Think You’re Ready To Make A Successful First-Home Purchase in Oakland County MI?
It’s very exciting — and perhaps a bit overwhelming — given the expense, time and the number of steps it takes to make a successful first-home purchase in Oakland County MI today. You’ll certainly face many decisions along the way, and there’s plenty to do before you achieve your goal of your beautiful first home in Oakland County MI. Relax! It may take a few weeks to get it all together, but buying your first home in Oakland County doesn’t have to be a difficult process if you take it step by step — and have me along as your guide.
Here’s an easy-to-follow summary of the process you’ll go through in buying your first home in Oakland County Mi. Keep it handy as you proceed, and be sure to ask me any questions you have along the way.
- Select An Experienced Oakland County Mi Real Estate Professional As Your Buyer’s Agent
A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional that is contracted to look out for the interests of the buyer rather than the seller. Signing me as your buyer’s representative means I can not only help you find your first home, but I can help negotiate price and contract terms on your behalf and provide information about a home, the sellers, and even previous offers and counteroffers, among other services. In most situations, buyer’s agents are paid from the sales commissions offered by sellers.
- Check Your Credit
Be sure to check your credit before applying for a mortgage. You’ll want to ensure all the information in your report is accurate — and correct any information that isn’t — to get the credit score you’ll need to qualify for a mortgage at the best interest rates available today. -By law, credit reporting agencies must provide you with a free copy of your report once every year — if you ask for it. To request reports from the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion:
- By phone, call toll free (877) 322-8228.
- Online, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- By mail, write to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
TIP: Credit reports do not include your credit score. Although you can obtain a free copy of each credit report annually, finding out about your credit score will cost you a few dollars.
- Investigate Mortgage Programs
There are lots of mortgage options available, all with different down-payment requirements, interest rates, terms and conditions. I will be happy to help you sort through your choices to find the best fit based on your financial situation and goals.
- Interview Reputable Lenders
Once you’ve decided on the loan options you’re considering, contact several lenders in Oakland County Mi to find out what they can do for you. You’ll want to know about their interest rates, loan costs, terms, etc. I will be happy to provide you with a list of lenders who have helped our clients in the past.
- Get Pre-Approved For A Loan, Not Just A Pre-Approval Letter
Pre-approval means the lender has reviewed your income/debt ratio, assets and credit profile and determined the amount of money they would be willing to lend you providing various conditions are satisfied by the particular home you decide to purchase — such as a supporting appraisal, clear title, etc.Here’s how loan pre-approval can help you:
- Knowing exactly how much money you can qualify to borrow will ensure you don’t waste your time looking at homes you can’t afford.
- Based on your loan pre-approval, you’ll know in advance what contract terms you’ll want to negotiate with sellers — for example, seller-paid points, closing costs, inspections, etc.
- If you find a particularly good deal on a home, you’ll be able to jump on it, without worrying about whether you’ll get the financing you need.
- Your pre-approved loan gives sellers confidence that their contract with you is more likely to go to settlement/closing –and get there more quickly — than would contracts from competing buyers who have yet to secure financing approval.
- Develop A “Needs And Wants” List
Include the type of home — single-family, townhome, condo, etc. — number of rooms, size, location in Oakland County Mi and any other amenities that are important to you in your first home. Be sure to distinguish between minimum requirements (“needs”) and items you could do without (“wants”), if need be. Remember, you may not be able to afford your dream home as your first home, but making a smart choice will allow you to live in it comfortably and sell it when you’re ready.
- Search Available Properties
I can pull all the homes on the multiple listing service (MLS) in Oakland County MI that match your needs and budget. Of course, you can view many properties online to sort out those that look like what you hope to find.
- Tour Homes
This is where the real home shopping takes place — in person with your agent. Your personal visits to homes in Oakland County MI gives you a clear sense of their location, condition, amenities and overall “feeling,” none of which comes across accurately online. Be sure to drive and walk the neighborhood surrounding your top choices.
- Pare Down Your Choices Using Your “Needs And Wants” List
It’s useful to go back to your original wish list to help you focus on selecting that one property in Oakland County MI that’s just the right combination of amenities to be your first home.
- Write A Purchase Offer For The Home Of Your Choice
I will help you design a purchase offer to get you the best deal on the home you want in Oakland County Mi- and consider contingencies to protect your interests. I will submit your offer with your deposit (earnest money) to the seller or seller’s agent.-An earnest money deposit shows the seller that a buyer is serious about purchasing a property. When the transaction is finalized, the funds are put toward the buyer’s down payment. If the deal falls through, the buyer may not be able to reclaim the deposit.
- Negotiate The Contract
Faced with an offer, sellers have several options — rejecting it or letting it lapse, accepting it as is, or making a counteroffer. Most contracts go through several rounds of back-and-forth negotiations (counteroffers) before both parties agree to the sales contract. I will put my many years of proven negotiating experience to work for you, so you’ll feel like a winner when you sign the bottom line of the contract to buy your first home in Oakland County MI.
- Submit Your Contract To Your Lender
Your lender will need some more information and documents than were required for loan pre-approval. Staying in touch with your loan officer and responding to requests quickly will help keep your financing on track and on time.
- Purchase A Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Your lender will require proof that you’ve purchased homeowners insurance (also “hazard insurance”) — shop various insurers to find the best deal.
- Schedule And Attend Home Inspections
Hiring a professional home inspector is a smart move in Oakland County MI, especially when buying your first home. The inspector will provide you with a full report on the condition of the home’s systems, appliances and structure — and even more information if you’re available when the inspection is conducted (old clothes are recommended). You may also want to order specialty inspections to check for problems such as pests, radon gas, mold, etc.
- Negotiate Defects Found During The Home Inspection
With a home-inspection contingency in your contract, you’ll be able to back away from the deal if the inspector finds problems the seller is unwilling to fix and you’re unwilling to buy. Ideally, though, you’ll negotiate with the seller to resolve problems so your home purchase can go forward.
- Prepare For The Move To Oakland County MI
At this stage, you’ll be wrapping up things at your old home and getting ready to move into your new one — disconnecting utilities and services, setting up accounts for your new home, getting rid of items you’d rather not move, hiring movers or lining up boxes and friends, etc.
- Conduct A Final Walk-Through Of The Home
Shortly before closing/settlement, you’ll conduct a walk-through inspection of the home to ensure that the property’s condition hasn’t changed and meets your contract’s requirements.
- Attend Closing/Settlement
With your agent’s help, you’ll check all final documents for accuracy, sign the necessary documents, pay the buyer-assigned closing costs and pick up the keys to your first home. Just one step left — move in and celebrate!