Buying a Home

Ready to Buy A Home?


Buying a house requires a lot of time and work on your part , but we can help make the buying process much more manageable and hopefully more fun! Our team of experienced and enthusiastic Realtors can help you make the best decisions possible for wants, needs and budget!

We would like to encourage anyone that is seriously thinking about purchasing a home, to start with a little home work. It is good to do a little research on home loans (if you require one). There are many types of loans available. Some you may qualify fir and some you may not. It is always best to get a professional banker or mortgage lender to assist you. 

Southern Homes works with a wide variety of lenders from all different areas that offer many types of loan such as Conventional, VA, FHA, Rural Development and More. Talk with one of our agents and see if they can offer some direction in which area you may want to start looking. They can provide you a list of lenders to choose from.

Another reason we would encourage you to speak to a lender right away is that they will help you work on finding out if you are qualified right now to purchase, if you need to wait a few months or things you might want to consider prior to your purchase to help you get the best interest rate available. Some loans require down payments. Have you saved any money up to put down on a home? The lender will also help you with a budget of how much you should spend on a home.  The way to get prequalified for a mortgage, is you will need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker/ lender. This will include your income and the amount of savings you have. Your lender will review this information and tell you how much we can lend you. This will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at. Later, you can get preapproved for credit, which involves providing your financial documents (W-2 statements, paycheck stubs, bank account statements, etc.) so your lender can verify your financial status and credit. While searching for a home to purchase, DO NOT make any changes to your job or credit unless specifically told by your lender. DO NOT change jobs, this can effect your eligibility to qualify for months or even a year.  DO NOT go out and buy a new car, new furniture or make any other large purchases until after you close on the home you are purchasing. Again, it could disqualify you. The lenders are looking for security and stability. They want to see that you can save money, pay your bills and not be a financial risk for them.

You don't want to waste time looking for homes not in your price range. Your time is valuable. If you search without a plan and budget, you can get discouraged and overwhelmed. Not to mention that fact that the great deals go quickly. Some homes sell within days or weeks of being on the market so make sure you are ready and looking in the right price range.

Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt. Talk to your lender about what is best for you. But you should make this determination based on your own financial situation. 

 Once you have a lender picked out, the type of loan you want to get, and a price range to search in, this will help you speed up the process and make the home hunting more effective and pleasurable. Narrowing down your down the search is key! Make lists of things that are important to you. Make lists of what is a must have and what things you would like but are not necessary. Consider the size of the home, location and features as well as the price. Do you want to be in the city or the county? Is there a specific school district you want to be in?   As soon as you can, start looking online. Be careful which sites you look out. Some of them can have out to date or incorrect information. ask your Realtor what sites they may recommend . You can also browse newspapers and  magazines at various real estate listings. Make notes on particular homes and their features that you are interested in. This may help the Realtor you are working with help you further.

Real estate agents are important partners and allies when you’re buying or selling a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. They offer years of experience, insider knowledge that comes from working in the industry that you might not otherwise know. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable.

We do encourage you to get your owner Realtor to represent you and your best interest in the transaction and contract and not rely on the listing agent who is representing the seller. If you are looking at a home listed by the same company (firm), they can provide you, your very own agent, to assist you during the process. It doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent,the sellers are covering the cost of any by the sell of the house.

Take a deep breath and start shopping. pace yourself. Take notes on the homes that you preview. Drive by homes and their neighborhood before making appoitntments to see them. Go by at different times like week days and then weekends. Check it out at night and during the day. Also look at exterior when it rains or snows. These quick trips won't take much time but can be very valuable.  Don't always listen to the neighbors. Sometimes they are misinformed or have their own agenda.

 If you see a home that you really like, make an offer! When you start touring homes in your price range, make sure you take good details notes so that you don't get confused on which home had which features. Record features about the home inside, outside, neighborhood and how it made you feel. You will see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home.

Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process. This can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Remember you will need money to put down as Earnest money to show the owners you are serious and take it off the market for you. This money will be credited back to you at closing. 

We always encourage every buyer to get a Home Inspection. Not just a family member but someone who is licensed and experienced who knows what to look for. There is a cost involved in this but it is worth it. Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.

Don't forget the termite inspection. These exams are not costly but well worth their cost! 

You will need funds to pay for your appraiser.  You will always have to secure new homes owner's insurance on the home prior to closing as well. Lenders will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your lender will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new home! 

Again, your Realtor has experience is working with people in your town in each of these areas. There is more involved than you might imagine. They will work with you with the lender and help you make your home buying the best experience possible.  We would love to assist you in making this possible!

Inquire About Our Services