Purchasing a new home in Maryland

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for many people, but with some up-front planning, it isn't all that confusing. So they understand exactly what to expect, I'll provide buyers with an outline of the whole deal. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
There are many things you should do prior to starting your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to form a check list of items you want, get an idea of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 30 percent of your monthly income is a good principle to adhere to.
Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in Maryland
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to arrange a time to get together with you and communicate with you about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Maryland area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future.
In addition, I'll assist you in getting started on your loan. I work with some of Maryland's finest mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After we meet, I'll start finding available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll research most of the houses and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view houses, I'll call attention to good features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers change their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become far more essential than others. If such is the case, I'll search the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Maryland market is a crucial component in your house search. I am informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can alert you to what neighborhoods are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will claim to truly know the market, but beware, and make sure you ask your agent a lot of questions. If things don't add up, just call me at 410-877-4201 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I know we'll find your dream house in the Maryland area. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, finishing the inspection, and a clear title.

Upon turning in your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property and is most often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts don't close on the first offer, and it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll discuss whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on the state of the market. In addition, we'll work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll create a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
Once the contract is finalized, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. It won't take much time at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and stress-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply contact me at 410-877-4201 or e-mail me at marge@realestatebymarge.com.