Buying a Home
The Benefits of Working with The KEY Team
Working as your agent...
- We know the local market and can quickly narrow down a few areas where you are likely to find your home at the price you want.
- We can save you time by doing a lot of the legwork. By knowing your needs, we can eliminate homes that do not meet your criteria.
- We will make appointments, preview homes with you and help you determine the pros and cons of each home.
- We have access to our NWMLS listing database that provides access to thousands of homes for sale.
- We can provide information and make appointments to see almost any property listed for sale. A home does not have to be listed by us in order to get detailed information or an appointment to view.
- Once you find the home you want to buy, we will guide you through the negotiation, legalities and details of purchasing a home.
Tips on Buying a Home
Beginning the Process
Find out how much house you can afford. Do this before you go house-hunting. We can refer you to a mortgage professional who can help you determine how much of a down payment you can afford, along with a monthly payment you qualify for.
Make a list of everything you want in a home. Is a master suite important? How many bathrooms? What about closet space? Do you need a yard for the kids and pets to play in? How about a fireplace or a bay window? Do you prefer a rambler or 2-story house? Are schools or access to transportation important?
Separate the essentials from the items you could do without and put them on the "A" list. Prioritize the rest of the items into a second and third list in order of importance. We'll then go over the list so that we are very clear on what you want and need in your home. Keep good notes as we look at homes. After a while, it becomes difficult to remember which features belong to what home. And, don't be shy about sharing with us your dislikes - this will only help us to better identify the RIGHT home for you.
When selecting a home, look beyond cosmetics. Make sure the home is in good physical condition and that you understand the cost of repairs. For more information on how to assess the home's condition, refer to the Home Inspection information on this website.
Look at additional homes, even if you love the first one you see. Many times, it takes looking at several homes together before we help find the one that is really right for you.
As your agent, we'll check with you regularly, even if you haven't found a house that suits your needs. Keeping in contact with you allows us to establish a good rapport, and helps us to learn how to help you effectively. We'll continue to be on the lookout for homes that suit your needs.
Determining How Much You Can Afford
Interest rates and your personal finances will influence the amount of house you can afford. For a quick estimate of a monthly mortgage payment for which you may qualify or to see what a how much of a home you might be able to afford, use our mortgage calculator section. But remember, it's always good to talk to a lender before you start shopping for a home. We can refer you to lenders suited to your specific financial needs.
The Importance of Home Inspections
The standard home inspector's report will review the conditions of the home's heating and cooling system, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector will also look for cracks in cement walls, water stains that indicate leakage and any indication of wood rot.
A home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape.
As your agent, we are familiar with home inspection services and can provide you with a list of names from which to choose. Another good source for finding a home inspector is to ask a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has had a home inspection and can recommend a home inspector they were satisfied with.
Remember, no home is perfect. If problems are found, I will help you negotiate through the process.
What are Closing Costs, Points & Title Insurance?
What are Closing Costs? Closing costs are charges paid to various entities during the real estate transaction. They can include escrow fees, document preparation fees, cost of an inspection and lender fees.
What is a Point? A point is equal to one percent of the loan principal. Some lenders charge points, in addition to interest and fees, at closing.
What are Settlement Costs?
- Earnest money deposit
- One-half of escrow or escrow company for preparing the closing
- Document preparation fees
- Recording and notary fees
- Title search and title insurance
- Local transfer taxes
- Repairs or inspections the buyer has agreed to pay for
- Loan fees
- Appraisal fees
- Credit report fees