I’m a seasoned mortgage broker who helps clients in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Florida secure best-fit loans for their dream homes – and I just went through my first homebuying experience all on my own.
Working in mortgage, I live the loan process right along with my clients day and night.
But buying a home, figuring out what I wanted in a house, and scaling all the facets of a successful transaction & closing as the borrower was relatively new territory for me.
Seeing the process from a different perspective was new and helpful!
In this blog we’ll cover the next steps that took me from the excitement of an accepted contract to the joy of the closing table.
If you’re working toward becoming a homeowner this year (or anytime in the future!), check out my recent blog on the first 7 steps I used in my homebuying process.
Use these next steps as a roadmap to your purchase!
If you know any realtors, you probably hear the words…The market is HOT…quite often.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if that’s actually true. It’s become such a ‘hot’ phrase!
In this case, though – in our post-pandemic housing market – the market IS hot and all signs point to it continuing its smoldering in the near future (at least)!
If you’re looking to submit an offer on your dream home, there’s a BIG chance your offer will compete against others’. So, it’s in your best interest to make your offer as attractive as possible to the seller(s).
Here’s what I did to help ensure that my offer had the best chance of being accepted.
Use these strategies when you’re ready to make an offer on a home in this landscape:
I offered FULL Price
I included what’s called an ‘escalation clause,’ which states that I’ll match any competing offer and pay up to a certain (reasonable) dollar amount more in a multiple offer scenario
I submitted a ‘clean’ offer, which means I didn’t ask for a thing. No closing costs, no allowances, no home warranty, and no extras.
I asked for a closing date beneficial to myself and the seller. I wanted this to be a flexible and happy transaction for everyone. We negotiated and collectively determined a 50-day closing would be best for all parties.
I made it personal! I wrote a letter to the seller explaining why I loved their home and why it worked for me. I introduced myself and told them about my family and my pets. I included photos as a personal touch. I wanted them to be able to envision me owning and loving the home just as they did. (It worked!)
I’m in a unique situation where I know exactly what’s needed for a mortgage, but this was still an in-depth process for me and will be for you, too, when the time is right.
I had to:
Collect and compile all my financial documents: Bank statements, income records, employment verification, and more
Ensure that I explained sources of income and my unique situation to the underwriters working on my loan
Make sure everything was readable and legible on the application itself as well as in my submitted documents
This process gave me a greater understanding of what my clients go through when they’re applying for a mortgage. It’s so easy to overlook a necessary document, submit the wrong document, submit an illegible document, and become annoyed when things don’t move as quickly as we’d like.
I’ve got a greater understanding of these snafus now that I’ve been through it!
With mortgage applications, there are what seem like a million moving parts and, sometimes, our excitement over a new home overpowers the necessity of getting all of your documentation in order – even when you’re already pre-approved.
With patience on all sides, regular updates (I strive to ensure all of my clients always know where their loan application stands!), and grace offered for everyone, the final approval will arrive.
Trust me when I say that buying a house without an inspection is like buying blind. Even if you’re buying a foreclosure property, where the bank is selling as-is, or a ‘fixer-upper’ property you plan to overhaul, it’s still important to have the home inspected so you know what, if any, problems a home has.
I always recommend hiring a trusted independent inspector to perform your home inspection. Make sure to do your homework when it comes to researching your inspector and the inspection company. Ensure he or she is qualified, licensed (required in some states), and has experience.
I would also suggest additional inspections for your peace of mind. These can include inspections on the roof, sewer, electrical, mold, lead paint, asbestos, foundation, and a termite inspection. This is your time to go through the home with a fine tooth comb. You should also make sure to review the SPDS, the seller property disclosure statement, to see what issues have happened in the home in the past and determine if any additional inspections need to be done.
Here is a great resource on the types of home inspections you may choose to do.
It’s also in your best interest to attend the inspections and your realtor will likely recommend that you do so. Plan to be there toward the end of each inspection to meet with your inspector or the specialist and discuss his or her findings and recommendations.
Once you have the inspection report back, you can use it as a tool for negotiation on seller repairs or allowances the seller might offer you to fix any issues prior to the sale.
Plus, in the event you find that the home you want to buy needs numerous (and expensive!) repairs, you can walk away from the purchase, which is noted in your purchase contract.
Check back next month to learn the final steps I took in my homeownership journey!
If you’ve found ‘the one’ or you’re ready to start shopping for your dream home, connect with me! I’d love to help you get pre-qualified to determine how much house you can afford and discuss your loan options with you. Plus, when you’re ready to apply for a loan, I’ll be here with you every step of the way.
Connect with me at 480-313-7103 or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.