommendations and service.