Buying a Home? Here are some helpful tips…

The Key to Buying your New Home

Buying a home can be daunting, especially for first time buyers. Meredith Hayes, Keller Williams Realtor ®, will guide even the most anxious buyer through the process, navigating potential real estate pitfalls, and making the experience a walk in the park for buyers in the Richmond and Charlottesville, VA area.

Meredith brings her background as a professional interior designer into your home search. For a ready to move in house, she can assist with planning your existing furniture and accessories into the new home. Meredith can evaluate how the home will fit your lifestyle, if the home would need any upgrades, or if you are looking for a home that you can tailor after the purchase, those options can be discussed during the home search. There are also renovation loan options and your mortgage expert can be brought into the team to discuss these during the search as well.

There are 8 essential steps in home buying, that Meredith will assist you through:

Thinking of buying? There are numerous reasons to buy real estate: to build equity, property appreciation or tax benefits, but buying a home is an investment. An investment, which can result in future financial security. Some important factors for buyers to consider are:

  • If you are renting, you may be able to afford to buy.
  • There is no wrong time to buy, your long term ability to pay for the home is more important.
  • Having a small down payment is often not a barrier.
  • Credit scores do not have to be perfect.

1. Choosing an agent 
Real estate agents take a lot of hassle out of your home buying journey. Keller Williams realtors are renowned for their excellence, and coordinate all the professionals involved in buying your home, such as insurance assessors, bankers, inspectors, mortgage brokers, underwriters and escrow officers, so that they can mediate and resolve any issues. With the help of her real estate market knowledge, Meredith can help you:

  • Analyze your individual real estate needs.
  • Locate homes in the Richmond/Charlottesville area to match your criteria.
  • Act as a negotiator and problem solver.

2. As a buyer, you should also think about asking these crucial questions:

  • Why should I hire you as my agent?
  • What drew you to the real estate profession?
  • What gives you an edge over other agents?
  • What strategy will you use to find my home?
  • What things tend to go wrong, and how do you deal with them?
  • What are the common mistakes people make when they decide on buying a first home?
  • Can you advise me on other professionals to work with during the process?
  • Do you have references from prior clients?

3. Financing
It is perfectly natural to feel bewildered or apprehensive about buying a home.It is a big investment, but if you take the following steps you will be on your way to your new home, and a sound investment:

  • Select a loan officer or mortgage specialist, Meredith networks with many of these professionals on a daily basis to keep up with new products.
  • Fill out a loan application, and get preapproved
  • Decide what you want to pay and the type of loan
  • Send it to the lender when you accept a purchase offer contract
  • Have an appraisal and title commitment.
  • Get funding when you close

4. Finding your new home 
Meredith, will analyze your short and long term real estate objectives, before scouring the real estate market for your new nest. Your list of things to consider are:

  • Where would you like to be close to?
  • Why did you decide to become a realtor?
  • How much space do you desire, and for what purpose?
  • Location and square footage
  • Would you consider a home in need of TLC?
  • How important is value appreciation?
  • Would you consider a condo? A newly built home?

5. Place your offer 
Meredith will play an essential role in steering you through writing an offer, and help you set out the contract, with your best interests at heart, so you can be confident you are getting a good deal. The three main parts of an offer are: price, terms and contingencies. Price will be in line with market value, which your Keller Williams realtor will thoroughly research. Contingencies are conditions. Finally, terms relate to other issues, such as timing and finances. Terms commonly include:

  • Schedule- list of events prior to closing
  • Conveyances- what items stay with the home sale
  • Commission-for the buyer and seller agents
  • Closing Costs- often paid by the buyer, but you must write into the contract if you want to ask that the seller pays closing costs
  • Home warranty- to insure repairs and appliances, the seller can pay for if you choose to ask
  • Earnest money deposit- a sum is paid to show the seller you are serious about buying

6. Cover your bases 
Don’t overlook important details before you commit:

  • Get home owner’s insurance to cover any home or appliance damage, and if someone should injure themselves in your home.
  • Have professional inspectors assess the property. Structural issues, chimneys, oil tanks, wells and septics should be addressed by a specialist to determine whether the real estate is still a viable purchase.

7. Closing 
This is the final chapter on your road to becoming a Richmond or Charlottesville, VA homeowner. Lenders will confirm the value of your home, legal statute and your credit. Surveys, appraisals, a title search and credit and financing checks will be done. Meredith will communicate the progress of each of these with you, but your heavy lifting is almost done. It is essential you keep these in mind pre-closing:

  • Regulate your finances Return calls and paperwork in a prompt manner
  • Talk with your real estate agent at least once a week
  • Days before closing, check with your agent that all documents are ready
  • Arrange certified funds for closing
  • Have a final walk-through

When you close, a settlement agent and Meredith, your real estate agent, will assist you in signing papers that will do the following:

  • Finalize the mortgage
  • Pay the sellers
  • Pay any closing costs
  • Transfer title of homeownership
  • Make a legal record of the transaction, as public record

8. Preserve your Investment 
You ran the final leg of your journey together, and now you are living in your new home but Meredith, your Keller Williams Realtor, can guide you through:

  • Preparing your first tax return as a homeowner
  • Searching for contractors for remodeling or maintenance
  • Finding your friends homes
  • Staying abreast of your current home value

Finally, you can maintain your home by keeping your home clean, and doing routine upkeep. It is also pertinent to look out for any leaks or damage, which should be addressed swiftly, to avoid costly repairs.

Congratulations on homeownership! One of the most important steps in a person’s life