To help you become more informed on the buying process, click to view the video below to better understand the buying process, who the people are that are involved, what their roles and timing are in the process and how working with On Demand Realty as your REALTOR can help you navigate to your goal!
Before you begin to look for you new home, you should determine what you can afford both in terms of a mortgage and down payment that satisfies your NEEDS and LOCATION. You can use our online calculators to estimate your mortgage payments, apply some standard ratio's of income to expense, but the BEST solution is to visit with a lender or mortgage broker and get Pre-Approved. See our Buyer FAQ's for the difference between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification. Your lender can also inform you about First Time Buyer Programs, the difference between FHA and Conventional mortgages as well as compliant strategies for down payments. Being Pre-Approved give you the confidence of knowing that you are looking at homes that will meet your NEEDS in a LOCATION that you can AFFORD. A lender will request certain information from you to complete your loan application. Click here to see the Paperwork You Will Need to Apply for a Mortgage
Make a list of what you NEED in a home and what you would LIKE or WANT. Remember that NEEDS must be met for you to move forward and most likely are not negotiable, while WANTS can be prioritized. If you find a home that meets all your NEEDS and has all or some of the WANTS, it is a Winner, but even it is has only a few of the WANTS, it still may be a serious consideration. Click here for a Home Buyer Information Sheet which you can share with us to help get your ideas started.
We all have heard the phrase, Location, Location, Location when discussing real estate. This is the time to put that to work. Consider which locations are the best for you and your lifestyle. Take into account if you are working things like the commute and transportation. If the outdoors interests you, then look for parks, open spaces, trails, boating, etc. Or if your lifestyle is closer to home, look for community services, shopping conveniences, and maybe walkabilty scores. By combining Step 1 and Step 2 you can now begin to target areas that will fit your lifestyle. Click here for a Zip Code Map of the East Bay which you can use to get a relative position and to use in your search (see Step 4) Click here for Homes for Sale Near BART or click here if you want to find Homes for Sale in School Districts.
Now the fun begins and you can begin to look for your new home. Start your search on a website like this one. To get started, select some cities or zip codes as the area, then the price range and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Click the search, view the listings and if they are what you want, Save the Search and name it with the City, Zip etc. then when ever any new listings come online or the prices changes, you will get an email update, automatically.
Note: Below is some information to make your searching easier and fully informed on working with an agent.
After viewing some homes, and getting comfortable with the market, the homes, the neighborhoods etc you will begin to decide it is time to make an offer. Discuss with your agent the amount you would like to offer, any terms or questions and work with them to complete the offer to be presented to the seller. Think of all the reasons why you are the best buyer: you are financially qualified, you like the area and the home, you can see yourself and your family in the home, etc. and share this with the agent as well. The agent can then use what you tell him to help create a representation of YOU to the Seller so they can begin to feel comfortable with you as the new owners of their home! If the offer is accepted, CONGRATULATIONS! If the offer is countered, decide if you want to continue and accept or make a counter, or move on to look at another home, as you are now experienced!
Once your offer has been accepted, you now have a "contract" to buy the home, based on the terms of the Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) that was signed by both the Buyer and the Seller.
Before the Closing Process can begin, the lender must provide the Closing Disclosures at a minimum of 3 days before the closing papers can be signed, Step 3 below. As the Buyer, you will need to make sure your lender, agent and escrow officer make sure these performance dates are met so you can close on time.
Once all the contingencies are removed, then the Closing Process begins. Note: if any of the above are not met, the contract can be cancelled or the parties can complete Amendments to modify the RPA contract terms and conditions such as sales price, credits for work to be performed, extension of dates, etc.
Closing Disclosure Explainer - click this link to view online what the Closing Disclosure form looks like and what you need to check to make sure you understand the form and the contents. Quesitons? Ask your closing agent or lender.
The closing process has 3 steps:
After the completion of all 3 Steps, the transfer of property ownership is complete and the Buyers are given the possession (keys) to the home.
Click above for some answers to frequently asked questions, such as:
On Demand Realty is prepared to guide you along that journey by answering your questions and helping to make the process understandable.
Questions? Call On Demand Realty and we can help set up the searches for you. Once you have seen a few homes online, you will then want to see them in person. Call us and we can make arrangements to go see some of the homes. Set up time to see 4-6 homes so you can compare and not get overwhelmed. Bring your NEEDS list along with a notepad so you can take notes and remember what you've seen, questions you may have, etc. Also, let your agent know what you felt about each home. This communication will help you express your feelings and give you a sense of how the homes made you feel about them, the area, and how they met your NEEDS.
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