Buying or selling a home? Masonboro Realty, Inc. can help.

Buying a home is intimidating for most people, but with a little up-front planning, it's not very hard. So they'll understand exactly what to expect, I'll supply buyers with an outline of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions regarding any of this information or if you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are many things you need to take into account prior to starting your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make an outline of items you want to have, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good principle to follow.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We'll book a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Wilmington area.

I'll also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Wilmington, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house hunting
After we meet, I'll start finding available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll preview many of the homes and reject the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses when it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their must-have list as we tour homes and some things become more necessary than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's awareness of the Wilmington market is a crucial element in your house search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll let you know which areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate 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 mindful and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Every REALTOR in Wilmington will tell you they truly understand the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at (910) 200-6268 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
We'll find your dream home in the Wilmington area, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include many contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clear title.

When we present your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's typically put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once the deal is complete, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this won't take much time at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and hassle-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply call me at (910) 200-6268 or e-mail me at .

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