Are you buying a home in Rice Lake? RE/MAX Advantage can help.

For a lot of people, purchasing a home can be a stressful event. But with some planning ahead of time, it isn't that hard. So they know exactly what to expect, I will provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. If you have questions regarding this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you start your home search, there are plenty of things you should contemplate. When you begin your search, you'll want to make a checklist of features you need to have, get a feeling for what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to set up a time to get together with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Rice Lake area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some great mortgage professionals in Rice Lake, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will assist you in determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
Following our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are great for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view the houses, I'll call attention to good features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. Oftentimes, buyers revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become far more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings another time and trim it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Comprehend the market
Your agent's awareness of the Rice Lake housing market is a crucial component in your home search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can alert you to which districts are "hot" and require prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent in Rice Lake will convince you they know the housing market, but be careful, and be sure to ask your agent plenty of questions. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, just call me at (715) 736-7000 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Rice Lake area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clear title.

When we send in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is usually applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it intimidate you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon signing the contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this shouldn't take very long at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and calm occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just contact me at (715) 736-7000 or e-mail me at .

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