Buying or selling a home? HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty can help.

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for many people, but it's not that difficult with a bit of planning ahead of time. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have any questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are several things you'll want to consider before you start looking for a home. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to assemble an outline of items you want to have, get an idea of what school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 30 percent of your monthly income is a good guideline to go by.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd love to arrange a time to get together with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Mission Viejo area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you get started on your loan. I partner with some of Mission Viejo's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a house
After we meet, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research most of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll identify good features and bad ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to change their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Mission Viejo home market is a crucial component in your home search. I'm informed of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll let you know what neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

When we view houses, I'll let you know if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR will convince you they comprehend the home market. If things don't add up, contact me at 949-280-0102 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad 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 of your dreams
We'll find your dream home in the Mission Viejo area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to fit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as getting financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is most often applied to the closing costs. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer. It's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it shouldn't take long at all. But you should to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of 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) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your house. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and hassle-free occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to contact me at 949-280-0102 or e-mail me at .

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