Buying or selling a home? Homes & Horse Farms Real Estate can help.

Buying a home intimidates most people, but it's not all that hard with a bit of planning ahead of time. So they'll know exactly what they can expect, I will supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal. 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 any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
There are plenty of things you should do before you start searching for a home. When you begin your search, you'll want to assemble an outline of items you want to have, get a feel for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We'll book a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Lexington area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Lexington, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can help you figure out which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our first meeting, I'll start finding available houses on the market that best suit you. I'll research many of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and don't like. Generally, buyers revise their must-have list as we view houses and some features become more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings another time and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My understanding of the Lexington housing market is an essential aspect in your home search. I am mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to what neighborhoods are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we view homes, I'll let you know when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent will claim to understand the housing market, but be mindful, and make sure you ask a lot of questions. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (859) 576-1877 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
We'll find your dream home in the Lexington area, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly create your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When sending in your purchase offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is typically put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market conditions. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
After the deal is finalized, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't take much time at all, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of taking your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most likely take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and calm affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply contact me at (859) 576-1877 or e-mail me at .

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