Buying or selling a home?

Purchasing a home intimidates many people. However, with some up-front planning, it isn't very confusing. So they'll know exactly what they can expect, I like to supply buyers with an overview of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
There are a lot of things you need to contemplate prior to commencing your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to assemble a list of items you need to have, get a plan of what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good principle to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be close to 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. We'll schedule a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs 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 purchase today or in the future.

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

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin looking for homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll research many of the homes and throw out the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll call attention to good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers change their wish list as we tour homes and some features become more important than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My awareness of the Santa Fe housing market is a necessary aspect in your house search. I am conscious of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to what areas are "hot" and call for immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for more consideration.

As we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Be on guard and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as every REALTOR in Santa Fe will tell you they understand the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 505.473.0223 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream home in the Santa Fe area, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your purchase offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is often put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed on the initial offer – it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon finishing the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, it won't take very long at all, but you'll want to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your mortgage 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 lender within three days of taking your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to contact me at 505.473.0223 or e-mail me at .