Home Buying Do’s & Don’ts

Living room with white walls, natural hardwood floors, plenty of natural light, camel colored couch with grey throw pillow, old, claw food table with black light.

Home buying do’s and don’ts for your loan process!

You’ve found your home, your stellar agent got your offer accepted, now let’s be careful to keep your loan on track!  Here are the top three things to do and NOT to do at this stage of the game.

Do’s:

-Promptly respond to all lender requests, this is an ongoing process and until you have keys in hand there will be ongoing lender needs.  Don’t slow your escrow. Stay on top of it.

-Contact your insurance agent of choice early in the process and let them know about your new purchase and arrange for insurance on your new home.

-Continue to make all payments on time. Your lender will have to pull your credit again a day or two before closing.

Don’ts:

-Apply for any new credit of ANY kind. Do not finance anything until after closing.

-Don’t scare the underwriting team. Don’t co-sign on another person’s loan, change your address or name.

-Don’t quit or change jobs until home is closed. Changes to employment or income during this month could cost you your new home.

There are more things to do and not do!

Happy to have a conversation with you to be sure it all goes well.

Buying with a Partner

Buying with a partner - Natural light living room, window wall, brick wall, tall open ceiling with concrete stairs and grey couches and ottomans with greenery

Buying with a partner?  

Here is one strategy to reduce stress and be sure you are aligned on your new home.  

I call it the power of 3’s.   

Before you begin your search, sit down together and make a list of three answers (ONLY THREE) to each of these three questions:

1) What are your three absolute must haves? 

These are you hard stop deal breakers. 

Examples might be:

-must have 3 bedrooms

-must have fenced backyard

-must be within 20 minutes of our jobs

2)What are your three would love to haves?  

These have possible other solutions so they aren’t deal breakers, but you would really really like them to be part of your new home.  

Examples might be:

-two car attached garage

(ok…. we could live with one car garage, but would LOVE two!)

-a separate office

-an upstairs laundry room

3)What are your three fantasy items?  

Examples might be:

-A view of Mount Hood

-A porch, always wanted a front porch

-A coffee shop within walking distance

Obviously, your answers will be unique to you and with this list in hand, our shopping experience will be much more of a treasure hunt to find the items in 2 & 3 and much less stressful because you and your partner will have a vision for what “it” looks like.  

And that will help you identify it once we find it!

Ready for buying with a partner?

Let’s chat!

The Loan Process

Learn about the loan process. Pole barn home, white two story with medium dark wood around the windows with black pains and some green shrubs on the ground floor outside the windows.

The loan process goes like this…

Complete your application with your chosen lender.

Submit all income and asset documentation. Your lender will need every page of every document requested – bank statements, your tax returns and W-2 statements from the previous two years.

Sign and initial the application and disclosures either at your lender’s office, or via mail and send back.

Once the lender has the above, the file will be turned in to processing. Once processed it will then go into underwriting.

While in underwriting you may be contacted for more information. The sooner you get that information back to them, the faster the loan gets closed.

You find a dream home, then what happens to the loan?

Write an earnest money check to go with your offer. This is a deposit toward your down payment. 

Loan disclosures will be sent to you for approval. Once approved, and once the inspection has been signed off, an appraisal will be scheduled.

 

The appraisal is charged to you. If it comes back “subject to repairs,” the repairs will all need to be done before closing and the appraiser will need to go back out to verify completion. There is an additional fee for the verification if it’s necessary.

Secure insurance for the property. The bill will be paid at closing.

Are we done yet? (Nope.)

Once all of the previous is done, the file is submitted for final loan approval. The processor will do last minute employment verifications and will refresh your credit report. Then loan documents are sent to escrow.

Escrow will call you to arrange a time to sign and give you the amount needed to close. This generally happens the day before or morning of signing. You will need a cashier’s check made out to the escrow company, or you can wire the funds. The escrow officer is the only person who can tell you the exact amount of that check and it’s usually short notice. Your lender will give you an estimate so you have an idea of what to expect. 

Go to signing and sign your loan papers at the escrow office. This usually happens two to three days before closing. You will need to bring two forms of ID, at least one of which is government issued with photo. Signing will take about an hour.

Loan documents go back to the lender’s office, and the funder reviews the file. There is a chance you will be asked for additional documentation or signatures, so please be available.

Your loan funds in the morning and records in the afternoon. Once recorded your transaction is considered closed.

Ta-da! Okay, now you’re done with the loan process.

Have questions? Please reach out.

Staging a Home

Two tone navy and grey room with navy velvet couch and 4 grey throw pillows. Two light wood frames on the wall. Navy and white rug with green house plant.

We’ve all heard about staging a home.

Is taking the extra time and sometimes spending a little extra money worth it?

You bet!

Here are some of my favorite ways to prepare a home for selling:

* Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans. 

* Replace burnt out light bulbs.

* Clear countertop clutter.

* Shampoo carpets.

* Remove excessive wall hangings, personal photos and kick-knacks. 

* Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).

Some of these items may seem negligible and you may be thinking people won’t notice. 

Trust me, they do!

My job is to guide you and get your home in tip top shape showing it at its best and leaving everyone wanting to buy it.

Staging a home is worth every penny and worth the time.

Want to know more about staging your home? Let’s chat!

Some Expectations

Kitchen with gray cabinets and gray countertops, stainless steel refrigerator, 3 cylindrical pendant lights clear and silver, bright natural light

Some expectations…

Expect to vacate your home for every showing. 

Expect a buyer’s agent to ask you questions if they run into you. Refer them back to me to protect your best interests. 

Expect buyers to make low offers.

Expect buyers to ask for closing costs. 

Expect buyers to ask for a home warranty. I recommend you consider purchasing one which is a great selling feature.

Expect to vacate for multiple inspections, most common three: whole house, radon and sewer scope. However there are many more which may be requested such as roof, oil tank, septic, pest, etc.

Expect buyers to ask for repairs that could range from $200 to $20,000. 

Expect that there is a chance our appraisal will come in low.

Expect buyers financing to potentially fall through due to circumstances beyond their control.

Expect buyers to be nervous and make unreasonable requests, especially if this is their first purchase. Just because they ask, doesn’t mean we have to say “yes.”

Expect that agents may schedule an appointment to show your home, not show up, and not call to cancel. Rude.

Expect that agents may leave a door unlocked, or let a pet out.

Expect agents may show up without making an appointment.

Expect some agents will refuse to give feedback. 

Expect that if we are on the market more than a couple of weeks without activity, that we will discuss a price correction to re-establish buyer activity.

Expect there to be some hurdles throughout the process, but that we will work through them together. You are not alone in this process.

Questions about other expectations? Reach out! I’m here to help.