Are you purchasing your new home in Gloucester? Southern Trade Realty, Inc. can help.

With some up-front planning, purchasing a home isn't too confusing, but the event is stressful for many people. So they'll know exactly what they can expect, I'll give buyers an outline of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
Prior to starting your home search, there are a lot of things you should consider. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to assemble a checklist of items you need to have, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good rule of thumb to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Southern Trade Realty, Inc. comes in. I'd be more than happy to plan a time to get together with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Gloucester area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you start the loan process. I work with some of the best mortgage professionals in Gloucester, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking
After we meet, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll preview most of the houses and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view the houses, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers revise their wish list as we tour homes and some features become more crucial than others. If such is the case, I'll look through all the listings once more and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
My knowledge of the Gloucester housing market is an imperative aspect in your home search. I am informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will communicate which neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

When we tour houses, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for negotiation and when I think the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any REALTOR will tell you they comprehend the home market. If things don't add up, call me at (804) 694-3113 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm positive we'll find the home of your dreams in the Gloucester area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including several contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts don't close on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Once the contract is finalized, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This won't take very long at all if you're already pre-approved, but you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and relaxed event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at (804) 694-3113 or e-mail me at .

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