Milestones To Homeownership
In today’s Amazonian “one-click-it-ships” instant gratification world, would-be home buyers sometimes lose sight that purchasing a house is a journey, rather than an instantaneous process. Even the smoothest, most hassle-free transactions feel painfully drawn out and slow to the home buyer that is ready to move tomorrow. That said, all transactions have a predictable, albeit progressive, sometimes methodical path, from the moment that buying a home is considered, until getting the keys to the front door. Here are some typical milestone “sign markers” on the path to home ownership that you might expect.
Meet with a real estate professional to review the home buying process. Included in this meeting would be a review of the type of home that you’re looking for that considers style, price and location. Remember, as the home buyer your agent’s commission is paid by the seller of the home in almost all circumstances. This means your representation costs you nothing.
Get Pre-Approved. You will need pay stubs, W2s, and bank statements. Knowing what you can afford is crucial to a successful home shopping experience.
Search for Homes. The fun part! Your agent will schedule showings and help you find the perfect home.
Make an Offer. Your agent will prepare the offer based on the price and terms you choose.
Negotiation and Contract. It may take a few tries to get just right and come to an agreement but hang in there. You’re on your way! In most cases the contract provides you with a timeline to obtain financing, as well as time to inspect the physical condition of the home. Your real estate professional will inform you of all your rights and responsibilities related to the contract.
Under Contract (also referred to as In Escrow) and completing the Final Details. You and the seller have agreed to the price and terms. The home is effectively held for you while all the contingencies in the contract are met based on the dates in the contract. During this time, you will perform due diligence, the appraisal will be ordered, inspections will be conducted, and terms will be reviewed with the lender finalizing the details of your loan.
Closing. This is the transfer of funds and ownership. An attorney typically acts as an independent third party to facilitate the closing.
While it might not be as easy as going onto an online search site, clicking a button, and having your home purchase completed the next day, the path to home ownership for many has predictable milestones along the way. Knowing what to expect on the journey will ensure that you are aware of how far you’ve come, and what still needs to happen, to be entitled to call yourself a new home owner and celebrate.
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