Buying or selling a home? I can help!

Purchasing a home intimidates most people. However, with some up-front planning, it's not that hard. I like to furnish buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home.

When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send me e-mail. I'm glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
Before you commence your home search, there are a lot of things you should consider. You'll want to assemble a check list of items you want to have, get an idea of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 1/3 of your monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Contact me 
This is where I can help. I'll set up a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the North Port area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals, I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your search
Following our first meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll research many of the homes and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll point out positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers update their wish list as we view homes and some features become more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings one more time and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
My understanding of the North Port area housing market is a crucial asset in your home search. I am familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I'll communicate what neighborhoods are "hot" and call for prompt action and the others that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I believe the house is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent in the North Port area will convince you they understand the market, but be on guard, and make sure you ask your agent a lot of questions. If things don't add up, just call me at (941) 875-1000 or e-mail me at, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm confident we'll find the house of your dreams in the North Port area, and when we do, I'll thoroughly develop your purchase offer. The offer will be written keeping your needs in mind. Whenever necessary, I never forget to make contracts contingent upon items like obtaining financing and the results of the home inspection.

Let Century 21 Almar & Associates guide you through finding your dream home in North Port Upon sending in your offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property within 45 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer, and it's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions and you determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon signing the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it won't take long at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will give you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) of your closing costs within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and stress-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it.  Just so you know, I'll be there after the transaction closed to help you with any lingering issues.  If you have any questions, be sure to contact me at (941) 875-1000 or send me an e-mail.