Buyer's Guide

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.


Step 1: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a professional to guide you through the process is imperative to your success. 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 Brandon Gates and Lindsey Gates to take much of the stress off your shoulders? We are dedicated to helping your dreams come true.

In addition to market knowledge, we know the best mortgage lenders in the business. We work to pair you with the lender to ensure the best possible scenario for you in the long term.


Step 2: Get Pre-approved and Decide on Your Budget

When it comes to buying a home, working with a lender is a crucial step in the process. It's important to remember that the amount the lender pre-approves you for isn't necessarily the amount you should spend. You need to determine a monthly payment that makes sense for your budget, taking into account any other expenses that come with homeownership. To do this, start by creating a full household budget that considers not just your mortgage payment, but also things like garbage, water, and HOA fees.


Once you've determined your budget, it's time to get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified. A mortgage professional can help you understand what amount you can qualify for, and this information will be important when making an offer on a home. It's important to get pre-approved as early in the process as possible (you still have the control of when you buy).

Remember, buying a home is a significant investment, and it's important to approach it thoughtfully and with a clear understanding of your financial situation. By working with a lender, determining your budget, and getting pre-approved, you can make a confident and informed decision about your new home. Remember to lean on your real estate agents Brandon and Lindsey for guidance and support throughout the process.


Step 3: Select Your Loan

Which mortgage product is best for you? 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. We will all work together as a team to help decide which product makes the most sense.

If you are a Veteran we have many additional perks for you.

My 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 4: Find the Right Home

Once we have your loan set up we will take time to discuss what you are looking for in a home! Once we have discussed what your goals are we arrange showings for homes that fit your criteria. Remember to take notes about what you like and don’t like, and 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.


Step 5: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, we work together 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.


Step 6: Home Inspection

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 arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of your accepted offer. If there are major discrepancies- think health and safety, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it. We submit a Request for Repairs document to start addressing this with the seller. There is a cost for the inspection depending on the size of property that is being inspected.


Step 7: 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. This is a cost to the buyer.


Step 8: 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.


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. 

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With a value for clients that emulates the way they treat their own family, they pride themselves in enabling their clients to attain their goals and are devoted to going above and beyond the call of duty with every client.

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