The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a great list of information for those who are looking to purchase a home. Click here to read more.

Our guide to new home buyers are as follows:

1- Find a competent real estate agent
The fact that you are reading this article on KIG Realty’s website says that you are on the right track J

2- Figure out how much you can afford (tools)
Use one of the tools on the web to gain a ball park understanding of how much you can afford. Our mortgage specialists can help you with this task as well. There are a number of different ways to calculate this but end of the day the key is to have a general understanding of the maximum amount you can afford. There are a number of moving parts to this, mainly due to the different loan programs and your unique situations. The key is not look for a fixed number but a range that you can afford under different programs.

3- Become prequalified
Having a prequalification letter in hand gives you piece of mind when looking for a property. In addition, it makes your bids look stronger and more serious once presented to the seller. The smart seller looks at it as a risk mitigation tool. You can leverage this once you place an offer in!

4- Decide on the area that you would like to spread your search net!
Enough has been said about the importance of LOCATION in real estate. That's the only thing that makes the property unique and you cannot duplicate the exact same location of a property in any shape or way.

5- Make a wish list of the property you would like to own. (location, number of beds/baths, office space, garage,  etc)
The process of putting down your wish list on a piece of paper is a very valuable exercise. Sometimes you don't exactly know what you are looking for and what the priorities are, thinking and writing them down helps you better understand your likes and dislikes. Share this wish list with your real estate agent so that he/she can look for the ones that meet your criteria. This is going to significantly save you and your agent a lot of time and effort.

6- Out of your wish list put a star next to the absolute "must have-s" and stick with them.
The wish list is good and gives you and your agent an idea on the values and the good to haves-s. However there are certain things in a property that you absolutely want to have and you will not make a move without them.

7- Once you found a property that meets your criteria have your agent dig as deep as possible! 
This step is one of the major steps that you can test your agent! In other words, this is the stage that the top performing agents shine. Your agent should have the knowledge, experience, education and the right tools and network in his/her disposal to help you understand and grasp the non-obvious facts about a property.

8- Do your own due diligence
Some might say, I hired an agent to do ALL the due diligence for me why should I worry? Wrong! Your agent is not you. He’s your compliment. He adds skillset, knowledge and network that you may not necessarily have.  One of the easiest things that you could do is to drive by the property and the surrounding streets at different times of the day, on a weekend or during school hours. This gives you a better understanding of the traffic, noise level, etc.

9- Make an Offer!
Once all the boxes are checked and you are satisfied with what you see, make an offer! This is one of the most exciting stages of the home buying process. Be careful, the asking price is not always the most important factor in the bid. The terms of the bid sometimes have equal level of importance. When making an offer whether it’s an investment property or a primary residence, keep in mind that you make money when you buy and not when you sell! This might sound strange but it’s true. There are several different strategies and tactics that a real estate agent can craft into the offer which can ultimately be beneficial to the buyer (another reason to find the right competent agent).

10- Make a counter-offer if necessary
Depending on the seller’s response and your willingness to pursue be prepared to put together a counter offer. Remember, there’s an art in this and every move should be calculated and thoughtful. From the first bid all the way to buying the property one should follow an overarching strategy that minimizes surprise moves and emotions. Another major contribution that your agent has in the entire process is in this stage. The art of negotiation! This is when your real estate agent should roll-up the sleeves and make things happen. Trust me, this is not every real estate agent’s job. It requires leadership, knowledge, negotiation skills and courage among many other things.

11- Be prepared to walk away if the terms are not right
Property acquisition process usually takes considerable amount of time and the buyer usually creates an emotional bond with the property. Do not let the emotions beat logic. If the terms are not right, if the price is not right, be prepared to walk-away. At times you can use this is a negotiation tool. But the key is that you know what you want and you pay for what you want.

12- After acceptance of your offer
Once your offer is accepted celebrate! You have achieved your goal. … Not completely! After acceptance of your offer depending on the terms of the offer, you have a limited time to close. You are in a period called the “escrow” which the process is usually handled by an escrow company. Two most important actions you should be taking are closing the loan and taking care of the home inspection. Some buyers skip the home inspection step. This is not what we would recommend at KIG Realty. Even in AS-IS deals depending on the case, we would recommend a thorough home inspection so that the buyer is fully aware of the potential problems in the property before closing.  

13- Closing Day
You have reached the final stage in executing the real estate transaction. This is the day that the ownership of the property is transferred to you (the buyer), the keys are handed over and your check/balance transfer is executed. Congratulations!

Disclaimer: This website is provided for your information only to help you understand the real estate transaction and finance process. It should not be relied on as legal advice because it is not a substitute for an in person consultation with an attorney or real estate agent. Please click here for more information.