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Buyer's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

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 me will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Get Prequalified

Navigating the journey to homeownership can be smoother with a bit of preparation. While you may know your ideal monthly payment, mortgage companies look at various factors to determine your eligibility. Fortunately, getting prequalified with a mortgage professional clarifies the amount you qualify for and strengthens your offer when you find that perfect home. Some sellers prioritize buyers with pre-qualification, which signifies seriousness and financial readiness. Before diving into the home search, please ensure you're well-informed and financially prepared to make your dream home a reality.


Step 2: Select Your Loan

When buying a home, you'll have different loan choices based on how you handle your money. Here's a quick guide:

1. Fixed-rate: Your monthly payments stay the same for the entire loan.
2. Variable-rate: Your monthly payments might increase or decrease based on interest rates.
3. 15-year: You'll pay off the home in 15 years.
4. 30-year: You'll pay off the home in 30 years. This usually means smaller monthly payments than a 15-year loan, but you'll pay more interest over time.
5. VA or FHA loans: Special loans with certain benefits, like lower down payments or no down payment.

Talk to the person helping you with your loan (called a mortgage lender) to pick the best option for you. They'll help you determine what feels right for your budget and needs.


Step 3: Decide on Your Budget

Mortgage companies might offer you more money than you're comfortable spending. Remember, if you're moving from an apartment or living with roommates, there might be new costs in a house, like garbage, water, or HOA fees. Make sure to account for these when setting your budget!


Step 4: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or 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.


Step 5: Contact Me Today

Did you know partnering with an experienced real estate agent can significantly enhance your home-buying journey? With 14 years of experience and a background as an Army Veteran, I offer unparalleled expertise at no cost to you. Let me streamline the process by identifying ideal properties, coordinating showings, and managing the offer process expertly. My deep market knowledge is here to guide you every step of the way. Let's embark on this exciting journey together, exploring homes that perfectly match your vision. I'm here to ensure you find the home that's just right for you.


(706) 464-8927
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My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home

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Step 6: Find the Right Home

Get ready for what might be the most exhilarating part of your home-buying journey, second only to the day you finally get those keys and move in.
As your trusty guide, I'll list some fantastic homes that match your taste and budget.  Think of it as a treasure hunt: Every house has secrets and surprises, and it's our job to uncover them! Jot down what makes your heart sing and what makes you go, "Uh-oh." It's all in the details.  Flick those switches, swing those doors, and let that water flow.  Every nook and cranny has a story to tell!

But wait, the adventure doesn't stop indoors. Venture out into the great wide open!  Get the neighborhood vibe, do a traffic test drive, scout out your morning coffee spot, and see where the kiddos might go to school or where you'll grab those last-minute groceries. Ready, set, explore!  Your dream home awaits.


Step 7: Make an Offer

When you pick the house you love, I'll help you decide on a reasonable price to offer. We'll look at the prices of similar sold homes in that area to determine your offer price. Sometimes, we offer less, the same, or more than their asking price. If the seller wants to negotiate the price, I'll help. Once we agree on the price, the house is reserved for you.


Step 8: Have Your Home Inspected

When you want to buy a home, it's a good idea to have a professional look at it first to ensure there are no significant problems with the house, like a bad foundation or extensive repairs needed. Think of it like getting a used car checked before buying it. After you say you want to buy the house, you have a few days to complete this check. I can help you set it up. If the house check (called a home inspection) shows no significant problems, we move on to the next step in buying the house. But if there are problems, you can either ask for a lower price, have the issue repaired, or decide not to buy the house at all.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

When receiving a home loan, your lender will send someone to check the home's value. This is called an appraisal. They do this to ensure everyone pays a fair price for the house. It's like getting a second opinion on how much the home is worth.


Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and attorney/title company, and when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

Buying A Home?

(i.e. Single Family, Condo, Townhome/Twinhome, 2-4 Unit Property)

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Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact me today.

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