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Buying a Home

Contact a REALTOR®
A Real Estate Center agent can help you from start to finish in buying a home, from getting preapproved to closing, your agent will help you every step of the way.

Get Preapproved
Begin by visiting with a lender in your area. Have a copy of your credit report and your FICO ready to present. You can obtain this information online. Contact several lenders to determine which lender will best suit your needs.

Determine Your Price Range and Area(s) in Which You're Interested
Once preapproved, you should have a good idea on the price range you will be looking in. Your Real Estate Center agent can assist you in finding homes in areas you like and that fit your budget.

Determine Your Needs in a Home…and Your Wants
Determining what you need in a home is crucial. How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Do you want a garage, established landscaping or an updated kitchen? Also determine what items are not crucial and that you may be willing to give up if you otherwise find the perfect home.

Begin Seriously Looking at Homes with Your Agent
In addition to homes you may have already identified, your agent can help find other possibilities including homes that have just come on the market. Make sure the floor plan will meet your needs, is there any work that needs to be done to the home, will it make a good fit for you?

For your reference later, take notes on each property you look at. Items you like or dislike will help you narrow down your choices. Take a second look at homes you have interest in and at different times of day.

Make an Offer
Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, be ready to assist your agent in writing an offer quickly. Your agent will be familiar with the market and can assist you in determining a price that have the best chance of being accepted.

After writing the offer, try to keep an open mind. Your offer may not be accepted for many different reasons. Keep other homes you liked in mind. Also, be ready to negotiate through your agent with the sellers.

Upon Acceptance of Your Offer
• You'll be asked to submit an earnest money deposit which may or may not be refundable. • Begin making moving arrangements (select a mover, obtain change-of-address cards, inform friends and relatives).
• Have a professional home inspector inspect the home.
• If necessary, request repairs.
• Obtain homeowner's insurance.
• Contact utilities (phone, water, power, etc.).
• Perform a walk-through a few days prior to closing.
• Obtain a cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs.

At Closing
• Make sure the terms and conditions of the loan statement are correct.
• Carefully read everything before you sign.