Ever wondered what it takes to buy a home? Well, we at The Ally Team at J Philip Real Estate are here to lay it out for you! A lot of our clients ask us what the process of buying a home is like. If you too are wondering, have no fear, we're here to help you out. We are going to outline the process that you're going to go through not only with us but with the countless other contacts you will interact with throughout the process. Ready? Us too.
Step 1: Find a trusted Realtor
Review their credentials
Research their internet presence
Request reviews from past clients
Ask about Realtor's team of professionals to recommend throughout the process (inspector, attorney, title, etc.)
Step 2: Get a Full Pre-Approval
This step comes before looking at potential houses
Prepare your past 2 years of tax returns as they will be requested, along with a credit report if you have it
Research and compare local lenders along with other banks (we strongly recommend local lenders that know the market you want to be in well)
Decide which loan is best for you and get a few estimates
There is rarely an advantage to using a bank you already do business with.
Step 3: Decide what you're looking for and your timeline
Decide when you want to be in your new home and if you have any current obligations.
Create a wants and needs list (wants are what you would like to have in a new house and needs are well...what you absolutely need to have)
Let your Realtor know about your preferences on:
Price (from your pre approval)
# Beds/Baths/Square Footage
Amenities (garage, fireplace, porch, pool, etc.)
Ask your Realtor to send you some properties from the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and narrow down some homes to see in person
Know who you will be using as your lender and your attorney
Step 4: The Home Search
Talk to your Realtor about deciding a date, time and specific properties you want to see
Bring a notepad and take pictures during your showings to remember the details of each house.
Try to limit the max amount of homes seen to 5 in one day to avoid confusion.
Keep in mind that every house will come with issues, but it is important to remember the things you can change and the things you can't (you can paint a wall or renovate a bathroom, but you can't move the property itself somewhere else)
Step 5: Offer Up
Once you've found the one, ask your Realtor to run some comps (comparable properties that have sold recently) to make sure that the house is priced well and to gauge a starting offer.
Have your attorney information prepared and on your offer sheet
Find out if there are any other offers on the table with the sellers, as that will change the negotiation tactics
Discuss a negotiation plan with your Realtor
Negotiate to an acceptable price and terms
Set an inspection date once offer is accepted (ask your Realtor for a recommendation if you don't know someone)
Step 6: Expect the Uninspected
You've got an accepted offer! Awesome!
Meet with your Realtor and inspector at the house to inspect everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between
Set well, septic, radon, water and oil tank inspections if necessary
Keep in mind that no house is perfect, there will be issues
Re-negotiate your offer once you review the report and ask the sellers to repair or credit the big ticket items that were found. These items will go into the contract as repairs or credits.
Step 7: Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Set a date with your attorney to review and sign contracts, making sure all items from the inspection are included in a rider
Put down escrow payment (this may be your full down payment or partial)
Make sure appraisal is ordered ASAP with your lender (this assures the bank that the house is worth what you are paying for it)
Sign and gather roughly two million documents for your lender and attorney
Order a title/municipal search and survey if necessary (ask your Realtor for recommendations if you don't know someone)
Address any issues that might arise from a title search or municipals (a deck doesn't have a permit that should, the owners didn't pay half of last year's taxes and they need to, things like that)
Make sure your lender has all the information needed to issue your mortgage commitment
Once clear title, municipals, and your mortgage commitment are in, you should have the infamous "Clear to Close" soon
Step 8: Close the Deal and Open the Door
Set the final walkthrough with your Realtor either the day before or directly before going to the closing
Before closing, call the electric company (most likely Con Edison or NYSEG) and switch the utilities over in your name
Pick up certified checks (not personal) from the bank in the amount that the attorney has given you or prepare all the info to wire money
Bring personal checks to the closing for smaller payments such as paying off the remainder of attorney dues
Bring photo ID to the closing
Sign roughly 15 quintillion papers at the closing provided by your attorney
Get the keys
Congratulations, you're a homeowner!
Step 9: But Wait, There's More!
Apply for the STAR Credit over at https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/default.htm to make sure you save as much money as possible on your property taxes
Write a review for that wonderful Realtor that helped you along the way and any other people as well
Enjoy your new home and feel free to call us with any questions you might have, we're a bit familiar with what you're going through!
There you go! You're ready to get going on your journey to buy a home! If you're looking for some Hudson Valley Real Estate, The Ally Team at J Philip Real Estate is here to help!
Thanks for listening,