We have been helping families for the past 20 years with buying homes. We would love to share with you our expertise on what each step of the process will look like so you have no surprises. I know we all love surprises, but when it comes to buying a home we prefer this to be a smooth process so the fewer the surprises the better.
Of course, the first step would be to find the right Realtor® to help you. Since we are already friends, you have found the right team to guide you and answer your questions along the way. Good news is we can provide you with tons of helpful and valuable information on homes and neighborhoods in Miami Dade and Broward counties. On average every year we help 100 families buy and sell homes and we would love to help you.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MONTHLY ON YOUR MORTGAGE, HOME INSURANCE, AND PROPERTY TAXES COMBINED?
If you are currently renting this always seems to be a good starting point for many people because you get comfortable with budgeting your monthly expenses. Lenders will generally recommend (but everyone’s situation is different) you look at homes somewhere between three to five times your annual household income if you are going to put 20% down payment. There are many factors to consider before you decide on how much you can afford…do you have financial debt now (car loans, credit card bills, student loans)? Have you been able to save money for a down payment…how much?
MUST GET YOU PRE-QUALIFIED AND APPROVED FOR YOUR NEW MORTGAGE
We have several lenders we have worked with over the years and will gladly share their information with you. To get prequalified a lender will ask you some basic questions to get an idea of your financial situation..your yearly salary and bonuses if you receive, investments if you have any, other financial obligations. Based on this information they can give you a good idea of what you will qualify for when applying for a loan. When you get preapproved they will require hard documents from you such as your W-2 statements for the past 2-3 years, bank account statements, paycheck stubs. Remember the higher your credit score and the lower your financial debt, the stronger your buying power will be.
FUN TIME STARTS NOW
Don’t need to explain this part. This is the fun part. Looking for your new home. Along the way we will ask you lots of questions so we can zero in on the right neighborhood, style of home and features that are important for you…the must have’s (like you must have at least 3 bedrooms) and what you would like if you can afford it (a pool or room for a pool as an example).
FOUND YOUR HOME…NOW WHAT?
Now we get to work and negotiate with the seller on what we all consider to be a market (fair) based offer based on the value of other comparable homes in the same or nearby neighborhood. Once both sides are in agreement then some of the real work begins behind the scenes.
HOME INSPECTION AND WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
I don’t think we have ever had a client buy a home with our help that we haven’t done a home inspection. We always always always recommend our clients hire a company to inspect the home. We never want to alarm our buyers, but until you have a complete inspection which includes inspecting the structural foundation, the roof, the electric and plumbing, appliances and A/C’s, and termites you don’t always see what problems there might be hidden to the naked eye. Remember we want to avoid all surprises when you are the new owner. Usually you have 10 days to complete the inspection and it gives you a chance to renegotiate with the seller if defects or problems are found during this period.
WHAT IS YOUR LENDER DOING NOW THAT YOUR OFFER HAS BEEN APPROVED?
A great lender is going to look at your financial situation and priorities when helping you find the perfect mortgage. They have a variety of loan programs that they review looking for the best deal they can while taking all your needs into consideration. Many people want to find the lowest rate and monthly payments, where others might want to make sure their loan stays consistent over the life of the loan. The lenders we recommend are people we have worked with over the years and we know they will give you exceptional customer service and all the time and attention you need.
HOME APPRAISAL WILL BE ORDERED BY THE BANK/LENDER
An important step when applying for a loan and being approved is making sure the house appraises for the amount you are applying for. The lender once they have the executed contract will hire (your cost) an independent appraisal company to give an estimate of value of the house you want to buy. This is a third party company and there is no direct relationship with the lender and appraisal company.
Appraisers when they appraise a home for the lender they look at all sales within a half mile radius and sales within a six month period. Of course they are looking a homes with similar sq footage, year of home, and features. A little side note: an appraisal is not science, it is an opinion of value. You can have two appraisers appraise the same home and come up with a different price
GETTING CLOSE TO TIME YOU NEED TO SIGN ALL THE DOCUMENTS
Once the appraisal is done, a survey will be order (again your cost) usually by the title company or attorney who is going to handle your side of the closing for you. We will help you in the early stages of working together to find the right attorney or title company to guide you along the way. They will handle all the necessary documents to make sure you are ready to close on time as stated in the contract. The more communication you have with the title company the better. Remember we are trying to avoid any surprises so that you can close on time.
DAY OF CLOSING
This is another happy day (but can be scary your first time). You sign your loan documents (and there are a ton of papers to sign). But at the end of the signing the keys to your new home are handed over to you and you can move right in.