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Choosing a Home Can Be a Complicated Procedure


Before you begin your search
The first step in purchasing a home is determining exactly what you can afford. Mortgage lenders are happy to pre-qualify you for a certain mortgage amount. It is wise to contact more than one lender to find the best deal for you. Also, the larger the down payment you can apply to your purchase, the better long-term deal you can arrange.
 
Determine what is important to you
Before you begin to look at houses online, consider the following factors in your search for a neighborhood that will fit your family’s needs:
  •   Proximity to work
  •   Amenities in the community
  •   Quality of the school system (even if you do not have children)
  •   Type of community: Urban vs. Suburban
  •   Style of home
  •   Size of property
 
When you begin to work with your agent, communicate with him or her about all those factors that are critical in your decision making. If the agent is not showing you properties that are suitable for your budget or your requirements, don’t be afraid to redirect him or her.
 
Making an offer
Once you have found your dream home, review what other homes have sold for in that neighborhood and work with your real estate agent to come up with an offer. Typically, there is a set timeframe detailed in the contract or offer letter in which the seller must provide you with a response. The seller can accept, deny, or counter-offer. If they counter-offer, you can negotiate the terms and make another offer.
 
The offer is often contingent on a home inspection. If undisclosed problems are brought to light as a result of the home inspection, the repair of those problems can be renegotiated. Once your offer is accepted, you will need to make an earnest money deposit.
 
Deposit earnest money.
First, both you and the seller sign a purchase agreement that will likely include an earnest money deposit. Earnest money is a security deposit that demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in and serious about the purchase. That money is placed in an escrow account.  The earnest money will be applied to the final purchase price.