Contemplating buying your home in Austin?

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't very complicated, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are plenty of things you'll want to take into account before commencing your home search. It's likely that you'll want to create a check list of features you need, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around a third of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
This is where John Horton Realty comes in. I'd love to set up a time to get together with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Austin area.

In addition, I'll assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Austin, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
Following our first meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that are great for you. I'll research most of the homes and eliminate the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll show you the good features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers update their must-have list as we tour houses and some features become far more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the Austin market is an imperative element in your house search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can let you know what neighborhoods are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent will claim to understand the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at 512-834-1600 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find your dream home in Austin, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When presenting your purchase offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market conditions. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Upon completion of the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it shouldn't take much time at all, but you need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and calm affair.

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

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