Buying a home in Winston-Salem?

Buying a home intimidates many people, but with some planning ahead of time, it's not that confusing. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you start your home search, there are many things you'll want to take into account. It's likely that you'll want to assemble a list of features you want to have, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is no more than 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where John-Mark Mitchell's Realty Group comes in. I'd love to schedule a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Winston-Salem area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also assist you with getting started on your loan. I partner with some of Winston-Salem's finest mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you with determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking
After our first meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll preview many of the homes and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll point out positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and dislike. Oftentimes, buyers amend their wish list as we tour homes and some features become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
My knowledge of the Winston-Salem housing market is a necessary agent in your home search. I am mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll let you know what areas are "hot" and warrant prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

When we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I think the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any real estate agent in Winston-Salem will convince you they truly know the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at , and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm certain we'll find your dream house in the Winston-Salem area. When that happens, I'll meticulously create your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon presenting your offer, you'll probably want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the first offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider 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 deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't be a long process at all if you're pre-approved, but you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your home. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and comfortable occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, be sure to call me at (336) 722-9911 or e-mail me at .