Buying a Home

Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in your life. Not only are you choosing a place to live, and the place in which you will share with friends and family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets. The more prepared you are at the beginning, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, I am only a phone call or email away!

The Process

STEP #1

Buyer's Agent

Working with a Buyer's Agent to represent you in the process will not cost you anything but could save you a lot. All real estate agents in Michigan work for the seller according to the licensing laws unless you have a Buyer's Agency agreement with your agent. This agreement ensures the agent you are working with has your best interest in mind and will be your advocate throughout the process.


Step #2

Getting Pre-Qualified for a Loan

Working with a mortgage lender to determine how much money they will lend you and more importantly just how much your monthly payment will be so that you will feel comfortable buying your home and making the monthly payment. A phone conversation with a trusted mortgage professional can help you determine how much home you can afford. I can help refer you to a mortgage professional to assist you in this very important step in the process.The mortgage professional will give you a Pre-Approval letter with the amount you can borrow plus nay down payment amounts and the type of loan that best fits your requirements. This letter is valid for 90 days and will be needed when you submit an offer to purchase your home.

Step #3

Finding a Home

This step in the process can be challenging especially in a seller's market such as we are experiencing here in South Eastern Michigan. Although a good agent will be able to set up a search in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for you with your unique requirements such a number of bedrooms, baths, garage size, basement finished or unfinished just to name a few. Therefore as soon as a new listing is entered into the MLS the agent and you will be notified and you can schedule a showing to go see the property. In a seller's market time is of the essence, the sooner you can get out to see the property the better. Since many of the public sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo have a delay from the time the property is input into the local MLS till the time it shows up on one of those sites it could be already gone by the time you see it. As a result it is important to work with a Realtor to make sure you get to the property as soon as possible.

Step #4

Making the Offer

Once you find a home it is time to make an offer. The Purchase Agreement, Earnest Money Deposit and the Pre-Approval Letter will be minimum three items you will need make the offer. Your agent will help you navigate and understand what is required and how best to structure your offer for the highest possibility of acceptance.

Step #5
Home Inspections
Once your offer is accepted the first order of business is the General 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 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.

Radon Inspection - 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

Obtaining the proper inspections for a home prior to purchase is one of the best ways to make a smart purchase decision and protect your investment.

Step #6

Appraisal

The bank will send an appraiser out to the house to determine the value of the property based on comparable analysis of similar properties within a limited area and limited time period to determine a current Fair Market Value for the property. Occasionally the value does come in higher or lower than the offer but a good Realtor can help you with either scenario. If the value is higher as a buyer you would be happy and since the seller never sees the value it works in your best interest. If the value comes in lower then your agent and you have some options to discuss.

Step #7

Closing

You have found an agent, who has found you a property that you made and offer on that the seller has accepted. The home inspection shows no big issues and the banks appraisal agrees with your purchase price offer and will loan you the money to go through with the purchase. Congratulations you can now close on your new home!