Here are some basic steps you will need to consider when buying a home in the Greater Philadelphia Area
How much can you afford?Your first step is to consult a mortgage professional. They will be able to tell you the price range in which you should be looking. In this market, your realtor is going to insist that you are pre-approved, before they spend their time and yours looking at houses that are not within your reach. There is nothing more disheartening than getting excited over homes you cannot afford.
What the Mortgage Broker Does
The mortgage broker will inform you how much down payment and monthly payments you can afford based on your income, savings, etc and on the various mortgage programs available which will determine your buying power. Closing costs will also be taken into consideration. These include, your share of escrow fees, loan fees, cost of inspection(s), pro-rated property taxes and other miscellaneous charges.
When you find the house you want to buy, you need to be ready to go. This is a tough lending market and in a multiple-bidding situation (yes this still happens) the most qualified buyer is going to get the home.
Find Your Home
Define your wants and needs. Make a list of priorities: Location, size of house, lot, number or rooms, etc. The more specific you are, the more efficient the process will be. Based on your budget your agent will be able to help you to target your search more efficiently.
Be prepared to make an offer. Chances are, if you like something there are others who will like it too. If you are waiting for a deal the market is going to pass you by. If you are looking to live in your home for several years, buying one that you love is going to be a deal in the long term.
Make An Offer
With your agent’s help you will submit a Purchase Contract to the Seller. The cleaner the offer, the better the chance it will be accepted. The offer is time-sensitive and if it is a reasonable one, the Seller will either respond with a signed acceptance, or you will receive a Counter Offer and then the ball is in your court. You can either accept the counter, submit your own, or simply walk away.
Once the Offer is Accepted..
The fun starts. You are now in escrow.
A Home Inspection will need to be done immediately, and it is advisable that you are present for that inspection. Upon reviewing the Inspection Report you will have to make a decision. You can ask for repairs to be done. You can ask for credit through escrow. You can ask for a reduction in the price of the home. You can also choose to do the work yourself. Or, you can walk away from the home.
There will be a ton of paperwork to fill out, a lot of it time sensitive, so you need to make yourself available during the escrow process.
Once all the contingencies have been removed, the main ones being Loan, Appraisal and Inspection, then you have basically committed to purchasing the house. The next step will be to sign the Loan Documents. They will be sent to the lender, the lender will fund and the next day title should be transferred into your name, you will be given the keys and the house is yours.
How to Prepare to Take Ownership
Generally you will take over the utilities that the Seller is using, such as gas, electric, water, etc. Arrange to have everything transferred over on the day you take possession. The Seller most likely will have canceled the services in his/her name the same day and you will not be charged to reinstate them.
Buying or selling a home in The Greater Philadelphia area can be a daunting process in a city this size, especially if you’re new to town. You’ll need a resident expert to show you around and help you narrow down the areas where you might like to live. I will help you find the perfect home in the right area to fit your lifestyle, budget and needs! There are many area options to choose from including Montgomery County, Bucks County, Philadelphia as well as other surrounding counties.
When I list and sell a Philadelphia area home for my clients I strive to make the experience a pleasant one. My mission is to provide outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and systems available. It is our goal to sell your home in the quickest amount of time, for the most amount of money and for the least amount of stress to you.
If you have tried to sell your home on your own, have already listed with an agent but were not able to sell, or have any questions about today's real estate market, we would love to talk to you.