Buying or selling a home? Hoffer Realty Associates can help.

Buying a home intimidates a lot of people, but with some planning ahead of time, it isn't that hard. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are several things you should consider. When you start your search, you'll probably want to assemble an index of items you need to have, get a feel for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent in DuBois
This is where I come in. We'll arrange a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the DuBois area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. There are some very good mortgage professionals in DuBois, and I work with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you figure out which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin house hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll start searching for homes on the market that suit your needs. I'll research many of the homes and remove the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll point out positive features and negative ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and don't like. As a rule, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some features become far more substantial than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My awareness of the DuBois housing market is a leading aspect in your house search. I am familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can alert you to which areas are "hot" and demand immediate action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more consideration.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know when the seller's list price has room for negotiation and when I know the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as every real estate agent in DuBois will claim to understand the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at (814) 371-2100 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
We'll find the house of your dreams in the DuBois area, and when we do, I'll meticulously create your home purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When presenting your purchase offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property, and it's typically put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
Upon completion of the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-approved, this won't take very long at all. But you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll look after all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy, and I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and peaceful occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at (814) 371-2100 or e-mail me at .

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