The Buying Process

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by Michelle Mumoli will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice Michelle said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.


Step 3: Get Pre-APPROVED

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan. Michelle Mumoli will be able to refer you to her trusted team of lending professionals that understand the areas where you are looking. There are tons of programs available that can aid in assisting your down payment or lowering your interest rate right now and Michelle Mumoli has the best connections for you.


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will Michelle Mumoli help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but she also has a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Michelle Mumoli may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

Michelle's goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). Michelle will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with Michelle to craft a fair offer. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or above the asking price. Michelle will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and get your offer accepted. At this point your offer is sent to the attorneys to start the attorney review process, which takes about a week.


Step 7: Due Diligence

Once you are out of attorney review, you  are officially under contract to purchase your home. You’ll send your first deposit and get the home inspected. Michelle can help you coordinate this with her trusted team of licensed home inspectors. Once the inspector produces the report, you can decide if there is anything that may require the seller to repair, you can also request a credit at closing in lieu of repairs. This is not the time to get a steep reduction on the sales price. There are sometimes extenuating circumstances that would make it impossible for you to repair or the sellers to come to agreement on a credit, your attorney and Michelle will advise as to how best to handle the situation from here. For buyers comfortable with the inspection report findings, we continue on with our scheduled closing date as stated on the contract. 


Step 8: Appraisal

Your lender will send out an appraiser during this time to assess the property based on square footage, bed/bath count etc. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.


Step 9: Closing

A couple of days prior to closing your attorney and lender will provide you with final figures to ensure you bring accurate required information to the closing table. Michelle will coordinate your final walk through with you and then you will head to sign documents to your new home. 


We made it! Welcome to your new home. 

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A native of new jersey and relocation expert throughout the state, Michelle's exceptional reputation in the real estate industry comes from her ability to deliver the best service. Contact now!

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