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Here are a series of steps that every prospective buyer should consider when purchasing a home

Step One

Start by creating a prioritized list of features you want in your next home and the reasons why. Use it as your search guide, but remember that depending on your funding, you will probably need to make some compromises. In addition, Talk To Terri about where you want to live. Location is a huge part of any move. Terri Gerger helps her clients narrow down their choices by sharing market trends and local information like neighborhood statistics and community links.

Step Two

Now that you know what you want, it's time to see what you can afford.You can start by crunching the numbers yourself using the selection of calculators located on the navigation bar to your right. When you're ready to move to the next step, you can get pre-qualified online, using the tools provided on this website for a mortgage loan. This process accomplishes two important goals. First, it will tell you how much house you can afford and what your monthly payments would be. Second, it tells the seller that you can afford to buy their home.

Step Three

Once you know what community you'd like to live in and have an idea of how much house you can afford, its time to start checking out actual properties. Beginning this search online using the custom property search website that Terri provides her buyers with can help save you time, since it can help you target homes that meet your search criteria. Our home notifier can even email you when properties come on the market that meet your search criteria. Next, begin visiting homes in person. Terri Gerger will arrange visits and open houses that are in your target area and price range. When comparing homes, make sure to look at all aspects of the property. Is the property tax approximately the same? Are both the houses renovated? Do they both have the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are both houses located on the same or similar streets? Does either house have any encumbrances? Remember to keep an open mind when you are looking at homes. Use a virtual home planner to help you imagine what the house could become with you as the owner.

Step Four

Once you find the home you want, you need to make an offer for the house. Typically this is a very difficult and trying time since both parties have totally different goals. In most cases it is better to have a real estate professional negotiate the offer. The commission for the agent of the buyer is paid for by the seller, so it is very beneficial to the buyer to have a real estate professional who will be looking out for your best interests. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, don't give out any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property - positive or negative. This could hurt you in future negotiations.

Step Five

After your offer is accepted your real estate agent will need to set up, coordinate and interpret various inspections, including insect, plumbing, electrical, building quality, title, etc. You will also need to arrange for homeowners insurance and finalize the mortgage. This is a major step in the buying process and there are many potential problems that can be discovered during this period.
These include a leaky roof, bad plumbing, mold, termite damage, a foundation problem, and wall cracks, to name a few. These problems happen all the time. The difference between closing on your dream home and starting the process all over again is what occurs during the negotiations between you and the seller. As your real estate agent and negotiator, Terri Gerger can help make these discussions go more smoothly.

Step Six

Before you arrive at the closing, make sure all the necessary paper work and deposits have been completed. If the mortgage, title work, homeowners insurance and other items necessary under
local and state laws are not completed and brought to the closing table, the closing may not happen on time. And, depending on what the contract says, this could result in further action including financial penalties and even the loss of your rights to the home. Again, these are excellent reasons to have your own real estate representation as a buyer of property. You will also have the option of a "walk through" before the closing. This is your last chance to make sure that all of the items that you have agreed upon were completed to your satisfaction.

Step Seven

Once you close, it's official - you own the house! But there might be a few things you want to do before you lay out the welcome mat. These include arranging for an alarm system, turning on the electricity, subscribing to the local paper, cleaning or replacing the carpet, arranging for lawn services, etc. This could also be a good time to make any needed renovations.