Buying or selling a home in Cornelius? Southern Homes of the Carolinas can help.

Buying a home can be stressful for a lot of people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't very complex. I like to give buyers an outline of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are several things you need to do before you look for a home. When you start your search, you'll want to assemble a checklist of features you need to have, get a feel for what school districts you want to live in, and start planning your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Cornelius
That's where I can help. We can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Cornelius area.

I'll also help you start the loan process. Southern Homes of the Carolinas works with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Cornelius, so you'll be in great hands. They can help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your search
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll research most of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

As we view the houses, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some items become more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings one more time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
My knowledge of the Cornelius home market is an essential factor in your house search. I am familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll alert you to what areas are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask lots of questions. Every REALTOR will convince you they comprehend the market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at (704) 896-2000 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I know we'll find your dream home in the Cornelius area. When that happens, I'll meticulously create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is usually applied to the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the first offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Once the contract is signed, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this shouldn't take much time at all. However, you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and peaceful occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply contact me at (704) 896-2000 or e-mail me at .

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