Are you buying your new home in Annapolis?

For many people, purchasing a home is a stressful event. But with some planning ahead of time, it isn't too complex. I like to give buyers an outline of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are several things you need to consider before you start searching for a home. It's likely that you'll want to make a checklist of items you need, get a feel for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 1/3 of your monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent in Annapolis
This is where I come in. I'd love to book a time to meet with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Annapolis area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty partners with some of the best mortgage professionals in Annapolis, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin house hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the houses and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll point out good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to update their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Annapolis home market is a leading component in your house search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and call for immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

When we view homes, I'll let you know if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR will tell you they know the market, but beware, and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions. If things don't add up, contact me at 410-647-8000 ext. 817 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find the home of your dreams in the Annapolis area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is usually put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Upon completing the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't take very long at all. But you'll want to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll look after all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should occur at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and calm event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply contact me at 410-647-8000 ext. 817 or e-mail me at .

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