After getting pre-approved, hiring a Realtor, searching for houses in my price range, and several multiple offer situations our offer was accepted! It’s important to remember that in a market as competitive as ours, the more desirable properties will almost always have multiple offers present. Buyers shouldn’t get too discouraged if they are beat out once or twice, as there are always new homes coming on the market. When you do find a home that you absolutely love, though, it’s important to bring a strong offer to the table. Factors like offering over asking price, proposing a quick close, and even a personal letter from the buyer to the seller can impact their decision. I feel strongly that my offer got accepted partly because we combined all three of these factors in our offer.
After I was informed that my offer had been accepted, it was time to begin moving forward with some of the tasks required to obtain a mortgage. First off, I’d need to find an inspector.
Hire an Inspector: The buyer hires a building inspector to evaluate the condition of the house they are going to buy. To the untrained eye, a house can look to be in perfect condition. Inspectors are trained to spot any potential repairs needed, any damage to the house that would effect price, or anything that might need a second look. I chose an inspector who not only came highly recommended by our broker, but who was available to come out the very next day! The sooner they can come inspect your property, the better is my advice, as the mortgage company will not begin their loan process until your property has been inspected and repair negotiations are agreed upon by both parties (the buyer, and the seller). My inspector was Todd Crosley from KDI Home Inspections, and he had his assessment to me the same afternoon that he toured the property. He showed me a few places around the property that could use some repairs. In my case, there was hale damage to the roof. My Realtor helped me with the paperwork to request a new roof from the seller.
Negotiate Repairs and Improvements: Your Realtor will help you request any repairs needed on your potential new home. We requested a new roof, and a couple other minor repairs. As expected, the sellers wanted to have their insurance company out to evaluate the roof, and (luckily) everyone agreed that a new roof was needed. We are now waiting for the repairs to be made.
There was plenty to do while we waited for the repairs to be made. Option money and earnest money checks needed to be dropped off at our title company. The option money ($100) is money that you lose, should you choose to cancel the transaction before the option period ends. The option period usually lasts about two weeks. The earnest money is 1% of the sales price, and this is the money that is forfeited if you choose to cancel the transaction after the option period has expired. Both of these amounts go toward your down-payment, should you proceed with the transaction as scheduled. After the checks were delivered, the paperwork began!
Documentation: I had no idea how much paperwork went into purchasing a house. Your mortgage company will have you sign a contract, in addition to disclosure documents, releases, and acknowledgements. They will require that you provide them bank statements, rental history, debt history, tax returns, pay stubs and basically anything else income related. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had all this information safely stashed in one place, but I could imagine this part of the process would be a bit time consuming if I hadn’t. If you plan on buying a home in the next couple years, do yourself a favor and store EVERYTHING tax/income related in one place. You will be glad you did, come time to buy a property.
After filling out all of the required paperwork, gathering all of the needed documents, and sending them to the mortgage company, the waiting game begins. Waiting for repairs to be made on the roof, and waiting for the mortgage paperwork to be approved has proven one of the most difficult parts of this process. In the next couple of weeks, the paperwork should go through, and I’ll get the keys to my new home! Keep an eye out for Part 3, coming soon!