Buying a home can be an overwhelming process. From financing to negotiating to closing, there are a lot of moving pieces that can leave homebuyers bewildered.

A real estate agent can help guide you through each step of the buying process, offering sound advice along the way. By working with a professional agent who knows the ins and outs of the real estate industry, you’ll not only end up with a great home, but you’ll also walk away with a great experience.

Here are some of the key areas that an agent can help you with:

Getting pre-approved by a lender
By providing your real estate agent with some basic information about your income, savings, and debt, he or she can assist you in getting pre-approved by a reputable lender. The lender will then go over your financing options, what monthly payment amount you can afford, and what you can expect for down payment requirements and closing costs.

Choosing a home
For most buyers, choosing a home is an emotional process. An agent can assist you in this process by offering objective information about each property you look at. From local community information like schools and zoning to home-specific details like condition and amenities, an agent can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Making an offer
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, an agent will research recent comparable sales of similar homes in the area to help determine a fair selling price. Based on those comparable sales, as well as other factors like inspections and repairs, an agent will then help you structure an offer and negotiate to get the very best deal possible.

Closing
Closing, or settlement, can be a complicated process. In some areas, the escrow or title company handles the closing process, while in other areas an attorney handles it. Regardless of where you’re buying, a real estate agent can help ensure that everything goes smoothly.

5 Reasons Homeownership Makes ‘Cents’

The American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. Recent reports show that the U.S. homeownership rate has rebounded from recent lows and is headed in the right direction.  The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, but there are many basic similarities.

Here are the top 5 financial reasons you should own your own home.



1. Homeownership is a Form of Forced Savings
Paying your mortgage each month allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life for renovations, to pay off high-interest credit card debt, or even send a child to college. As a renter, you guarantee that your landlord is the person with that equity.


2. Homeownership Provides Tax Savings
One way to save on taxes is to own your own home. You may be able to deduct your mortgage interest, property taxes, and profits from selling your home, but make sure to always check with your accountant first to find out which tax advantages apply to you in your area.

 

3. Homeownership Allows You to Lock in Your Monthly Housing Cost
When you purchase your home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you lock in your monthly housing cost for the next 5, 15, or 30 years. The value of your home will continue to rise with inflation, but your monthly costs will not.

 

4. Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting
According to the latest report from Trulia, it is now 37.4% less expensive to buy a home of your own than to rent in the U.S. That number varies throughout the country but ranges from 6.5% cheaper in San Jose, CA to 50.1% cheaper in Detroit, MI.

 

5. No Other Investment Lets You Live Inside of It
You can choose to invest your money in gold or the stock market, but you will still need somewhere to live. In a home that you own, you can wake up every morning knowing that your investment is gaining value while providing you a safe place to live.

 

Bottom Line, before you sign another lease, let’s get together to help you better understand all your options.