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Before you start, It's important to know your credit score, the higher your credit score the better deal you will get with interest rate and points on your loan. What is your debt to income ratio? Typically, the debt to income ratio is 28% to 41% depending on the loan program. Make a checklist of what's important to you in a home, the neighborhood and surrounding area. Make sure you have the down payment according to the type of loan you are applying for, the closing costs (usually 2% to 4% of the purchase price) and a few months mortgage payments the lender calls reserves.

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It is always a good idea to be pre-approved for a mortgage by a lender before you search for your home. Shop around different lenders to see who can give you the best interest rates and fees that are attached to generating the loan for you, and have the required documents with you.

Pre-approved is when you have provided the lender with the required documents at this stage of the home buying process and he/she delves into your finances and Fico score. This strengthens the offer on a property.

Pre-qualified is when you tell the lender what your finances are and he/she takes your word for it at this point. This is weak with the offer on a property.

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Now, with checklist in mind, you begin your exiting search with your own buyer's agent for the home you will make many happy memories in. There are many websites out there to look aside from the MLS, including FSBO's. Many buyers drive around also, and it doesn't matter where you find the house you want to see, call your buyers agent so that they can show you the properties. YES, even FSBO's and new construction.

Now you have found the home you love and can see yourself in it. If the property is in an HOA you want to be sure to read the bylaws and know the HOA and any other fees associated with the community to know if you can abide by them. Your buyers agent will negotiate an offer price according to many different factors with regard to the house, the neighborhood and the type of loan you pre-approved for.

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OK, now we have a meeting of the minds with an executed (signed by seller and buyer) contract with the seller and the sellers agent. Now your buyers agent will send the contract over to your lender of choice and the closing company. Now you make an appointment with your lender to make a mortgage application and make sure that the closing company receives your down payment (EMD) earnest money deposit within 3 working business days. Please be sure you have read and understand every document you sign all the way through the transaction, from the pre-approval right through to the closing. Your buyers agent is there for you to help you, every step of the way.

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It is not a legal requirement to have any inspections performed on the house you have an offer on, HOWEVER, we HIGHLY recommend you do so. A HOME INSPECTION shows us what is not readily observable, what we can't see and or are not aware of, such things like the roof, inside the walls, the electrical, what is up to code and not up to code, what may need replacing or paying attention to and in what time scale. TERMITE INSPECTION will shows us if there is evidence of WDO's, wood destroying organisms such termites alive or dead. FOUR POINT INSPECTION focuses on Roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC (A/C). WIND MITIGATION focuses on the roof for storms and hurricane strength. Homes on well water may need the water to be tested and septic tank may need inspection and emptying also. 

Armed with this information, we may continue toward closing and receive qualifying discounts on the home insurance, walk because you don't want to deal with the unforseen issues or renegotiate the price because of the unforseen issues. Some of these inspections may be redundant depending on the condition of the property. Your buyers agent will help you with this too.

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Please make sure you provide your lender with everything they ask you for in a timely fashion, which is as fast as you possibly can. Depending on the type of loan the process can take 4 to 6 weeks and there is a lot more involved going on in the background than you might think, so time is of the essence in order to continue to a smooth closing on time. The lender will ask you to provide all kinds of documents including but not limited to the most recent pay stubs and bank statements, and keep an eye on your Fico score right up to closing. The lender wants to be sure you have the income and expenses you say you do, you pay bills on time and are sensible.

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We are holding your hand advising and guiding you throughout the whole process. OK, so now we helped you get pre-approved with a lender and loan type that works for you according to your qualifications. We helped you find the home of your dreams and negotiated a great deal. We have informed you on the do's and don't for this to continue to closing so that you don't lose the loan and house. We have guided you to some great home inspectors. Guided you to insurance companies that will provide you with the discounts we told you about at the time of the offer. We are there for you every step of the way advising, guiding, explaining any time you have questions or concerns about any part of this process. We keep everyone in the loop, including but not limited to you, your lender, the sellers Realtor in certain parts and the closing agent assigned to us ensuring deadlines are met with all the documentation so that there is no confusion or misunderstandings on anyone's part that can cause you undue stress.   

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PLEASE NOTE: There is more involved than what's stated here because no two buyer situations and transactions are the same.