Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Step 8

Protect Your Investment

Now that you have your home and you're all moved in, you need to take some final steps to protect your investment. Throughout the home buying process you have probably gotten to know your agent quite well, and hopefully you've been able to build a relationship of trust. That doesn't have to go away just because the deal has closed, your agent wants you to stay in touch! 

After you buy your home your agent can still help you in the following ways:

1. Handle your first tax return as a new homeowner. Filing taxes as a home owner can be quite different than you may be used to, and you may have tax breaks coming to you. It's also important to keep track of your property taxes and your agent can help you with that. 

2. Keep track of your home's current market value. The value of your home will rise and fall with the market and it's good to keep track. If at some point you choose to sell your home you will want to do so when the value is at a high point.

3. Help your friends find or sell homes. Sometimes finding an agent you like can be difficult, but once you do why not let your friends know? It will save them a lot of time doing an agent search and you can feel confident your agent will treat your friends as well as she treated you. 

4. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling. Keeping up with your home maintenance is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment. 

There are two things you should be doing to maintain your home:

1. Keep it clean. We're not talking about sweeping and mopping here, although that's important too! It's really important to do regular maintenance and cleaning of your home's systems, such as heating and cooling units, fireplace chimneys, septic tanks, crawl spaces, and attic spaces. 

2. Keep an eye on it. Be sure to do regular walk around inspections of your home and look for any leaks, cracks, damage, and basic wear and tear. 

Allowing any part of your home to fall into disrepair can lead to hefty repair bills. Often times homeowners fail to pay attention to maintenance problems with their home until they choose to sell it, then they find themselves faced with a large inspection report brought forth by potential buyers. Keeping on top of issues as they arrive can save you a lot of hassle, and money, in the future.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Step 7


This is the final step of the home buying process and your agent will take care of most of it for you. The stages of this process include:

Appraisal - Your lender will send out an appraiser to assure the home is worth what you're paying for it, or at least what you're asking to borrow for it.

Title search - A title search will be performed to assure the seller has a right to sell the home and that no one else claims to own the property. 

Final credit and finance check - Your credit and financing will be looked at one final time to assure everything is in order. It is important you don't make any major purchases (car, new furniture) during the home buying process. 

Your agent will keep you notified of each step and how the process is advancing. Even though most of this stage is in your agent's hands, you will have a small list of pre-closing responsibilities you should be on top of. 

1. Stay in control of your finances. As I mentioned above, this is not the time for any major purchases, it could result in you losing the home of your dreams. 

2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly. There are time deadlines during this stage that everyone is trying to meet, don't be the one who keeps the party waiting! 

3. Communicate with your agent at least once a week. Send them a text, email. or give them a call to find out how things are going and if you need to do anything. 

4. Confirm with your agent your documents are in order. This should be done several days before closing. Sometimes documents can be misplaced in the mountains of paperwork and emails, so it's best to double check. 

5. Do a final walk-through - A few days before closing you and your agent should do one last walk-through of the property to ensure it's in the same shape it was when you agreed to purchase it, and that all appliances included in the deal have remained. 

On closing day you will be guided through the process of signing by a closing agent and your own agent. The documents you sign will:

1. Finalize your mortgage.

2. Pay the seller.

3. Pay your closing costs.

4. Transfer the title from the seller to you.

5. Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

With these clear expectations, and if you follow directions given to you by your agent, closing should be the exciting end to your home-buying journey!