Buying or selling a home? Leyba Real Estate LLC can help.

Buying a home can be stressful for most people, but with some up-front planning, it isn't too confusing. I like to furnish buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are many things you need to contemplate before commencing your home search. You'll probably want to assemble an outline of features you need to have, get a feel for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Santa Fe area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Santa Fe, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
After our initial meeting, I'll start looking for houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll research most of the homes and exclude the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll show you the good features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. Frequently, buyers update their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings one more time and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Santa Fe housing market is a leading element in your house search. And I can assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will communicate what neighborhoods are "hot" and call for immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view houses, I'll let you know if the list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be careful and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as every REALTOR will tell you they truly understand the housing market. If things don't add up, contact me at 505-473-0223 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream home in the Santa Fe area, and when we do, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When submitting your purchase offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's typically put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it won't take long at all. But you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just contact me at 505-473-0223 or e-mail me at .