Buying a Home in the Orlando Area?
Believe it or not, buying a home doesn't have to be a stressful, drawn out process. Whether you are buying your first home or you are a well-informed real estate investor, you need a professional who knows the Orlando real estate market inside and out, and most importantly, knows how to negotiate and handle the real estate transaction on your behalf.
78% of Home Buyers Prefer Quality Neighborhood Over Size of the Home.
According to National Association of REALTORS® 2013 Community Preference Survey, 78% of home buyers surveyed responded that neighborhood quality is more important than the size of the home. The RE/MAX YourOrlando.com Team agrees that a "neighborhood first" is the best approach when looking for your new home. For this reason, we specialize in providing the resources and guidance you need to locate the perfect home in the best neighborhood.
Are You Ready To Buy Your New Home Now?
Ask Us — How We Find the Best Homes, in the Best Neighborhoods, at the Best Price Possible.
If you are ready to start your home search now, you can search all of the available homes for sale on your own, or we can help you find a great home in one of Orlando’s best neighborhoods. Our Free Home Finder Service is perfect for those who may not know the Orlando area. Based on your budget and criteria, we will help you locate the best homes and neighborhoods. Once we find your perfect home, we will help you negotiate the best possible price and finalize the closing.
Our Team's Commitment to Excellence
There is a reason why our clients return to us repeatedly for their real estate buying needs. They are confident in our expertise. Not only to negotiate the best price possible, but to ensure the purchase process goes smoothly.
We have gained our extensive knowledge of the Orlando real estate market through years of experience and superior training. The RE/MAX YourOrlando.com Team meets the high standards of our elite affiliations with RE/MAX International, The National Association of Realtors, The Real Estate Buyer’s Council, Certified Distress Property Experts, The Council of Residential Specialist, The Realtor Institute, and more. As top RE/MAX Agents and Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), you won't find better representation.
The Home Buying Process
Buying real estate can be a rewarding experience if done properly, or quite stressful if you are not prepared. By knowing what to do and preparing in advance, you can make your real estate dreams a reality while avoiding the possible pitfalls along the way. Here are some important steps to consider when buying a home or property:
1. Find a Real Estate Agent (REALTOR®)
The first step is to find a real estate agent who will help you navigate the home buying process. Most expert real estate agents are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). If a real estate agent is not a member of NAR, you may want to look elsewhere.
Your Realtor will ensure things go smoothly by avoiding common home buying mistakes. Since experienced Realtors have been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions, they know how to avoid the things that can turn your home buying dream into a nightmare. Your Realtor will know how to find the good neighborhoods and avoid the bad. They will help you to negotiate the best possible price on the right home in a good neighborhood. Your agent will also be able to provide you with a list of trusted resources and related professionals who can help you through the home buying process.
As Award winning RE/MAX agents and ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI, Realtors, we at the YourOrlando.com Team wants to be your Realtor. Please consider putting us to work for you. In most cases, the seller pays our fee so our service is FREE to you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
You can contact us now if you have questions.
2. Find a Mortgage Broker
The second step is find a mortgage broker. As with finding a Realtor, having the right mortgage professional on your team is critical. So many times, we see buyers shop the internet for the lowest possible mortgage rate with almost no consideration for anything else. This can have disastrous consequences. Unscrupulous predatory lenders will use low rate bait-and-switch tactics to get you hooked. Once they get your application fee and have you hooked, the problems begin. The interest rate changes, phone calls are not returned, deadlines are missed—you get the idea. There aren’t many things more stressful than realizing that you have a mortgage person who either doesn’t care or doesn’t know what they are doing when you have a contractual deadline approaching.
Your current bank, credit union, or a national lender is much better place to start searching for a mortgage. Your Realtor will do everything possible to ensure you find a lender who will be an asset to your home purchase team. Your Realtor will have a list of trusted mortgage professionals they have worked with in the past.
3. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan or Obtain a Proof of Funds Letter
Now that you have found your mortgage professional, it’s time to get pre-approved for your loan. Your pre-approval will determine how much house you can afford and how much your payments will be. Completing this step will allow you to move swiftly with minimal stress when you find the perfect home, especially when there are other interested buyers competing for the same house.
With your pre-approval in hand, you will only need to have an appraisal and survey on the property to complete the loan process. This will give you the freedom to focus on the home inspections once you find your dream home. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious, and you really can afford to buy the property.
Note: Ask for a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The good faith estimate is a detailed estimate of loan cost and what your mortgage payment will be. Your lender is required to provide you with a GFE within 3 days of making your formal loan application.
Your lender will need the following information to complete your loan application and prepare your GFE:
- borrower's name
- borrower's monthly income
- borrower's social security number
- property address
- estimate of the value of the property
- mortgage loan amount sought
- View a sample HUD approved GFE
Proof of Funds: If you are paying cash, ask your agent what will be acceptable as proof-of-funds. In the Orlando real estate market, we normally see a bank account statement from the account holding the funds.
Note: make sure that you black out your account number for security. You will need to leave your name on the statement to prove the account is actually yours.
4. Define What You Need and Want in Your New Home
Creating a wish list is one of the most fun and worthwhile steps in the home buying process. Your list of features that you need and want in your new home is invaluable. Without a thought-out plan as to what you need, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and chase the prettiest home at the best price, without considering the things that may be more important in the long run, like schools, community, parking, or other critical needs. You can refine your list as you begin to see homes. It might be helpful to build your list while viewing some actual homes for sale online.
5. Pick and Visit Homes for Sale
Now it's time to pick out some actual homes to view in person. You will need to compile a list of properties with your Realtor. Your agent will send you listings, based on your "needs and wants." From these properties, select the homes you want to view. Your agent will then set up the showing appointments.
While you are viewing these homes, make sure that you refine your "needs and wants" list as you see things that you like or no longer want. Let your Realtor know if you see something you like or not. Doing this will help your agent find properties that are more compatible. Don't be shy about expressing your dislikes when viewing a property. This will also help you agent zero in on what you want. If you walk into a house that you dislike immediately, don't waste time, turn around and walk out. Your agent will appreciate your decisiveness.
6. Know the Features That Help or Hurt Resale
Buying the most expensive home in a community is usually a bad idea. In neighborhoods with two-car garages, a single-car garage may impact the home's resale value. Your agent can point out features that help or hurt resale value.
7. Rate the Houses You Tour
After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system or checklist that will help narrow the field down. For example, pick the house you like best on day one and compare all other houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.
8. Make an Offer
Once you've pinpointed your dream house, it's time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Your RE/MAX agent will be a invaluable resource at this stage since you and the seller have different goals.
9. Home Inspection
After your offer is accepted, you will need to complete a home inspection. It's common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestations and foundation problems. Your Realtor can help find a reputable inspector and will help you navigate the inspection process and how to deal with issues once the inspector's report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, you will want to arrange for a re-inspection during the final walk-through inspection before closing of escrow and taking procession of the property. Ask your Realtor about home protection plans, which may save you money for problems that arise in the future.
Before your closing date, make sure that you have the funds needed to close delivered to the title company. If your funds are not there, you will not be able to close. Keep in mind; many title companies no longer take cashier’s checks, so you will more than likely need to wire the funds to the title company prior to closing.
Here are some things that you will want to have with you, or have ready at closing:
- Funds needed to close (usually wired the day prior)
- Picture ID (usually your Driver’s License or Passport)
- Homeowners’ Insurance Policy
- Utility connections should be prearranged. Don't forget your power, water, sewer, gas, cable, internet
- HUD-1 Settlement Statement (shows funds needed to close)