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The key to making sure your home-buying process remains timely and thorough, is outlining a plan and keeping goals throughout. The experienced realtors from Linderman Snavely Realtors discuss valuable resolutions for buying a home in the new year.

It’s that time of year again. Individuals are beginning to feel inspired to turn over a new leaf and take a step in the right direction for 2018. As previously mentioned in our last post, the holiday season is surprisingly a great time to sell. As you cross over into 2018, lead with your best foot forward and know exactly what you’ll need to do to purchase the perfect house--and make it your home.

RESOLUTION #1: DETERMINE WHAT IT IS EXACTLY THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.

Write down some considerations that will ultimately help with your decision. It’s important to think about family size, commute to work, amenities, the potential for an addition, etc. Make a list of your priorities from least to most desired. If you are having difficulty finding a home with all the features you’re in search of, the list may help you decide what is most important. It may also help separate your needs from your wants.

RESOLUTION #2: DEFINE THE NECESSARY FINANCES.

Once you have an idea for what you’re looking for, you must then determine the finances behind the preferences for your home. Do you have money set aside for closing costs and taxes? Most first-time buyers will obtain a loan. What is your monthly budget for a mortgage payment? Meet with lenders and research loaning options before you commit to anything.

RESOLUTION #3: GET PRE-APPROVED.

Meet with your loan officer to have your credit files reviewed. Your loan officer will then decide whether you can readily qualify for a certain loan amount with at least one specific mortgage program. The lender will provide a pre-approval letter, specifying your borrowing power. You may meet with multiple lenders and receive several pre-approvals, but note that each one will come with a new credit check , which will appear on future credit reports.

RESOLUTION #4: FIND YOUR REALTOR.

Along with the differences in the homes themselves, come the differences in contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. An experienced realtor will help you make sense of the forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating. You’ll want to work with a professional who knows the community and all that comes with it.

RESOLUTION #5: LEARN ABOUT THE SPECIFIC FINANCING OPTIONS.

The best rates and terms are available to those with solid credit. In order to receive the best loans, ensure that you’re paying credit cards, installments, rent and mortgage bills on time and in full. You will have to complete a written loan application and provide supporting documentation. Specific documents include recent pay stubs, rental checks and tax returns for the past two or three years if you are self-employed.

RESOLUTION #6: MAKE AN OFFER.

After you’ve found the home you’re looking for, and after you’ve come to understand your mortgage options, you can either: accept the listed price and make a contract; suggest different terms and make a counter-offer; or reject it altogether. If you decide on a counter-offer, the seller can accept, reject or make another counter-offer themselves. If buyers are competing for homes, sellers will likely get full-price offers and perhaps even more. If demand is weak, offers below the asking price may occur.

RESOLUTION #7: FIND THE RIGHT INSURANCE POLICY.

Title insurance is purchased with a one-time fee at the closing of your new home. It protects owners in the event that title to the property is found invalid. This includes lenders’ policies (protecting buyers up to the mortgage value of the property) and owners’ coverage (protecting owners up to the purchase price). Homeowner’s insurance provides theft, fire and liability coverage. You’ll want to protect yourself with the right policies for you and your family.

RESOLUTION #8: CLOSE ON YOUR HOME!

Settlement is a brief process where all of the necessary paperwork is signed and the transaction is completed once and for all. This means the title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer, the buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices. Buyers will typically have one last opportunity to walk through the home to assure its condition has not been tampered with in any way since the signing of the sale agreement. All papers will be prepared by closing agents, title companies and lenders and lawyers at the time of closing.

Once you’ve changed the locks as a precaution, finally moved in and have a moment to breathe, let it all sink in. You have your new home and a fresh start to the rest of your life. For more information on how to begin, continue or finish the purchasing process of a home, contact Linderman Snavely Realtors today.

The team at Linderman Snavely Realtors wishes that 2018 is a year that brings both fortune and gratitude to you and yours.