THE LINEAGE REAL ESTATE PROCESS
:: AN OVERVIEW ::
Step 1: Start Your Research Early
As soon as you can, start reading paying attention to areas and neighborhoods that interest you. Read newspapers, blogs and walk the neighborhood to determine if it's suitable for your needs. Make a note of particular homes you are interested in and monitor how long they stay on the market and final sale prices. learning the trends in the micro-market will give you more clarity when it comes time to make offers.
Step 2: Determine How Much House You Can Afford
Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income. We advise that you get pre-approved as soon as you are serious about home ownership. This helps you to make objective decisions and draw lines in the financial sand about what areas and houses you are comfortable spending before you fall in love with a home out of your financial boundaries. See our apply page for details on the pre-approval process.
Step 4: Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents are important partners when you’re buying or selling a home. Real estate agents can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t easily accessible to the public. Their knowledge of the home buying process, negotiating skills, and familiarity with the area you want to live in can be extremely valuable. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to use an agent – they’re compensated from the commission paid by the seller of the house.
Step 5: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer
Start touring homes in your price range. It might be helpful to take notes on all the homes you visit. You will see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home.
Make sure to check out the little details of each house. For example:
Test the plumbing by running the shower to see how strong the water pressure is and how long it takes to get hot water
Try the electrical system by turning switches on and off
Open and close the windows and doors to see if they work properly
It’s also important to evaluate the neighborhood and make a note of things such as:
Are the other homes on the block well maintained?
How much traffic does the street get?
Is there enough street parking for your family and visitors?
Is it conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and public transportation?
Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then work with your real estate agent to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once you and the seller have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.
Step 6: Get a Home Inspection
Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your real estate agent usually will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.
Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
Step 7: Have the Home Appraised
Lineage Lending will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with Lineage Lending. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
STEP 8: FINALIZE YOUR FINANCING
Every homebuyer has their own priorities when choosing a mortgage. Some are interested in keeping their payment as low as possible. Others are interested in making sure that their payment never changes. And still, others pick a loan based on the knowledge that they will be relocating in just a few years.
Regardless of your needs, we have over 30 loan programs, one of which is going to fit your needs. Review the resources within our site to learn more about the loan products offered by Lineage Lending and ask us for help on deciding which one is best for you.
Step 9: Close the Sale
At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to Lineage.
STEP 10: Enjoy your new home!