Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do you already know where you want to buy? Are you looking for Association maintained or a single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer. Our website can be super helpful with searches to narrow down the home you are looking for.
Notice we said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, you may want to consider a monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This may include doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could affect your budget.
Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as almost all sellers won’t entertain an offer from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why wouldn't you have a top agent, like CRHE, to protect you and take the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also offer knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. We will always give you the information to make the best decision for you. Through our Network, we can find those hidden gems, as well as pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.
Most feel this is the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). We will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Not only will we point out possible red flags but also all the great amenities homes have! You have heard the old adage of location, location, location - well it's true. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once you have selected the perfect home, we work together to craft an offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. There is more than just price that goes into an offer. Consider a closing date, personal property that may or may not be included, contingencies, and repairs as well. We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement.
In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it. After all, contingencies are satisfied, the home will go into a pending status and we are on our way to closing!
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with. In a market where interest rates are moving, you will want to make sure the best program that works for you. You should take into consideration the value you are getting on the home, how long you plan on staying in that home, and available cash to put towards your new home. CRHE only works with the top Lenders who will show you more than just a rate, but what is best for your situation.
Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.
Chris Rooney was our REALTOR 25 years ago and found us our home. Now he helped us get ready to sell that home. Chris and his team are outstanding. Karin is awesome and so kind and responsive. Chris went above and beyond on our sale which was challenging at times. But Chris never wavered and kept us in the loop! I highly recommend this team for any of your real estate needs. They are real people that we trust and will miss now that we sold the home and moved.— AMY P.
Karin was a pleasure to work with. She was extremely patient in showing us several properties before we finally found the right one for us. Karin and her team have a level of expertise that goes unmatched in their coverage area. If you are looking for someone who will be patient and not pushy, extremely responsive with excellent insight and negotiation skills then Karin is the correct choice to represent you on your next real estate transaction.— SUSAN X.
I have done several home transactions with Chris Rooney and Karin Mindak and the rest of their team. This team works remarkably well together to provide an outstanding client experience. They are great to work with and it is easy to see they have been doing this for a long time. They are very professional, fun to work with, responsive, thoughtful about everything they do, and put the best interests of their clients first.— GREGG H.
I cannot recommend Chris and his team enough. They are tremendous, have incredible responsiveness, and are patient but also know when it matters to move. Incredibly strategic and just a tremendous partner. I will never buy or sell another house without Chris.— PILAR O.
Great and easy to work with. She was spot-on with her advice. She went the extra mile to walk us through buying our first home. Was always available to answer questions and she made it an enjoyable experience.— ROLLINS N.
We have used Chris Rooney Home Experts to sell and buy all our homes. Amazing service, quick sale of our homes, and endless support through the selling and buying process. Chris and Karin are the best teams!— LEAH B.
At Chris Rooney Home Experts, we believe that everyone should do what we are best at, so Chris has put together a group that loves what they do and do what they are great at!