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The Home Search

Now you get to look at houses! When getting ready to search for homes, it is helpful to make a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘want to have’.  Some important items on your list could be: location, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, do you want a large lot? Small lot? Need an office? Like a basement? Garage? Open concept? Need a dining room?  It is very difficult to get everything on your list, you can change the color of the paint or change carpet for hardwood floors, but you can’t change location and some adjustments can be pretty costly. Make sure you get a home that fits you and your life style. 

Making an Offer

After you select the home you want, you decide how much you are willing to pay for the home.  Decide on the purchase price, the earnest money and the down payment amounts. Your real estate professional can help you decide on a price by providing you with comparables to the home of your dreams and your lender can help you decide how much you can comfortably spend.  You will also need to pick the date you would like to close and occupy your new home.  Generally, it takes about 30-60 days from submission of your offer to close and occupy of your new home. Your realtor will draw up the sales agreement for the purchase of your home, look it over very carefully before you sign. You can sign electronically or in person.  Signing electronically is very easy, you can even sign using your phone from another country! After submitting your offer, the seller may either accept your offer, reject the offer or make a counter offer- and you can either accept, reject or make a counter offer to the seller's offer- this goes back and forth till it is either accepted or rejected. 

Your Offer is Accepted

Yay! Your offer is accepted! Now is the busy time! You generally have 10 business days to have any type of inspection preformed on your potential new home as well as come to an agreement as to what repairs you want to have done.  Most people get: home inspection, sewer scope, radon testing, if it is an older house you can add tank sweep (looking for a buried oil tank), septic inspection, lead and asbestos testing. 

Escrow or Title Company

Generally, the person selling the home will choose the Escrow/Title Company. The Escrow/Title Company works very closely with your lender and realtor to make the home buying seamless, your escrow officer works very hard to make sure the title of the house you are buying is clear, there are no liens on the property, etc. The Escrow/Title Company will notify you and your realtor by email that they have opened escrow and give you a transaction number for reference. Once your offer is accepted, the earnest money will need to be deposited with the Escrow Company within 3 business days. The Title Company will give you specific instructions on the deposit/transfer of money. Your Lender will order an appraisal of your future home to make sure you are not over paying for your home. You can not get a loan on a home that is worth less than what you are taking a loan out for, banks/credit unions do not want you to overpay for your home.  The buyer is responsible for paying for any inspections and for the appraisal. After much paperwork and due diligence, the Escrow/Title Company submits the paperwork to underwriters for final approval, after the green light- you set up home owners insurance and the documents are sent to the Escrow/Title company and you sign the pile of papers that make the home yours!  The loan is recorded, and keys are exchanged! HOME AT LAST! 

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