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The process of buying a home can be overwhelming at times, but you don't need to go through it alone. You may be wondering if now is a good time to buy a home…or if interest rates are projected to rise or fall. The free eGuide below will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn't even know you should consider when buying a home. Simply fill out the form below to receive your copy of the eGuide, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
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A STEP-BY-STEP 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 our team 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 agents 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. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where our expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let us show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

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

I cannot say enough good things about Michael as he is amazing. Besides knowing the rules and all the complex things that one must know in order to do the job, he is the most sincere caring person to have sell one's home. When my long time partner asked Michael to handle the sale of his home, he got more that just his home sold. Michael was concerned for the seller's well being and wanted him to be ha...

— Bernadine Anderson

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

I worked with Michael and his team on the sale of my mother's home. After more than 30 years in the house, it was a big and stressful step for us. Michael was very patient and took extra time to answer all of our questions and set expectations of the process. He was very attentive and concerned that my mom was ok every step of the way. I also needed extra help getting the house ready and the folks he rec...

— Kara Mylerberg

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

My wife and I have known Michael and his wife Stacy for several years as friends. Over that time period, we grew to appreciate Michael’s integrity as a real estate agent. It was clear he put his client's interests first and was not just interested in making a sale. When it came time for us to consider moving we selected Michael to represent us in both the sale of our existing home and the purchase of our...

— Mark W.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Michael has a ton of experience. Knowing that he has experience in selling and buying houses in the Seattle and surrounding area during multiple highs and lows on the market made me feel more confident about the information he was giving us. His experience is valuable in helping to not buy a house that will be difficult to sell later, having insight as to why a house is still on the market and when we sh...

— Michelle S.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Michael came into our lives in June 2018 when we purchased a home on Camano Island that was going into foreclosure. We didn't know anything about the process. Michael was extremely knowledgeable and handled the transaction quickly and smoothly. He even stopped us from offering over the asking price! Plus, he was fun to work with. In Feb. 2019 our son found a condo in Seattle he was interested in. We sugg...

— Jackie & Mike O.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

I was looking for a professional and competent real estate agent. Michael far exceeded those expectations in the professional way he presented his marketing plan and credentials, including the detailed explanation of how you arrived at the correct pricing of my condo. He answered my interview questions over and above what I was hoping for as far as technical expertise. He spent a large amount of time on ...

— Dorothy M.

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We pride ourselves in providing personalized solutions that bring our clients closer to their dream properties and enhance their long-term wealth. Contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!