Buying a home usually represents your single biggest investment
The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through. This holds true, especially when you are looking to buy your first home, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property or that perfect vacation getaway. Skymax Realty will make the processa smooth and pleasant experience for you, from the start of the home search to the successful conclusion and closing of your transaction.
Contact a Skymax Realty real estate professional
Buying real estate is a complex matter with many factors to consider, since no two homes or transactions are alike. Moreover, with all the unique opportunities and potential pitfalls of the housing market;once you have decided to buy,it is important to work with an experienced real estate professional.Our agents at Skymax Realty have over 20 years’ experience assisting buyers in finding their desired home and will be happy to answer all your questions before you begin the process.
Define your goals and options then make your plans
Given that buying a home is such a big step, it’s very important to educate and prepare yourself as much as possible. This means clearly determining the reasons you are buying and what kind of home you are looking for. Since buying and financing a home are so closely related, it also means examining your current financial situation and projecting a home price that meets your budget.
Searching for a home in our site, provides you with a mortgage calculator tool with the specific price of each home that interests you, showing the potential monthly payments. In addition, the Home Buyer Rebate dollar amount for each home is clearly shown, so you will know how much you can expect to receive back after your home purchase.
Once you have defined your requirements, youand your agent will be in a better position to search housing that is tailored to your needsand staying within your budget options. Your Skymax Realty agent will advise you and assist you with every aspect of the home search.
Get pre-approved for a loan
A preapproval or proof of funds (if it is a cash purchase) is a requirement that needs to be submitted with any offer. The preapproval process will let you know what loan amount you are eligible to receive. Therefore, we recommend that you get pre-approved for a loan before you start viewing homes with the serious intention of buying. The pre-approval process involves meeting with a lender and authorizing them to examine your current financial situation and credit history. On the basis of this examination, the lender willprovide you with a Preapproval Letter stating the loan amount that has been approved for your potential purchase.
Consider first contacting your local bank or credit union, where you already have a financial history, before contacting other lenders.In addition, some lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer). In our website, under Resources, there is a list of other banks or mortgage lenders with whom you may want to consult.
Search for homes and save your search, as well as homes
The key to the home search process is knowing where and what you’re looking for and at what price. First identify the town or towns that meet your needs, then focus on houses that have your required criteria and that are within your specified price range. Eventually, you will narrow your focus to the desired goal. Your Skymax Realty agent will assist and advise you throughout this whole process.
There are many benefits to starting the search process at a the Skymax Realty website. You can view many homes and their details, along with the Mortgage Calculator and the Home Buyer Rebate information.However, it’s also important to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship, and other aspects.
Ideally, you should view homes with the help of your experienced Skymax professional agent, who represents your interests and who will notice aspects of the house that you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board.
Making an offer
Once you have found the home you would like to buy, it is time to make an offer. Your Skymax Realty agent will prepare all the necessary documents for submitting the offer to purchase the home. The offer contract will include your terms, such as purchase price, deposit amount, P&S deposit amount, P&S deadline date, commitment letter deadline, closing date, home inspection contingency, mortgage contingency and any other inclusions, clauses,or other conditions.
You and your agent will review the offer to make sure that it accurately expresses your intended offer, while addressing all of your questions or concerns about the offerprocess.Once you have approved the terms of the offer, your agent will submit it, along with a deposit check for $1000.00, to the seller’s representative.
At that point, the sellers can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it with terms of their own and initiate the negotiation process.Successive counteroffers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions,may occur and may be negotiated, with your consent,between your agent and the sellers’ representative, until reaching a mutual agreement or the negotiations breakdown.
Once an offer has been accepted for a particular house, the next step is the Home Inspection. Inspections are designed to help you understand the overall condition of a property, potentially saving you considerable time with the purchase process and hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Some of the inspections, which may be required depending on the age of the home, or recommended by your real estate professional, are:
Standard Home Inspection
The areas, which may be covered, include lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Contract For Sale and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some cases homes can be sold “as-is” even though an inspection may take place.
Lead Paint Inspection
Painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.
Radon levels are detected and measured. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 15,000 – 22,000 deaths per year result from radon exposure, therefore they recommend that all homes be tested for radon. EPA recommends that homes containing 4.0 or more Pico Curies per liter be remedied. Radon presence is fairly common in New England and the solution is installing a Radon Remediation System, which is relatively inexpensive.
Lab analysis will determine if asbestos fibers are present and evaluate their condition. If friable or non-friable conditions exist, buyers should seek professional assistance.
A termite inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Inspection requirements vary by state.
The Home Inspector may recommend additional inspection for other issues, such as Septic Tank, Underground Storage Tanks, Private Well System, etc.
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Secure an attorney and start the financing process
After the offer has been accepted, it is time to secure the services of a real estate attorney and to return to your chosen lender to finalize mortgage details in order to close the deal. This means finalizing your down payment, interest rate, regular payment schedule and all other financial conditions associated with the closing.
Real Estate attorneys work with varying flat fee rates. Your buyer attorney will be responsible for reviewing, correcting, amending, and explaining the Purchase & Sale (P&S) contract drafted by the sellers attorney. The P&S will have all the terms and conditions agreed in the original offer in addition to any other standard legal paragraphs. In addition, the P&S may have a clause allowing the buyer to visit the house a specific number of times, prior to closing.
In almost every transaction, there are three attorneys involved.
- The attorney who represents the sellers
- The closing attorney who represents the lender
- The attorney who represents the buyers
Sometimes, the closing attorney is the same attorney for the buyers, especially if thebuyers opt to work with the attorney assigned by the lender. The buyers always have the choice to engage their own attorney separate from the lender’s attorney.
The buyer attorney represents only your interests and not those of the lender and will be responsible for the title search, legal ownership, searching for any liens that may be attached to the home, title insurance, the disbursement of payments, (if he/she is also the closing attorney), and of all other legal real estate matters.
The day of the closing or a day before, the agent and the buyer will conduct a final walk through, in order to ascertain that no damage has occurred during the period leading to the closing or due to any damage that may occur during the moving out process. The walk-through process may take between 15 to 60 minutes.
Typically, the Closing Date is conducted at one of the attorneys office or at the appropriate Registry of Deeds office. Buyers, sellers and or their attorneys and respective agents will be present to sign all the necessary documents. However, due to COVID-19 protocols, the closing may be conducted virtually or only with a limited attendance. You attorney will instruct you on how to proceed with the closing transaction.
After the official recording of the closing documents, the buyer will be given the keys to the house. About 5 to 7 days after the closing is recorded, the buyer will receive the Home Buyer Rebate check.