Buying or selling a home in Fort Walton Beach?

With a little up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't very complex, but the event is stressful for a lot of people. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are many things you'll want to do prior to beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make a check list of items you want to have, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We can set up a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Fort Walton Beach area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Fort Walton Beach, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with figuring out which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and throw out the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll show you the positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers amend their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some things become more important than others. If that's the case, I'll look through all the listings again and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Fort Walton Beach market is an imperative element in your home search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can alert you to certain districts are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask plenty of questions, as any REALTOR will claim to truly know the housing market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at 8505856466 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in Fort Walton Beach. When that happens, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals don't close on the first offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't take much time at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with 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 lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and easygoing occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at 8505856466 or e-mail me at .

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