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Buyer Information

 

Need help finding your dream home?  Whether you are moving down the street or relocating, we have the local expertise and resources to help you find the perfect home or condo for you and your family.  We work closely with our clients to understand your real estate needs and goals to help you find the best home at the best possible price.

Here is an easy-to-understand summary of the home buying process your Hamilton’s Realty agent will guide you through.

 

Timeframe

An important first step that is commonly overlooked is to identify if your timeframe is dictated mostly by your want or need to purchase your new home by a certain date.  If you are currently selling another property, building new contraction, or are renting, then you likely need to locate and close on your purchase by a specific date.  This needs to be thought of first and clearly communicated with your Hamilton’s Realty agent so that they can tailor their service to correllate to your individual scenario.

 

Mortgage Pre-approval

Equally as important as your timeframe, is how you are purchasing: Cash or Financing.  If financing, determining what purchase price you are qualified to purchase and what the payment cost will be is necessary before beginning your search. 

Once you determine your budget and what payment you are comfortable paying each month, your Hamilton's Realty agent can recommend local banks and mortgage brokers that can assist you in getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, and take you through the loan process.

Below you will find a checklist of what you will need for your mortgage application.

 

Finding your Future Home

The way Buyers search for their new home has been the most significant change to the real estate industry in its history.  With sites such as Zillow, Trulia and many other related sites and smartphone apps, buyers have unprecedented access to information about properties for sale, what properties have previously sold for, and school and local information.

While some were worried that these technologies would render the real estate agent unnecessary, it has the opposite effect and has made the agent more relevant than ever.  Your Hamilton's Realty agent will help guide you through the overload of – and many times, incorrect – information, and assist in identifying your real needs and locations so that will find a home that you will enjoy for years to come.

 

Offer to Purchase – Negotiate – Ratified Contract

Once you have identified a property you would like to purchase, your Hamilton's Realty agent will consult you, prepare an Offer to Purchase to present to the sellers. This will negotiate final price, financing, inspections, contingencies, dates, and favorable terms until an agreement is reached between all involved parties.

 

Loan Application

Following the successful negotiation and ratification of the purchase agreement, it is now more imperative than ever to provide your mortgage broker with ALL needed documentation to complete your loan application, in a timely and diligent manner.  Following is a list of steps you can prepare for early to ensure a smooth transaction.

 

Property Inspection

Like test driving a car before agreeing to purchase it, it is important to have a Certified Home Inspector do a thorough inspection of your future home's structural, crawl space, interior and exterior surfaces, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems prior to completing a purchase.

If your new home has a well and septic system, pool, additional structures, possible lead-based paint, underground tanks, and/or Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS), then you should consider having these items individually inspected by inspectors that are qualified for those specific items.

 

Termite and Moisture Inspection.

Due to Hampton Roads’ proximity to water and the local temperature fluctuations, lenders require a home to be certified free of active termite activity, fungi, and moisture damage in order to qualify for a mortgage loan.

 

Appraisal

As part of the lending process, the lender will require that an appraisal of the value of the property be performed.  It is important to note that a lender will only lend up to the appraised value.  This is to protect you and the bank from paying too much.  Appraisals are optional, but highly recommended for cash purchases.

 

Condo/Property Owners Associations

When purchasing a home that is part of either a Condominium Owners Association (generally a neighborhood of attached properties) or a Property Owners Association (generally a neighborhood of detached properties), the seller is required to provide you with a copy of the current bi-laws, regulations, and financial standing. By agreeing with the Owner's Package you are agreeing to adhere to the rules and bi-laws for as long as you own your property.

 

Closing

You have made it!  Closing is the final step to occur after all inspections, appraisal, and final loan approval has been completed.  Your Hamilton's Realty agent and settlement attorney will cover your purchase documents, mortgage and deed transfer, at which point you will receive the keys and take ownership of your new property.  The total process from Ratification to Closing generally takes between 30 to 60 days.

 

What you need to apply for financing:

  • Driver's License(s), U.S. Residency Card or Government Issued Identification.
  • 2 years of individual tax returns and associated W-2s or 1099s.  If self-employed: previous 2 years of Business Tax Returns, Year-to-Date Profit and Loss, and Balance Sheets.
  • Current pay stubs showing year-to-date earnings for each borrower.
  • Documents related to any other sources of income to be consider (i.e. Social Security, Pensions, etc.).
  • ALL PAGES of previous two months of bank statements, investment and retirement accounts.
  • VA loans: Certification of Eligibility and DD214.  Active Military will also need Statement of Service.