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When you’re ready to start house hunting, it’s time to get pre approved for a mortgage. When you apply, your lender will give you a preapproval letter that states how much you’re approved for based on your credit, assets and income. You can show your preapproval letter to your real estate agent so they can help you find homes within your budget.
Your real estate agent will help you hunt for houses within your budget. It’s a good idea to make a list of your top priorities.
Here are some things you might want to consider when shopping for a house:
Rank your priorities from most to least important and show this list to your agent. Your agent will then show you homes that fit your criteria. You may need to spend some time searching for the perfect home, so don’t get discouraged if your hunt takes longer than you expected.
Make sure you see plenty of homes before you decide which one you want to make an offer on. Like much of the homebuying process, you can do a great deal of your house hunting online. Once you find a property you like that fits your needs and budget, it’s time to tour that home.
Once an offer is made and both seller and buyer agree, the contract is then executed. The following items will need to be sent to the title company within three days.
Most offers also include an earnest money deposit. An earnest money deposit is a small amount of money, typically 1% – 2% of the purchase price. Your earnest money deposit goes toward your down payment and closing costs if you buy the home. If you agree to the home sale and later cancel, you typically lose your deposit.
The amount of your option fee will depend on the number of days you choose to take for inspections, negotiations, etc. Standard option days can vary between 7 to 10 days. In order to have the seller take the house off of the market for those days, the buyer has to pay the seller for the courtesy. This one time fee is non refundable and is usually between $150-250.
Lenders usually don’t require a home inspection to get a loan, but you should still get an inspection before you buy a property.
During a home inspection, an inspector will go through the home and specifically look for problems. They will test electrical systems, make sure the roofing is safe, make sure appliances are working and much more. After the inspection closes, the inspector will give you a list of problems they found in the home.
When you receive your inspection results, go over each item line by line and look for major issues. If a home has a serious health hazard (like lead paint or mold), ask the seller to correct the problem before you close. If you can’t reach an agreement, you may want to move on and consider other options. Read over your inspection results with your agent and ask whether they noticed any major red flags.
Bear in mind that you’ll be liable for any major repairs after your sale closes. A clogged toilet or a sink that won’t drain aren’t major issues. However, if your home inspection reveals an expensive problem (like cracks in the foundation or poorly installed windows), you may want to reconsider the purchase.
It’s common for homebuyers to include a home inspection contingency in their purchase offer. A contingency gives buyers the option to back out of a purchase (or negotiate repairs) without losing their earnest money deposit if the home inspection reveals major issues with the home.
After you view your inspection results, you might want to ask your seller to correct some of the problems you found. You can do this in one of three ways:
Your real estate agent will submit your requests to the seller’s agent. The seller might accept your request, or they might reject it. If your seller rejects your request, it’s up to you to decide how to proceed. If you have an inspection contingency in your offer letter, you can walk away from the sale and keep your earnest money deposit.
A home appraisal is a review that gives the current value of the property you want to buy. You must get an appraisal before you buy a home with a mortgage loan.
Lenders require appraisals because they can’t lend out more money than a home is worth. If the appraised value comes back lower than your offer, you might have trouble getting financing. Be thoughtful about your offer and consider contesting the results of the appraisal if you believe the appraised value is too low.
Homebuyers should also include an appraisal contingency in their offer. Appraisal contingencies are often drawn up to allow buyers to back out of a purchase (or negotiate a lower price) without losing their earnest money deposit if the home appraises for less than the offer amount. As with inspection contingencies, appraisal contingencies may vary, so make sure you understand the nature of your agreement.
You should do a final walk through in your new home before you close, even if you’re 100% committed to the property. This time allows you to check and make sure that the seller has made the repairs you requested and cleared out the property.
Walk through the home and make sure the seller hasn’t left any belongings. Check your repair areas if you requested them and keep an eye out for pests. You may also want to double-check your home’s systems one final time to make sure everything is in working order. If everything looks good, it’s time for you to confidently move toward closing.
Your lender is required to give you your Closing Disclosure, which tells you what you need to pay at closing and summarizes your loan details, three days before closing. Read through your Closing Disclosure and make sure the numbers don’t vary too much from your Loan Estimate, which you would have received three days after your initial application.
Once you’ve reviewed your Closing Disclosure, it’s time to attend your closing meeting. Bring your ID, a copy of your Closing Disclosure and proof of funds for your closing costs.
You’ll sign a settlement statement, which lists all costs related to the home sale. This is when you pay your down payment and closing costs. You’ll also sign the mortgage note, which states that you promise to repay the loan. Finally, you’ll sign the mortgage or deed of trust to secure the mortgage note.
After closing finishes, you’re officially a homeowner.
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2855 Mangum Road, Houston, Texas 77092, United States