Are you buying your new home in Ocala? ERA Big Sun Realty can help.

Purchasing a home is an intimidating event for many people, but with a bit of planning ahead of time, it isn't all that confusing. I like to give buyers an outline 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, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Before you commence your home search, there are a lot of things you need to contemplate. It's likely that you'll want to make a check list of features you need to have, get a plan of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good rule to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be less than 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Ocala
This is where I can help. We'll plan a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Ocala area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Ocala, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
Following our first meeting, I'll start searching for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and remove the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll show you the good features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers change their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My awareness of the Ocala market is a crucial element in your house search. I am informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will communicate some neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and when I think the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any REALTOR in Ocala will claim to know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at 352-237-4343 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find your dream house in Ocala, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your purchase offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is usually put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property 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 first offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage 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 move on.

Market circumstances will play a role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, it shouldn't take much time at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your 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 taking your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often occur at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and relaxing affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, simply contact me at 352-237-4343 or e-mail me at .

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