9 Steps To Owning

Buying your new home in Central Virginia

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for many people. However, with a bit of up-front planning, it isn’t very complicated. So you understand exactly what to expect, we like to give our buyers a road map of the entire deal. Here are our nine steps to purchasing a home.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you start looking for a home, there are several things you need to do. When you begin your search, you’ll probably want to create a list of items you want to have, get a feel for what school districts you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good guideline to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
That’s where we come in. We’ll arrange 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 everything from neighborhoods, schools in the area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

We can also help you get started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Central Virginia, and we work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you’re in great hands. They’ll assist you in choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, we’ll start searching for houses on the market that suit your needs. We’ll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and throw out the bad ones, and then we’ll schedule appointments to tour the houses whenever it’s most convenient for you.

When we tour homes, we’ll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. And we’ll ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It’s widely common for buyers to change their must-have list as we tour houses and some features become far more essential than others. If such is the case, we’ll go back through all the listings another time and trim it down to the house you’ve been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
Our understanding of the local housing market is an essential resource in your home search. We are conscious of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and we will communicate what districts are “hot” and require prompt action and the others that are “cold” and allow for more consideration.

As we tour homes, we’ll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for negotiation and also when we know the home is “priced to sell.” When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR® in Central Virginia will convince you they comprehend the home market. If things don’t add up, just call us at 434-960-8987 or e-mail us at Maggie@GunnelsGroup.com, and we’d be glad to answer any questions you may have. Our market expertise will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you’ve been looking for
We’re certain we’ll find the home of your dreams in Central Virginia. When we do, we’ll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection and a clean title.

When we send in your offer, you’ll need to submit “earnest money.” This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately, most contracts aren’t closed on the initial offer – it’s extremely common to receive a counteroffer. But don’t let this discourage you. We’ll talk about whether or not to accept the counteroffer, propose our own counteroffer, or decline the seller’s offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We’ll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we’ll assemble a contract that’s best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Once the contract is finalized, you’ll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you’re pre-qualified, this shouldn’t take much time at all, but you’ll want to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And we’ll handle all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs within three days of getting your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and we’ll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then it’s time to close on your house. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and hassle-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It’s time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply contact us at 434-960-8987 or e-mail us at Maggie@GunnelsGroup.com.