Home Buying Process Step-by-Step
Get Prequalified - Getting prequalified starts with talking to a lender (call or email us for a suggestion). A lender will look at your credit scores, income, revolving debts, and how much money you have to put up for a down payment on the home. Once they look at your financial situation they will determine the best type of loan for you(VA, FHA, Conventional, Homepath) and what kind of payment would be comfortable with. The reason to get prequalified is to determine how much of a loan you can get that you are comfortable with to ultimately decide what price range you will be looking to purchase
Make your wish list - Think of how many bedrooms you are going to want and how many bathrooms. What kind of lifestyle do you want? A condominium will offer shared ammentities (pool, bbq area, clubhouse etc.,) with low to no exterior maintenance as where a single family dwelling offers more privacy and space, but more exterior maintenance.
Give us a call (805)206-6363 - We are experts in the area and now that you have been prequalified and made your wish list we are ready to start looking at homes on the market.
Select your home - No home is going to be absolutely perfect. Think of how long you plan on living in the home and figure out how it will best suit your families activities along with the layout of the home. Cosmetics can always be fixed and it doesn't have to be pricey to get it looking fabulous.
Make an offer - Your offer will depend on the current market situation. If there is a lot of inventory (homes on the market for sale) you can be more aggressive with your offer than if there is low inventory. In a time where there is low inventory your offer may need to be at list price or sometimes even over depending if its priced at market value or not. Your Realtor will be able to guage and give you more guidance when it comes to writing your offer.
Open Escrow - Once your offer is accepted you will enter escrow. Escrow is a trusted independent third party that acts as the mediator of the transaction. Escrow makes sure that the obligations of the contract are dealt with and the monies are distributed properly
Order a home inspection - A home inspection is VERY important. This process occurs after your offer has been accepted by the seller and it is now time to look deeper into the home. You hire a third-party professional to give you their opinion of the integrity of the home, large or small repairs that may need to be done, code violations, age of the systems/appliances in place, and things that may need to be fixed soon. This gives you an idea of what is going to be involved in owning this home. Almost EVERY home that is not going to be purchased brand new is going to have issues. Don't let this scare you, it is part of owning a home.
Order an appraisal - The lender you are working with will order an appraisal on your behalf through the bank you are obtaining your loan from. The bank appraisal will determine the market value of the home. If the home does not appraise for the purchase price, the bank will refuse to make the loan unless you can renegotiate the purchase price with the seller.
Remove contingencies - A contingency is something that may or may not take place. For example: in the home buying process you have a contingency period to inspect the home with a professional home inspector. If you find a major problem with the property you may back out of the deal, but if you want to continue with the purchase of the property you must remove your home inspection contingency. There are several other contingencies such as appraisal contingency and loan contingency.
Final walk through -Your final walk through usually takes place 5 days before you close the deal and the house is yours. This walk through is important because you want to make sure the home is in the same condition that you purchased it. There have been times in a home purchase where the home had been flooded because of a leak. By doing the final walk through you can write in your final walk through form anything that was not the same when you wrote the agreement.
Go to closing - Closing! At closing all funds for the loan as well as your down payment go into escrow and are dispursed accordingly. Escrow then sends the deed down to the county recorder's office and the deed is then transferred into the new home buyer's name. You are now a home owner and you get your keys to the new place!