Buyer's Guide

Everything you need to know about the process of buying a new home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
"Kelly and her team did an excellent job at walking us through how they came up with our listing price. They then also did a fantastic job at making sure everything went smoothly with the purchase of our new home. I've already referred one person to Kelly and her team and will not hesitate to refer more! I feel as though my family and I made friends for life rather than just finding a realtor."

— Gina L.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Kelly and Team were absolutely amazing! Everyone we had the pleasure of working with throughout the process on the team was extremely welcoming and knowledgeable. They made our home buying process a breeze. Their availability or flexibility to show homes at times that fit our schedule was an absolute plus. They were always available for any questions we had and communication throughout the whole process ...

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Kelly and her team were very helpful and very quick to show me any house I was looking at. They did a great job giving me advice and helped me with any of the questions that I had about the properties. The process was smooth and they were able to get me any information quickly and correctly. Using Kelly and her team will give you the edge that you will need for all the new houses that hit the market. The...

— Jonathan S.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Kelly and her team were a pleasure to work with. They showed us tons of homes, and they were always able to make it happen quickly, which is huge in today's market. Whenever I had questions, Kelly was always there to help even at the late hours of the day. Kelly and her team exceeded all our expectations! I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to purchase a new home.

— Daniel S.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Words cannot describe how helpful Justine has been through our whole buying and selling experience. She went above and beyond to help us out when any ordinary Realtor® would have gone "that's not my job". I can and will recommend her to anyone and everyone looking for a house. I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for the amazing service she has provided.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Justine went above and beyond! She was such a pleasure during every show we went to and so patient with us as we saw house after house! If it wasn't for her we wouldn't have found our dream home and we appreciate all the work that went into making it happen! Even when things went wrong last minute, Justine was right there to save the day! 10 out of 10 would recommend!

— Anastasia Z.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Nicole is amazing. She had such a thorough process with my home buying experience, to make sure I found exactly what I wanted. She answered all of my questions and if she didn't know the answer, she found it out quickly and efficiently. I felt very well taken care of, she was amazing during the offer and negotiation process. I will definitely use her again!

— Maddie G.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Justine was great to work with. She was very knowledgeable about the whole home buying process, which was extremely helpful as first-time homebuyers. She helped us find our perfect home. We look forward to working with her again should we decide to buy again in the future.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Fiona was top-notch! She helped my fiancé and me close on our house within weeks of our first showing. Her knowledge of the market, attention to detail on our needs, and quick responsiveness helped us land our home. I would recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
I'm a first-time homebuyer. Without Fiona's help, I would not get my home. My first lender was making it very difficult to get approved with the help of Fiona and her connections I was able to get the house I wanted. Thank You Fiona my family and I are home now.

— Xiong L.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Professional, prompt, courteous. Easy to get along with. Navigated me through my first home purchase without a hiccup even after having the closing date moved up a couple of weeks. Introduced me to my lender and worked closely with them. Highly recommend.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Allie is very personable and easy to work with. She always got back to us promptly for any questions we had. She is a ball of energy. She is a cheerleader, a consoler, and a tremendous worker. We really felt she was always in our corner! Thank you, Allie.

— David S.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Nicole was very accommodating with our schedule, and a pleasure to work with. Her professionalism, knowledge, ability to respond quickly gave us confidence in our home search. We will be recommending her to our family and friends going forward.

— Josh A.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
I mostly worked with Justine who is absolutely amazing! She always advocated for what was in my best interest, is incredibly honest, and is so fun to work with. The whole Davies team is fantastic and I can’t recommend them enough!

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Fiona was great to work with! She is exceptionally knowledgeable about the market and was able to get us a full-price offer on our house within a week of listing. We highly recommend Fiona to anyone looking to buy or sell!

— Allie

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
The entire team at Kelly Davies is absolutely amazing! They helped us at every step of the way to find our first home, and were always very quick to answer any questions or concerns we had! We cannot recommend them enough!

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Bryanna was a fantastic help at finding potential places for my Girlfriend and me. She managed to meet every detail with every property we looked at. She was quick to respond always down-to-earth and honest with you.

— Buyer | Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Extremely helpful and very knowledgeable Helped the entire process, as a first-time buyer I wasn’t sure what to fully expect and Nicole was extremely helpful and patient and answered every single question I had.

— Jonathon A.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Very knowledgeable about the industry especially with the crazy market right now! Great to work with and always has a positive attitude! Fiona knows a lot about homes and their potential downside of them.

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
I really enjoyed working with Fiona, she has always been upbeat and honest. She answered all our concerns with anything. Our purchase has been very smooth. She is a doll.

— Buyer

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