G. STARKS REALTY CO.
HOME BUYER’S GUIDE
Buying a New Home!
Buying a new home can be an exciting process, but it can also become overwhelming. There are several steps in purchasing a home, and with our experience and knowledge, you won’t be left in the dark. In this guide you will learn the necessary steps you should take when searching, purchasing and closing on your new home. Please use this guide for a quick reference when necessary, but also feel free to contact us at any time with any questions or concerns you may have. We are here for you.
Now it’s time to find your new home!
STEPS IN THE HOME BUYING PROCESS:
1. Meet with one of our agents so that we can start working for you
2. Choose a Mortgage Lender and get pre-approved
3. Start searching for homes
4. Select a home and write an offer
5. Get an appraisal completed
6. Set up a home and Termite inspection
7. Finalize your loan & choose a Home Insurance policy
8. Before Closing….
9. Close on your new home….
10. Moving into your new home….
These steps can get overwhelming, but that’s what we are here for…to help you meet every requirement and help ensure things go smoothly. So let me help you find a peace of mind when purchasing your new home.
Contact our agents
We like to meet with potential buyers to not only learn of their wants and needs, but to also start building a lasting relationship. Buying a home is a big step, and you want someone you can trust to help ease you through the process. By meeting with us you will get to see the benefits of hiring an agent to help you in the process, and if you have a house to sell we can help sell your house and provide you with a CMA (Competitive Market Analysis).
Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage
It is critical to get pre-approved or approved for your loan prior to finding a new home. It can boost your negotiating power with the seller. It gives the seller assurance that you have the ability to close on the property without delays. It is like shopping for a house with money in hand. The mortgage lender will help determine your price range and the most appropriate financing based on your income and debts. The mortgage lender will help you determine a price range based on your comfort level.
Search for the Perfect Home
After you have met with one of our agents and been pre-approved for your loan, we can start searching for your new home. We will start doing a weekly search of homes based upon your price range, area, style and other criteria. Then we will send you listing updates by email, fax or in person that meet your criteria. When you receive the listings please review them and contact us with any interest you might have. We will then set up a day and time to show you the homes. If you do not find any of the listing to your liking, it is also necessary to call and let us know new search criteria’s to look for. If you see a listing "For Sale By Owner" (FSBO) make sure to call us first. Almost all FSBO’s will work with an agent and by involving us you have the advice and guidance of someone with real estate experience. We will also do a market analysis of the property to make sure that the asking price is in line with the true market value. You may also find a home that is listed with another agent. If you do, call us, so that we can schedule a showing and be there to represent you.
Writing an Offer
This may be one of the most exciting and stressful steps of the process. Once you have decided on a home, you will need to meet with us to write an offer. Sometimes an offer to purchase is not immediately accepted and there is a counter off from the seller. Rest assured, we are working for you and will keep you informed of each step in the process. In addition to writing the offer to purchase, you should be prepared to write a check for Earnest Money or Good Faith Deposit. It will be delivered with the offer. This check is usually 1% of the offer price, but can be negotiated. The deposit represents your sincerity to purchase and is returned to you if your offer is not accepted. Once we have an executed contract with all signatures, the check will be deposited in the listing company’s escrow account. If for any reason you do not meet your obligations under the terms of the purchase agreement, and the contract is voided, you MAY be required to forfeit the earnest money to the seller. This only happens upon full written agreement of all parties. Earnest money deposits are governed by strict state regulations, not by listing agents, selling agents, or their brokers.
Depending on your Mortgage Company, you will need a check for between $250.00 and $400.00 for an appraisal and credit report. These costs are figured into your estimated closing cost that you should receive at the time of your loan application and is for services performed before final loan approval. These funds are not refundable if the contract should be voided for any reason. The check should be made payable to your mortgage company. All conditions pertaining to a new loan or assumption are specifically spelled out in the contract, so it is important to have your lender review everything with you thoroughly. If the house does not appraise for the sales price, the contract may become voided and the earnest money will be refunded (in most cases).
Home Inspection and Termite Report
The contract is accepted and your loan is approved, what’s next? It’s time to set up the inspections according to the terms of your contract. Choose a Home Inspector and Termite Inspector. We will also discuss with you the option to get a survey done on the new property if need be. In the closing section of this guide, you will find a list of inspectors we most frequently use. The cost of the inspection will run between $200.00 and $400.00. Payment of the inspection is due at the time the service is provided. Though the home inspection is voluntary, we strongly recommend having a home inspection completed. This inspection will help determine the condition of several items and any problems that may need corrected before you move in. The buyer must notify the seller in writing of any defects or problems needing to be corrected. If the seller refuses to make repairs, the buyer can then accept the property "as is" or rescind the contract. HOME WARRANTY OPTIONS A home warranty can offer you security from the cost of unexpected repair bills on covered systems that fail due to normal wear and tear. Either the buyer or the seller may buy a home warranty policy that will protect against major mechanical components including built in appliances. On the back of the guide you will find information on different home warranty companies.
Loan and Insurance
This step is often a reminder to stay in contact with your mortgage lender to ensure everything is going well with your loan. At this point in the process your loan should be in the final stages of being processed. It is also important in this step to set up a homeowner’s insurance policy. You must have homeowner’s insurance in place before closing. If your new home is in a flood zone, you must also have flood insurance. This insurance may cover the replacement cost of the structures on the property that may be damaged by fire, flood, or a tree crashing through your roof, etc. You will want to also include personal property such as furniture, clothing and electronics. You may use any insurance company you wish. If you need help with this then G. Starks Realty Co. can help.
Before the Closing
Before your closing there are a few things you should know:
1. Make sure to obtain a homeowner’s insurance policy effective on the closing date and deliver a copy to your mortgage company.
2. Submit a change of address form to your post office, with the effective date.
3. Obtain information regarding garbage pick-up (Is it included in city taxes or do you pay for it? What is the pick-up schedule?)
4. Decide whether to get a Title Insurance Policy to cover your financial interest. Speak to your mortgage lender for an explanation of benefits. I always recommends owners title insurance.
5. Arrange for everything to be moved…professional movers can be found in the yellow pages or internet.
At the Closing
The Closing is the final step to moving into your new home. It is important to verify the date, time, address and directions to your closing with me. We will receive a faxed copy of your HUD 1 (closing statement) as soon as it is available. We will review the HUD 1 and discuss the details with you before closing.
At the closing you will need to bring:
1. CERTIFIED CHECK made payable to you for the amount needed to close.
2. Homeowners Insurance Policy (or Binder) including the declaration page.
3. Any documents the lender has requested as a condition of your loan, if required.
4. Picture I.D. In accordance with the terms of your contract, you may receive the keys, etc. at the closing, or make arrangements for the transfer of the keys when possession is delivered.
Home Sweet Home
You’ve made it and now it’s time to move in, but there are a few things you need to do before moving in. You need to get all the utilities and phone switched over into your name. Listed below are some of the typical names and numbers for this process.
(NOTE: to make the necessary changes you will probably need the previous owner’s name and phone number)
Louisville Gas & Electric Company 589-1444
Louisville Water Company 583-6610
Insight Cable 357-4400
Don’t hesitate to call G. Starks Realty Co.
with any questions or concerns that you may have. We are here to help you!
Location: 5003 Winding Spring Circle
Louisville, Ky. 40245
Downtown Virtual Office:
811 South 2nd street louisville, ky 40203