Are you purchasing your home in Annapolis? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty can help.

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for a lot of people, but with a bit of planning ahead of time, it's not all that complicated. So they know exactly what to expect, I'll provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are a lot of things you should contemplate prior to starting your home search. You'll most likely want to make an index of features you want, plan for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good rule of thumb to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or around a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent in Annapolis
That's where I can help. We'll schedule a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Annapolis area.

I can also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Annapolis, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding available homes on the market that best suit you. I'll preview most of the homes and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. Frequently, buyers revise their must-have list as we tour houses and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My awareness of the Annapolis housing market is a crucial component in your home search. I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

When we view homes, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for bargaining and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions, as every REALTOR will claim to know the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 410-647-8000 ext. 817 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for
I'm confident we'll find your dream house in the Annapolis area. When that happens, I'll carefully create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clear title.

When turning in your offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the initial offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Once the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this shouldn't take long at all. However, you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and peaceful occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just call me at 410-647-8000 ext. 817 or e-mail me at .

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