Are you looking to purchase a new home in Durham? Seagroves Realty can help.

Purchasing a home is intimidating for a lot of people, but it isn't very difficult with a little up-front planning. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are a lot of things you'll want to do prior to beginning your home search. You'll want to form a check list of must-have features, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good principle to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be close to 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Seagroves Realty can help. We'll arrange a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Durham area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. Seagroves Realty partners with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Durham, so you're in great hands. They will assist you in figuring out which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
After we meet, I'll start searching for houses on the market that best suit you. I'll research most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we view the homes, I'll identify good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become far more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings once again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
My knowledge of the Durham home market is a fundamental aspect in your home search. I am mindful of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to which areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and when I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Any REALTOR will tell you they comprehend the home market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 919-317-1115 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream home in the Durham area, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals don't close on the initial offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market circumstances. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Upon signing the deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it won't take much time at all, but you'll want 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
Your lender will supply you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at 919-317-1115 or e-mail me at .

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