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©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 Knowing the process for buying a home is the key to opening the door -- not only to your new home, but to a pleasant home buying experience. We at Bill Beazley Homes pride ourselves on how smoothly our buyers transition into home ownership. This free EBook will serve as a guide to your final destination: your beautiful new home. 10 Steps You Must Take When Buying a New Home 1. Make the decision to buy. The first step toward homeownership is making the decision to buy a new home. While this may sound obvious, it can be a difficult call to make. You essentially need to bridge the gap between dreams and actions. Think about what is motivating you to consider homeownership. ● Are you tired of wasting money paying rent? ● Do you want to make an investment in your future? ● Do you need more space? ● Are the interest rates so low you feel there will never be a better time to buy than now? ● When would you like to be in your new home? Even if you are a year away from moving, it’s never too soon to check on your qualifying status. If you need help with your credit or saving for a down payment, it is good to know in advance so you have time to fulfill the loan requirements. Even if you’ve bought a home before, you will find the process has changed somewhat in the past couple of years. 2. Get pre-qualified. ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 The second step is to get pre-qualified. It is imperative that your credit rating meet the standards required in today’s market. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Having a FICO score of 720-850 will secure you the best mortgage rates. Many things can affect your credit score. You may always pay your bills on time and think you’re in great shape but having too much or too little credit can affect your score. Consider how a FICO score is comprised: 35% Payment History (Paying your bills on time); 30% Amounts Owed (What percentage of available credit you’re actually using); 15% Length of Credit History; 10% Types of Credit In Use (Whether secured, unsecured or a combination of debt); 10% New Credit (How many accounts opened in a short period of time.) You want to show you are able to manage your finances in a moderate and responsible manner. 3. Hire a REALTOR®. The simplest way to find out about your options is to engage a REALTOR®. In the area of Georgia and South Carolina -- where Bill Beazley Homes neighborhoods are located -- it is customary for the listing side to pay your REALTOR® for all the work they do for you. This means you have someone taking care of your interests and it doesn’t cost you anything. Make sure the agent you choose is a REALTOR®. There are licensed Real Estate agents that are not REALTORS®. The difference is that REALTORS® adhere to a strict code of ethics and training. You want someone you can trust to be honest and ethical throughout your home buying process. All of the agents at Prudential Beazley Real Estate are REALTORS® and would be a great choice to guide you through your home buying experience. You want someone who will prepare you, not only for the expected, but also for the unexpected aspects of the home buying process. An experienced REALTOR® can do this for you. 4. Find the right Mortgage Lender. Your REALTOR® can help you find the Mortgage Lender that best meets your needs. It is preferable to work with a local lender that has a reputation of lower-than-typical closing costs and one who is capable of having the loan ready to close on time. There are many different loans available to qualified buyers. They include, but are not limited to: VA, FHA, Conventional, USDA and in-house bank loans. There are loans available that require no money down and loans that require a percentage of the loan amount as a down payment. The down payment can range from 0% to 20%. You may be eligible for down payment assistance available on certain loan programs. Your loan originator will help you decide which loan best fits your needs. ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 Closing costs and interest rates can vary from lender to lender and you want to make sure you get the best rate at the lowest cost. The Mortgage Lender will give you a list of information they will need in order to get you preapproved for a loan. You will need tax returns, pay stubs, verification of employment, verification of funds, etc. The typical time it takes from beginning to end to close a loan is ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 30-45 days. The faster you do your part to get the information to the lender the smoother the process will be. 5. Decide what you want in your new home. Now that you have your REALTOR® and a preapproval from the Mortgage Company, it’s time to decide what you want in your new home. By this time you should have an idea of the type of home you are looking for. Do you want a new home or a used home? How much do you want to invest in your search? And what is the general area you are interested in? Make a list of the things you must have, the things you really want but could do without, and the things you definitely do not want. Be realistic. It is pretty much impossible to get everything you want just the way you want it. Your REALTOR® can provide information on schools, distance to places important to you, and let you know the prices of what homes are selling for in the area. 6. View available homes. Your REALTOR® will make appointments to show you the homes you have selected to view. It is important to only view homes with your agent. If you see a “for sale by owner” or an open house you would like to attend, tell your agent so he or she can make arrangements to take you to view the property. This will ensure you will never have to pay a commission to your REALTOR®. When you are ready to make an offer on a home, it is good to drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day to see the activity and make sure it meets your expectations. 