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If you’re thinking of buying a new home, it’s important to make sure you hire an agent who knows the ins and outs of your desired neighborhood and can make the process as easy to understand as possible.

First and foremost, before you start your initial search, it is imperative to ask yourself, “what payment would I (we) feel comfortable with?” To do this, feel free to use the mortgage calculator below and play with some different scenarios until you get a payment you’re good with. This will not include taxes and insurance if those are included in your payment. Get prequalified down below for a more accurate assessment of your payment.

To make this already overwhelming process as easy as I can for you, I’ve included some tools that will help you with the beginning of your home buying journey with a break down of what the process looks like. Also, check out some of the blogs I’ve written especially for you that will help you feel a bit more prepared.

What’s this process look like?

1. Get Prequalified.

It's important to find out how much you can afford before proceeding with purchasing a home. When you get qualified, or apply for a loan, knowing how much you can afford will strengthen your position as a buyer. This will also help you have a basis to compare different loans and make the best choice.    

In order to get a good deal, regardless if it's a "good" or "bad" market, you will need to document your buying ability. Without this evidence in hand, you could miss out on the deal of a lifetime or your dream house to a competing buyer. Knowing how important it is to get pre-qualified, I ask all my buyers to complete this crucial task. It's a simple process that costs you nothing, and I will be happy to assist you with no obligation on your part.

Make yourself a stronger buyer and have the advantage. With this information the seller will know you are able to get the loan and close the deal, making them consider your offer above others.

2. Make the offer.

When buying a home, there is always the worry that you are either paying too much or the house has "hidden" defects. It's easy to avoid problems like this with a savvy real estate agent. There are many details to consider and among them, the two most important questions:

How long do you plan to live here?

Does the home meet your needs?

Negotiations on price set aside, you must carefully consider the type of financing and costs you can possibly avoid or request the sellers to pay. With so many variables and circumstances, it's critical to make sure you like the house and ask your agent to help advise on all other issues.

3. Opening & Closing Escrow.

A neutral third party holds documents and money for a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met. This also refers to a special account that a lender uses to hold a borrower's monthly payments on property taxes and insurance. A lot has to happen in the weeks before you close, and its escrow's job to stay on top of the details so you can close on time.

When you first open escrow, you’ll send over your earnest money deposit and have the ability to begin your investigation period. During this time, it’s your responsibility to review the home inspection and termite report to determine whether or not you’d like to submit a request for repairs or pull out of escrow.

After that, your lender will schedule the appraisal and begin work on your loan. After the loan funds, you’ll be able to close and get the keys to your new home!