Eight simple steps to help you when buying a property in the
Willmar Lakes Area
1. Make the decision to buy and don’t look back.
There are so many good reasons for you to buy a home, and building equity ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. We believe that when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and among these equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out. Make your decision to buy on based facts, not fears.
If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run. At Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC we can help you every step of the way.
The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase. There are programs that require as little as 3% down, and even special builders programs and specials that require as little as $99 down!
A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home. There are now more products for people with credit challenges than ever before. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now!
Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated—there are many professionals who will help you along the way and Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC is one of them.
2. Hire Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC for the experience and honesty that will get the deal done.
A typical real estate transaction involves at least twelve separate individuals: insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions must be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get the transaction closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout. At Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC we are your advocate.
Seven main roles of a Buyers Real Estate Agent
- Provide education about your market
- Analyze your wants and needs
- Guide you to homes that fit your criteria
- Coordinate the work of other needed professionals
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Check and double-check all paperwork and deadlines
- Solve any problems that may arise
3. Go to the Bank or your Mortgage Lender if financing is needed.
While you may find the thought of home ownership exciting, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be a little scary. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a big financial commitment. From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.
Six steps to Financing a Home
- Choose a loan officer or mortgage specialist (We can help you with this.)
- Make a loan application and get pre-approved
- Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option
- Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract
- Get an appraisal and title commitment
- Obtain funding at closing
4. Start shopping for the property you are looking for—Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC can help you find that perfect property in the Willmar Lakes Area and beyond:
You may think that shopping for a home starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. But you are busy and driving around takes a lot of time. It is true that going to look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long. If weeks go by without finding what you are looking for, the fun can fade quickly. That is why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs—both for the short run and long run.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighbourhood stability and priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- Would I be interested in new home construction?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
5. Make an offer through Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC on a property in Willmar Lakes Area or beyond.
You have found the property you like. Now it is time to get serious. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” ). We will help you understand the contract and present it to the Seller for you. Below is some information about the most common terms found in an offer:
- Price — the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision.
- Terms — the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.
Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
- Schedule: a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
- Conveyances: the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
- Commission: the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
- Closing costs: it is standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
- Home warranty: this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
- Earnest money: this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling out of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.
6. Make sure you are doing your due diligence and asking a lot of questions. Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC can help. We know what to ask about properties in the Willmar Lakes Area.
Unlike a lot of major purchases, once you buy a home, business or investment property, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it is supposed to. That is why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.
A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways: against loss or damage to the property itself, and liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property.
The property inspection can expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign your closing papers. Your major concern is structural damage, concerns about roofs, appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems..
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked. If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.
You don’t know what you don’t know, that is why it is so important to have a professional like Glacial Ridge Realty, LLC—we know the questions to ask.
7. Close the deal.
We are almost done, the final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finances. We will keep you posted on how each is progressing, but your work is pretty much done.
You only have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
- Stay in control of your finances
- Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly
- Communicate with your agent at least once a week
- Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
- Obtain certified funds for closing
- Conduct a final walk-through
On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you will sign documents that do the following:
- Finalize your mortgage
- Pay the seller
- Pay your closing costs
- Transfer the title from the seller to you
- Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.
8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you have probably spent a lot of time with us and we have gotten to know each other fairly well. There is no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, we want you to keep in touch.
Even after you close on your house, we can still help you:
- Handle your first tax return as a home owner
- Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling
- Help your friends find homes
- Keep track of your home’s current market value
- Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. Home maintenance falls into two categories:
- Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
- Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.