7. Make an offer. Your REALTOR® is your best asset at bargaining time. Your REALTOR® will help you determine what your offer should be, if you should ask the seller to pay closing cost, or if you should ask for any repairs to be completed. Your REALTOR® should have you consider the advantage of asking for a home warranty on the property if you are making an offer on a used home. If you purchase a new home from a reputable builder, repairs will not be an issue, as you will have a warranty from the builder. If you purchase a Bill Beazley Home, you will also have the advantage of a full-service, in-house Customer Relations Department to take care of any warranty needs you may have. 8. Negotiate the sale. The seller may accept your offer, decline your offer, or make a counter-offer. It is not uncommon for several counter-offers to go back and forth between the buyer and seller. When an agreement has been reached and all the contract and exhibits have been signed and delivered, you will have a binding agreement. At this time your REALTOR® should encourage you to have a home inspection. This process will help you to determine if there are problems with the home that could be an added expense in the future. Your REALTOR® can get estimates for repairs and help you decide if you should ask the seller to make repairs based on the home inspection. It is good to have an estimate of cost to present to the seller if you are asking for repairs. Once this process is complete and to your satisfaction you can breathe a sigh of relief. You are on your way to closing. ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 9. Get it appraised. An appraisal will be ordered on the property by the lender to determine that the sales price reflects the value of the property in the current market. If the house appraises for more than the purchase price, good for you -- you have instant equity! If the house appraises for less than you offered, you have the option of asking the seller to reduce the price to the appraised value or paying the difference between the contract price and the appraised value. If you cannot come to terms with the seller on the price, you may terminate the contract if it states in your contract that you have the right to terminate under the circumstances described above. After the conditions of the appraisal are satisfied and the lender has all the required documents, your file will be sent to an underwriter. This is the person who will determine if the loan will be approved with the information they have. If the underwriter requests additional information from you, don’t panic. It is not unusual. Just give them what they requested even if you don’t think it should be necessary. They will not give final approval until they have everything they have asked for. 10. Close the deal and begin enjoying your new life! You will need to have an insurance policy on the property delivered to the attorney’s office before the closing. If you don’t have an insurance company, your REALTOR® can suggest a few for you to choose from. The day before or the day of the closing, you and your REALTOR® should do a final walk-through of the property to make sure it is in the same condition as when you made your offer. When final approval is given, the Attorney that will be handling the closing will prepare the documents for you and the seller to sign. They will also prepare a document called a HUD. It will show all of the cost relevant to the purchase of your home such as the closing costs. It will show what is paid by the seller and what will be paid by you, the buyer. When all the papers are signed, you should be given the keys and the home is yours! Your REALTOR® should give you a list of the utility companies you will need to call to set up service in your name. You should do this before the closing if you are buying a used home, as typically the seller will have the utilities turned off the day of closing. If you purchase a new Bill Beazley home, you will have a few days after closing to make the transition to your name. ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888 If you purchase a new Bill Beazley Home you will also have the advantage of working with the BBH Customer Relations Department. You will be given the opportunity to submit a 30-day list and a 1-year list of things that might need attention. It gives peace of mind to know you have someone you can rely on to take care of all your concerns. Homeownership brings you to a level of success that not everyone has an opportunity to achieve. So be proud, enjoy your fabulous new home, and congratulations. After all, it is still the American Dream. For more information on Bill Beazley Homes or if you would like to speak with a REALTOR ® at Prudential Beazley Real Estate please contact us at….. ©Bill Beazley Homes, Inc. http://www.billbeazleyhomes.com, 706-863-4888
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