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

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't that complex, but the event is intimidating for many people. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have any questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are several things you need to take into account before starting your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to assemble a list of must-haves, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule to adhere to.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd be happy to set up a time to get together with you and talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Santa Fe area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you get started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Santa Fe, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be 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 your home search
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour houses, I'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some items become more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through all the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
An agent's knowledge of the Santa Fe home market is a leading factor in your home search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll let you know which neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for more examination.

When we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and be sure to ask plenty of questions. Every real estate agent in Santa Fe will tell you they understand the home market. If things don't add up, contact me at 505-473-0223 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm sure we'll find your dream home in the Santa Fe area. When we do, I'll carefully create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including several contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon turning in your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is typically put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market conditions. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon signing the deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't be a long process at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out 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 mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at 505-473-0223 or e-mail me at .