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Are you ready to buy a home? That’s incredibly exciting! We know that you’ve worked hard to save a down payment and are looking to get the most for your money. We also know that the home buying process can seem overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the terms. First, we recommend hiring an experienced realtor who can help you through the negotiating process and be there to handle any obstacles along the way. But even before the process of financing and contracts begins there’s the fun part – looking for and finding the perfect home. And your realtor will be able to help you with that as well!

So we now know that you’re going to hire a good agent – it’s the smart thing to do – but we’d still like to take a moment to demystify the home buying process for you. Because reviewing the steps involved in making a large financial investment is also the smart thing to do, and we want you to be as well informed as possible. 

Pre Qualify

It is important to get pre qualified for a mortgage so you know how much you’ll be able to afford. You will supply a lender with your financial information – credit report, income, debt and assets. After evaluating your information the lender can give you an idea of the mortgage amount you qualify for, and the price range of the homes you should be looking at. In the case of Alpine Mortgage they are able to expedite the process by pre-qualifying you over the phone, reviewing your information carefully in order to be as accurate as possible.

Select An Agent

Work with an agent to find your perfect home. In today’s market there are a multitude of apps and online resources to help homeowners search for their home. However, nothing online beats the experience and knowledge of a Realtor who has been working in the area for years. They have direct access to the MLS to check up on a property’s current status, and can make the process of viewing homes easy by making all the necessary calls. An agent with good communication and negotiation skills is a huge asset. Also, using an agent is free – their compensation comes from the commission paid by the seller of the house.

Pre-Processing

This is when your mortgage advisor requests all items from you and prepares files for mortgage-loan pre-approval.

The Home Search

Start touring homes in your price range. Your agent should be looking for homes with the criteria that are important to you – usually location, schools, price, bed/bath count, square feet, etc. You will see plenty of homes! To keep track, remember to take pictures and write down features you like, and don’t like, about each home.

Contract

When you’ve found the right home your Realtor will submit an offer on your behalf. (You will work with your Realtor to present a fair offer based on comparable sales in the area.) Sometimes the seller’s agent will submit a counter offer, at which point you have the option to adjust your offer. After your offer is accepted, a signed sales contract between you and the seller is provided to the escrow company and lender.

Pre-Approval

Meet with your mortgage advisor to review and sign your full loan application.

Processing

The processor at the lending company reviews your documents. Appraisal, title, insurance, tax certificates, and verifications are ordered. It’s at this point that you need to order homeowner’s insurance.

Inspection

This is usually a buyer’s cost. Within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller, an inspector will evaluate the property for structural, electrical, and plumbing issues. Inspections are an important part of the process and help the buyer make an informed decision. You are able to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant damage. In some cases, in order to speed up the process, a buyer might choose to waive an inspection. If you’ve chosen to have an inspection, remember you will also get the chance later to do a final walk through and check to see that the requested repairs have been made before closing the deal.

Underwriting

Processor (at lending company) turns in completed file to review. This usually takes 24 hours.

Closing Conditions

Underwriter provides a list of closing conditions to the lender and to the processor. Lender arranges for the collection of closing conditions from all parties.

Loan Approved

Yay! Your loan was approved! Almost there.

Closing Department

Closing documents and funds are finalized and sent to the escrow company. This takes up to 24 hours.

HUD

HUD literally stands for Housing and Urban Development, but it refers to the paperwork at the end of a closing (Real Estate and Settlement Paperwork Act) also known as HUD-1. The escrow company draws up a settlement statement (outlining “who gets what”) to be approved by lender agents.

Final Walk Through

You will do a final walk through of the property with your agent to approve the condition of the house prior to signing closing documents. This is a chance to make sure that all repairs or changes that were agreed upon have been made.

Escrow Company

The escrow company compiles all paperwork and draws up documents to be signed by all parties.

Closing

Escrow sends a notary with documents to the buyer. Parties sign closing documents and meet funding conditions. This process takes about one hour.

Funding

Escrow requests funding from the lender. Once escrow receives the funds, a title company records the deed in the new owner’s name.

Congrats! The house is in your possession! The keys are yours.

Looking to Buy or Sell Your Home in the Long Beach Area? Give us a Call!

HOMES FOR SALE:

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