For Buyers

Let Brenda Regan - Broker Associate help you with purchasing a home in Southwest Michigan

Purchasing a home can be stressful for a lot of people, but it's not very difficult with a little planning ahead of time. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are several things you should do before beginning your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to assemble a list of features you need, get a plan of what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good principle to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be less than a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent 
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to arrange a time to get together with you and communicate with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Southwest Michigan area.

I can also help you start the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Southwest Michigan, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can assist you in deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin finding houses on the market that are good for you. I'll research most of the homes and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll point out good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers revise their wish list as we tour homes and some things become more substantial than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings once more and trim it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
Your agent's knowledge of the Saint Joseph market is a leading factor in your home search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can communicate what areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and the others that are "cool" and allow for more examination.

As we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any REALTOR® will claim to know the housing market. If things don't add up, contact me at (269) 930-7355 or e-mail me at, and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm confident we'll find your dream home in the Saint Joseph area. When we do, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your purchase offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, 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 pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain a loan
Upon completing the deal, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't take very long at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal 
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. The estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your house. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and easygoing affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, just contact me at (269) 930-7355 or send me an e-mail.