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Buying your new home in Guerneville with Your City Country Connection

Buying a home is an intimidating event for most people, but it isn't too hard with some up-front planning. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
There are many things you'll want to consider before starting your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to assemble an outline of features you need to have, get a feel for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We can 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 talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Guerneville area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. Your City Country Connection partners with some of Guerneville's best mortgage professionals, so 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 your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out good features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to update their wish list as we tour homes and some items become far more important than others. If that happens, I'll go back through the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My awareness of the Guerneville housing market is an essential element in your home search. I am informed of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate what areas are "hot" and require immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more analysis.

When we view houses, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR in Guerneville will convince you they truly know the market. If things don't add up, contact me at 707-303-6358 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in the Guerneville area. When that happens, I'll carefully create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon presenting your purchase offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is usually put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 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 beginning offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Once we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it shouldn't take very long at all, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of your closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your loan application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your house. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and comfortable affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at 707-303-6358 or e-mail me at .

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