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Buying or selling a home in Guerneville?

For many people, purchasing a home can be an intimidating event. But with a little up-front planning, it's not that hard. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are plenty of things you should consider prior to starting your home search. You'll want to assemble an index of items you need to have, plan for what school districts and neighborhoods you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than or around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We can schedule a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Guerneville area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Guerneville, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with figuring out which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home
After our initial meeting, I'll start finding homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll point out good features and negative ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to change their wish list as we tour homes and some features become more crucial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings one more time and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
Your agent's understanding of the Guerneville home market is a fundamental aspect in your house search. And I assure you I'm familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know what areas are "hot" and warrant immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for more consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know if the seller's asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be mindful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR will claim to know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at 707-303-6358 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the house of your dreams in Guerneville, and when we do, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon presenting your offer, you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is most often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close about 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the beginning offer, and it's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain financing
Upon completion of the contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it won't take much time at all, but you need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender needs 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 accepting your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and relaxed 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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