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Home Buying

updated on 10 May 2007
 

5 Steps to Buying a Home

By Nina Sabangan 

Buying a home can be a complex process. The mortgage and real estate industries, though 2 separate fields, go hand in hand in the transaction of making the American dream a reality. My focus, and my passion, is to get your started in this journey towards home ownership in a neighborhood that you and your family will enjoy and thrive in.

For this, the first in a series of columns, I would like to talk about the typical steps to buying a home:

Pre-qualification

This is a thorough look at your credit and financial situation. Your credit report is a reflection of how you have handled your obligations in the past and lenders consider this as a good indication of how you will handle your bills (specifically their mortgage) in the future. Not everyone has perfect credit. Although no one intends to have bad credit, many do not know how to go about correcting the situation.

In many cases, it is the lack of credit that becomes a hindrance. I will guide you to a clear focus on your credit and financial situation and share with you practical and do-able steps to keep you on the right track to maintaining your excellent credit profile or to turning your credit picture around.

Together, we will develop techniques
that will set you up to achieve anything you set your mind to. Along the way, we will celebrate small victories, learn from minor set backs and strengthen your feeling of competence, confidence and self-assurance in what you know and what you can achieve.

Picking the right mortgage


Finding the right loan and lender is crucial to your success in buying a home. First, I will help you understand the different types of loans and determine which loans are available to you.







Then, together, we will do a comparison of rates, terms, closing costs and payments to help you decide which loan best fits your needs and situation. We will be discussing your goals to make sure that the loan fits both your short and long term needs. We will also discuss the many benefits of home ownership: appreciation, mortgage interest deduction, property tax deduction, pride of ownership.

Pride of ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security; it is making an investment in your future. My goal is for you to have a thorough understanding of the mortgage process and know what to expect every step of the way.

Finding the right home

Armed with the confidence that there are lenders out there that will lend you money, we move on to finding a home. You understand the parameters of your loan; you understand what the lender is looking for from a borrower. The mortgage application comprises of getting you approved as a borrower and getting the property approved as the collateral.

Being a real estate agent I will lead you through this aspect of the transaction.

It starts with what you want in a home. How many bedrooms, how big, with a pool? Jacksonville and its surrounding areas offer a large variety of properties available for sale. You may want an older home, a brand new home, a condo, in a specific school district or subdivision

Knowing how much you truly qualify for, I will send you e-mail's of MLS properties available within your price range in the area you want to live. You will get familiar with what's available, and if you are interested in any of the homes, I do my initial research. Among other things I figure out if the home is reasonably priced and if the financing is a fit.

Likely, I will call the selling agent to ask open-ended questions to get a feel for what direction the transaction would need to go. Then, I schedule an appointment and we go see the house. You look at the house and see the potential: how it will fit with your lifestyle, how it will satisfy your needs, how it will look with your own valuable possessions in there. You will picture yourself and your family living in the home. I look at the house and determine what kind of repairs, if any, need to happen, evidence of termites, wood rot, etc. I make my notes to use as reference when I compose the contract. I look at you and you are smiling. This is the one! It is time to submit a contract.

Negotiating the real estate contract

The real estate contract is a legal document that conveys a buyer's commitment to buy a home for sale and specifies the terms and conditions of the offer. I translate your desires, your doubts, your financial situation, your excitement, and your worries into the wording in this legal document. I submit a reasonable contract. Reasonable, by my definition, is a win-win situation. You, the buyer want to get the best deal but the seller also wants to get the best price and terms. We meet somewhere in the middle and agree on price and terms that will be acceptable to both parties and more importantly, will comply with your mortgage application.

Closing your loan

Now, we have a signed, agreed upon contract, you have provided me most of the documents the lender needs from you to issue a conditional approval (pay stubs, W-2's, bank statements, etc.).

Together we discuss the mortgage application and all the paperwork involved with the application. These include: a Good Faith Estimate, A Truth in Lending statement, Disclosures, etc.

At this point these documents will be familiar to you because you will see in writing what we have been talking about all along. We will discuss each piece of paper that you sign and I will answer all the questions that you have. Once the appraisal, inspections, title work and survey have been done and approved by the lender, we schedule the closing with an attorney. During the closing, ownership is transferred to you and you now own a piece of the American dream, your own home.

As a mortgage broker and real estate agent, I will guide you through both transactions. I will make sure that you have the knowledge and understanding of all your options to make a decision that is right for YOU.

Most of all, I understand the hurdles and sacrifices most of us have made to make America our home. I have been there …and I will be there for you!



 
NINA SABANGAN
is an experienced mortgage and real estate professional who has been in the business for more than 6 years. A native of Marikina, Philippines, she has made Florida her home. She lives in Ponte Vedra Beach with her husband, also a real estate and mortgage professional and her 2 sons. She would like to set in motion a unified Filipino community in the Jacksonville area and is planning to establish a website as a virtual watering hole for Filipinos, professional and otherwise. You can reach her at (904) 662-0971 for your mortgage and real estate needs. You can also call her if you are a local professional or business owner interested in being a part of "Kayamanan," her Filipino professional and cultural website in the works.
 
 
 
 
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