Planning for Homeownership Part 3: Shopping For, Buying, and Closing on your Home

Oct 21, 2020 | Mortgage


In parts 1 and 2 of the  Planning for Homeownership Series, We walked you through everything you need to prepare before finding the right house for you. Now it’s time to find your dream home!

The home search is the fun part, but it can also be overwhelming. Real estate agents can help provide the services you need to make sure you find the right home. You don’t have to have a real estate agent  when you start the process, but they are helpful in coordinating all the activities and services necessary when you’re involved in a real estate transaction.

They can start by helping you find homes in your price range that meet your needs, and making arrangements for home tours.

Starting your home search

Make sure to keep these things in mind when shopping for your new home

• Your commute

• Distance to amenities like shopping, parks, etc…

• Medical Care available nearby

• School District

• Traffic flow on the street

• Taxes and public services in that neighborhood

• What are your plans for the future (think ahead 5-7 years)

• Once you have taken those first steps, now it’s time to get down to business. Things will start to move forward quickly, and a lot of pieces come together to make the transaction happen.

Real Estate Agents coordinate these activities for you:

• Working with the seller’s agent to get your offer accepted

• Coordinating the sale of your home

• Assisting in selecting the rest of your real estate team

• Wait, nobody told you that you’d need a whole team of people right? Let’s take a look at who would be on it- You start with your Buyers Agent.- the agent that helps you put it all together. They make recommendations for the following service providers:

Settlement Agent- This is a separate agent from the buyer’s and seller’s agents. They facilitate the payment and transfer of property between buyers and sellers.

Home Inspector- The house you love may look beautiful, but a home inspector is recommended to make sure you know about any structural damage or physical issues with the home that could add up to potential costs down the road.

Homeowner’s Insurance Agent- You want to protect your investment in the event of fire, flooding, other natural disasters, accidents, theft, and other home damage. You can inquire around for the best rates, and check with your auto insurer, a lot of times they will give you discounts if you have multiple policies open with them.

When you find your dream home, and are ready to make an offer, make sure you have gone over all of the terms and considered specifications of your offer with your licensed real estate agent. They can help you tackle any issues that arise upon inspection, and make sure you are aware of all the terms and ability to withdraw your offer before you sign.

Ready to apply for your loan!

At EPM, we are here every step of the way to help make the loan process simple.

Step 1-  Submit your loan application- Our loan officers will walk you through how to do this online by phone, or in person

Step 2- Your Loan officer will provide you a checklist of any documentation you need. A lot of this may have already been provided if you were pre-approved.

Step 3- Within 3-5 business days, you should get a loan estimate mailed or emailed to you

Step 4- You will indicate your intent to proceed at this point and your loan will begin to be processed

Step 5- The lender will collect an application fee and have the appraisal ordered at this point

Now your Loan Processor will become your main point of contact. They will get your file prepared for underwriting and you will make sure to communicate and changes or adjustments to the agreements,

Make sure to finalize your insurance 15 days before closing and review any paperwork or revisions carefully.

Closing time!

You will provide some additional documentation and receive a Closing disclosure that gives all the terms of your loan 3-5 days before you close on the home.

You will then do a final walkthrough of the home to ensure that the homeowner has met any terms negotiated in the contract.

A settlement agent will walk you through the exchange of title now that you are the new owner.

Now it’s time to settle up! You will have several documents to sign upon closing. Here is a Quick rundown:

The Note- This is your written promise to pay back the loan to EPM

The Mortgage- This secures the loan and gives EPM claim against your home and land should you default on the loan

The Deed- Passes legal title from previous homeowner to you if applicable

Closing Disclosure- Provides the terms and costs of the loan.

Pop the Bubbly! You’re a New Homeowner!!

Now that you’ve gone through this series, are you feeling more confident about your choice to purchase a home? Do you have more questions? We’re here to help!

Whether you’re ready to buy, or just considering it, we hope this 3 part series on Preparing for Homeownership has given you more confidence in your decision. It’s never too early to contact us at EPM. The sooner you do, the more prepared you will be on your journey to homeownership!