Buyers

Everything you need to know about the process of buying a new home.

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice we said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like us to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. We may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

Our goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). We will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. We can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
We were referred to Francesca by two other families that had hired her to buy/sell homes and we now understand their praise. Francesca is knowledgeable, flexible, and highly professional. She always offered her perspective (on price, staging, marketing, COVID safety, and the like) but ensured that we were comfortable with every decision. Her recommendations on pre-sale repairs were spot on saving us many...

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Chris helped us buy a new home. It took several months. We lost two in bidding scenarios and lost two during contracts or negotiations after having a signed purchase agreement. I cannot remember how many we looked at - it was a lot of properties! Chris had great patience through it all. He helped us find properties, including those on the private network; and he helped us vet potential properties to look...

— Buyer & Seller

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
As first-time homebuyers (during the crazy market of spring 2021), we could not have asked for a better Realtor®! Ross was always available to answer our endless questions in an easy-to-understand manner, quickly schedule showings as soon as houses were listed, and advocate for us in negotiations. Throughout the process, Ross made sure we understood what was happening and also remind us of what the next ...

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
We had been looking for 6 months prior to the meeting or working with Erin beginning in March 2021. We really appreciated Erin's availability and willingness to show us houses at any time, and help us find new places we did not previously think about. We put a few offers on different houses but lost due to the crazy 2021 housing market (and myself not wanting to overbid or settle). It was all for the bes...

— Brad D.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Stellar job! I worked with another Realtor® for a while, and that person was unable to secure a deal on the property I wanted. I contacted Sarah after releasing the other agent and had a deal on my desired property in less than a week. Sarah is extremely responsive, knowledgeable about the area/properties, and she works with one of the best offices/teams around. I also listed my house with her at the sam...

— Buyer

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Erin helped us in securing our new home. She was quick to respond to my wife and I's numerous questions. She was able to explain the steps along the way, and exceeded our expectations. She was able to answer questions about the neighborhood we were going into and helped us connect with the school for our daughters. We basically had no clue on what to do about how to transfer our daughter into the new sch...

— Buyer & Seller

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The DelBoccio | Marchetti Group's mission is to provide our clientele with the highest level of market expertise and high-tech communication to strategically execute and capitalize on all opportunities fulfilling the sophisticated vision set forth. Contact us today!