Here are the key steps to owning your new home!
Purchasing a home in California can be a stressful process, bringing a mixture of emotions - excitement, nervousness, and uncertainty. I know because I have helped people like you to purchase a home (and recently bought one myself). The key is to understand the basic steps in the home buying process. With my help and Pacific Union’s extensive resources, before you know it you will be holding the keys to your new home!
First you need to determine if purchasing a home is a prudent financial decision for you and your family. Once you are comfortable with your decision, the following steps will guide you to realizing the dream of home ownership:
Before you begin your new home search, especially in an active market, you will want to get pre-approved by a lender. In the pre-approval process you will work with a Loan Originator (I have a few recommendations) to review your income, assets and credit worthiness. They will pre-underwrite the proposed loan and determine exactly how much home you can afford. You will receive a “preapproval letter” to submit with all purchase offers.
Select a Real Estate Agent
Real estate consultants, like me, help you find a home, negotiate a successful offer and generally represent your interests throughout the real estate purchase process. An agent with good knowledge of the area you wish to purchase in is ideal. I primarily focus on the Tri-Valley area, but I have an extensive network of agents to refer you to in other areas, both inside and outside California. I will work closely with you and your lender forming your home buying team.
Your agent will make offers to purchase the properties that meet your requirements. The preapproval letter will convey to the seller of these properties that you are a qualified buyer who is able to perform on the proposed contract.
When you have one of your offers accepted, you will receive a signed purchase agreement from the seller. The signed contract (purchase agreement) and all counter offers along with any offers and counteroffers are sent to your lender. Upon receipt your loan will then move into the loan processing and final approval stage.
Loan Processing and Final Approval
Once you have made an offer on a home and the seller accepts it, your loan will go into the "processing and final underwriting" stages. Here, with the help of your real estate agent, you will supply the purchase contract and title company information for the transaction. An appraisal is ordered by your lender, who will also collect all of the remaining documents needed. Appraisals typically are received within 7 days of ordering, and upon receipt, the the underwriting moves toward completion with the goas of issuing a final approval. During this time, your loan originator will work closely with you and your agent to satisfy any final loan conditions.
The contingency period allows you time in contract to collect more information without forfeiting your deposit. The time frame usually ranges from between 5 to 18 calendar days and is typical in most purchase contracts. During this period, your real estate agent will help you:
- Review and approve the Seller's Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement
- Review and approve the Preliminary Title Report
- Contract for physical inspections
Order, review, and approve requested or required inspections
Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Most properties for which a loan is obtained are required to be insured under a Homeowners Insurance coverage. Your lender will be contacting you to discuss the process and coverages. You will need to secure your own insurance through an insurer of your choice and the lender will require evidence of your homeowners’ insurance, once obtained.
Document Preparation and Closing
Once your loan is fully approved, your lender will prepare your loan documents and submit them to the title/escrow company for you to sign. Typically, the escrow officer at the escrow company will provide a Buyer's Estimated Closing Statement which will itemize your costs and credits and closely estimate total monies due. You will be asked to bring a cashier's check to the title/escrow company when you go to sign, a few days prior to closing (or in many cases the funds can be sent by wire transfer). At your request, your lender can review the final documents and answer any questions you might have.
The escrow agent will call you when the documents are ready to sign and appointments are available. The signing process requires both the buyer and seller to sign separate packages, and many lenders offer mobile signing. (They come to you). The escrow agent should guide you smoothly through this process. You will receive copies of all the documents you sign from the escrow company. At this point, ou are almost done.
The escrow company will send your signed loan documents, along with any other outstanding loan condition documentation, back to your lender for a final review. Once all documentation is determined to be complete, your lender will overnight a funding check to the escrow company.
Close of Escrow
Once the escrow company verifies receipt of the funds, they will arrange for all documents to transfer title. You now have your first, second or “forever” home.
Let me be the first to "Welcome you Home"