9 Steps To Owning A Home

Buying a home is a stressful event for a lot of people, but it's not that complicated with a little up-front planning. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the whole transaction so they understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you begin looking for a home, there are plenty of things you should consider. You'll want to put together a check list of must-have features, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd like to schedule a time to meet with you and speak with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

I can also help you facilitate the loan process. I work with some of the best mortgage professionals on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After we meet for the first time, I'll start searching for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll point out positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to amend their wish list as we view homes and some features become far more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
An agent's awareness of the Palos Verdes Peninsula housing market is an imperative component in your home search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will alert you to which districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and the others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll let you know if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as every real estate agent on the Palos Verdes Peninsula will tell you they comprehend the home market. If it seems like they don't know everything, call me at (310) 377-2143 or e-mail me at phkaperl@aol.com, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find your special home on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. When that happens, we will create your purchase offer together. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs, including  some contingencies.  A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title. 

When we submit your purchase offer, most likely you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals aren't closed on the first offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a large role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon finishing the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. You should be pre-qualified before making an offer to purchase a property. You will need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will take place at an  escrow office and will most often be a smooth and pleasant affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at (310) 377-2143 or send me an e-mail