If you are considering buying a home you want to make sure you are prepared and understand the process. Real Estate varies regionally so knowing how it works in the area you are looking to buy in is incredibly important!
First off, buying a home is a big deal! It should not be taken lightly so make sure that you have trusted partners advising you in the home-buying process, this will not only make the experience better but also help to ensure that you do not end up having buyer's remorse!
When you are considering buying a home, your first stop should be a trusted lender, you need to know your numbers! If you do not know a lender to call, find a trusted real estate advisor and they will be able to suggest a lender that meets your needs.
Most people think you are just contacting the lender for your pre-approval, but that is not the case. You also want the lender to provide you with the estimated monthly payment and estimated closing costs! Just because you can afford up to a certain dollar amount does not mean that you want to! You want to make sure you are comfortable with the pre-approvals corresponding monthly payment! While you might not know the exact house you will buy, your lender can still run averages of the area to provide you with an estimate. Knowing your estimated costs does two things, it allows you to know how much you might possibly need to bring to closing and also can help you when you are negotiating.
Next, you need to meet with a REALTOR! All REALTORS have different styles and processes, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with them and trust that they are advising you in the best way possible. Many people believe that REALTORS tell buyers which homes to buy and I can promise you in all the years I have done this, I have never told a buyer which home to buy! Buyers know what they like and decide on what home fits their lifestyle. Have I been a sounding board, yes, but as I tell all my buyers, I am more of a devil's advocate during this step. You know what you like about the home, but part of my job is to tell you any potential unfavorable aspects of the home so that when you go to sell you are not surprised by the feedback!
After you find "THE ONE," the next step is to write an offer! This part of the process can vary depending on the current market conditions, but after viewing homes and seeing what is available you will somewhat know what you want to offer. Depending on your relationship with your agent, they will be able to provide you with varying levels of guidance on the offer you plan to present! Once you get a property under contract you want to get the paperwork to the lender, then get your inspections scheduled, and also reach out to your insurance agent!
Your inspection period will be a set number of days and it is best to get the inspections done as soon as possible in case you need to get repair bids or do additional investigating on a specific issue. Different areas have different recommended inspections. When you are buying a home in Manhattan, KS common inspections are whole house, termite, radon, and sewer camera for homes in town. If the home is outside of city limits there are some additional inspections that are required, but for right now we will keep it to in-town properties. Once these inspections are completed buyers can choose from a few options. Buyers can take the house "as-is," renegotiate or cancel due to inspections. Once you are through inspections, this is when your lender will order the appraisal on the property.
Once an appraiser has accepted the appraisal order on the home they have a set amount of days to complete the appraisal and then submit it to your lender. During this time you want to ensure that you have provided all documentation to your lender so that your file is ready to go to underwriting once the appraisal is received. Making sure your documentation is turned in to your lender is extremely important, having outstanding documents can potentially delay the process and can cause last-minute red flags with the underwriters. Once everything is submitted and the appraisal is received the file is submitted to underwriting and you are almost to the finish line!
At this point, you are waiting to hear three magic words, "clear to close!" Clear to close means that the bank's underwriter has reviewed your documents and as long as nothing changes with your finances prior to closing you are approved for your home loan! At this point you are also working with your REALTOR to make sure any repairs are completed, and that your walk thru and closing time are both scheduled.
At your walk thru you want to ensure the satisfaction of requested repairs and that the home is in the same condition as when you made the offer! I know you might be asking why it would not be, but things happen! Sometimes sellers move out days or weeks in advance and something completely random happens so you want to make sure before you sign for the house that everything is good to go!
Now you are heading to the closing table either at a title company or at your lender's office, this is where buyers are normally really surprised! After all the documents, inspections, negotiations, etc., you will sign the actual loan and mortgage documents and be done in about 20 min.! It is super fast to sign the documents that make the home officially yours, but the great part about that is you get to start the fun part right away and that is making the home your own!
If you have specific questions please feel free to reach out, we are happy to help however we can!