First Time Homebuyers
Information for First Time Homebuyers, and updated information for Others.
Whether you are a first time homebuyer, or you have not bought or sold real estate recently, it is important to enter the market with some understanding and guidance. We will be available for you from the beginning to the end.
Your 10 Basic Steps
Step #1 – Obtain Pre-Approval for Mortgage
A bank loan officer or a mortgage broker can explain which type of loan (there are lots of options) is right for you and will help you with the paperwork. When you are pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan, they will tell you just how much money they are willing to lend to you. Once you have that figure, then you will know your price range for purchasing a house.
Step #2 – Find a House in your Price Range
Newspaper ads and internet web listings will lead you to homes being sold directly by the owner of the property and other homes being sold by real estate agents. A real estate agent will usually have several homes to show you. Most real estate agents use the Multiple Listing Service which compiles information on homes offered for sale through many different real estate offices. Some listings are ‘exclusives,’ held by a real estate office and not placed with the Multiple Listing Service. A good real estate agent can help guide you to the right size and style home you want.
Step #3 – Make an Offer
Consider the location, general condition, and asking price before you make an offer. Many real estate agents will ask you to sign a ‘binder form’ when submitting your offer. Make sure that you add this simple clause by your signature, “Subject to home inspection and attorney’s approval.”
Step #4 – Offer Accepted
Congratulations! Give the seller your attorney’s name and telephone number, and have them give you their attorney’s name and telephone number. You are now ready for the next step.
Step #5 – Have a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection
Any home being purchased should be professionally inspected regardless of its age. Even new homes may have structural, mechanical, or other problems that can be revealed by a professional inspection.
For more information, see our Buyers section.
Step #6 – Speak with your Attorney
Discuss the inspection report with your attorney. If you had a Bentley & Associates Home Inspection Services, then at your request, we will fax your report to your attorney at no additional charge. We will be available to speak with you and/or your attorney regarding any questions. Discuss the contract with your attorney. Be aware of the terms and conditions of the agreement. Note important dates such as final pre-closing inspection and the closing date.
Step #7 – Sign the Contract
You have done your homework. If you and your attorney agree that the terms and conditions are favorable to you, then it is time to sign the contract. This may be a good time to speak with your lender about “locking-in” you mortgage interest rate.
Step #8 – Between Contract and Closing
The free Termite Certification Report we provide to you at the time of the pre-purchase home inspection will now be submitted to the lender. The bank, lender, mortgage broker, or attorney will order an Appraisalof the property, a current Survey, and a Title Report. If they reveal any deficiencies, then your attorney or lender will contact you. Any items of repair or replacement that the seller has agreed to correct will be completed at this time.
Step #9 – Pre-closing Inspection
You will hear this referred to as a ‘final walk through.’ You are permitted, usually by contract, to inspect the house and grounds to make sure that everything is as it was when you made your offer (no new deficiencies) and that any items to be repaired or replaced have been properly completed.
Some buyers prefer to have us perform a pre-closing inspection for them and we meet them at the house and complete an inspection similar to a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection. We suggest that this inspection be completed several days prior to the closing date.
Step #10 – The Closing
This event is usually held at the bank or one of the attorney’s offices. Your attorney will give you a list of checks and any documents that you need to bring to the closing. Make sure you have extra checks and your favorite pen.
Your attorney will explain what each document is before you sign it. You may feel rushed, but take the time to read what you must and ask questions.
Congratulations and joy to the new homeowner!
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Bentley & Associates Home Inspection Services will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Tennessee area, we can help!
Owned and operated by inspector and mold inspection specialist, Donnie Bentley, Bentley & Associates Home Inspection Services prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .
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