Are you purchasing your home in Austin? John Horton Realty can help.

Buying a home is a stressful event for a lot of people, but with some planning ahead of time, it's not all that difficult. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they know exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are many things you'll want to take into account before starting your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to put together a check list of features you want to have, get a feel for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around a third of your net monthly income is a good guideline to go by.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Austin
That's where I can help. We can set up a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Austin area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you facilitate the loan process. John Horton Realty partners with some of Austin's best mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that are good for you. I'll research many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll identify positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become far more crucial than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
Your agent's understanding of the Austin home market is a fundamental element in your house search. And I can assure you I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate which areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the list price has room for bargaining and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR will tell you they know the market, but take note, and be sure to ask your agent plenty of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at 512-834-1600 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm confident we'll find the home of your dreams in the Austin area. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we submit your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Once the contract is complete, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't be a long process at all if you're pre-qualified, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and stress-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to call me at 512-834-1600 or e-mail me at .

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