Contemplating buying a new home in Lakeland? Berkshire Hathaway Home Services can help.

Purchasing a home can be stressful for a lot of people, but it's not too hard with a little up-front planning. I like to provide buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are many things you'll want to contemplate before you search for a home. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make an index of items you need to have, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule to go by.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd like to set up a time to meet with you and communicate with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Lakeland area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll assist you with getting started on your loan. I partner with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Lakeland, so you're in great hands. They will help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your search
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll call attention to positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become far more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My understanding of the Lakeland home market is a crucial component in your house search. I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will communicate which areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for negotiation and also when I think the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask plenty of questions, as every real estate agent will tell you they know the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at 863-602-6647 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
I know we'll find your dream home in Lakeland. When that happens, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, completing the inspection, and a clear title.

When sending in your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is usually put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
After the deal is finished, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't be a long process at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely take place at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just contact me at 863-602-6647 or e-mail me at .

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