Buying or selling a home? Issac W. Harper Real Estate Broker/RealtorĀ© can help.

Buying a home can be stressful for many people. However, with a little planning ahead of time, it isn't too difficult. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
Before you begin looking for a home, there are several things you need to contemplate. When you begin your search, you'll want to put together a checklist of must-have features, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where I come in. I'd be more than happy to schedule a time to meet with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Austin area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you start the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Austin, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the homes and remove the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll call attention to good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and dislike. Generally, buyers amend their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings once more and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the Austin housing market is a leading factor in your home search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate some areas are "hot" and require immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll let you know when the asking price has room for negotiation and also when I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask a lot of questions. Any real estate agent will claim to know the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 5122032245 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find your dream home in Austin, and when that happens, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your purchase offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's typically applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll create a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Once we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this shouldn't take very long at all. But you should to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your house. This should occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and stress-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just contact me at 5122032245 or e-mail me at .


Issac W. Harper Real Estate Broker/RealtorĀ©

P.O. Box 143683
Austin, TX 78714-3683