Advice For 1st Time Buyers

Advice For 1st Time Buyers

Historically, sellers wait for springtime to place their homes on the Real Estate Market and will often remove them from the market in winter and re-list in the spring, a season that seems more amenable to lookers and buyers.  The reason for this seems simple enough.  It takes approximately sixty days from signing contracts to closing and most buyers who have children in school do not wish to disrupt their school year. therefore the hope for a September closing is realistic. However, this past year I’ve been advising my sellers not to wait for spring to list their homes due to current low interest rates and the intense activity of buyers.   Buyers should prepare themselves before engaging a Real Estate Agent and going out to look at houses.  You, the buyer, should confer with certain professionals who will help you achieve your goal of buying a house and because there can be complications in any Real Estate transaction, these professionals will facilitate a smooth transaction.  I’ve listed the following players you will need;  
        Mortgage Professional *  
Home Inspection Professional
Real Estate Agent 
First you should meet with a mortgage professional because this is where the journey for your new house begins.  The mortgage broker will review your income, debt level, and credit score and will tell you if you qualify to purchase a home.  If you qualify, you will be given a written pre-approval letter which informs your Realtor of the price you can afford.  
Now it’s time to contact a Realtor.  Call any Real Estate office or get a referral from a friend or family member, then set up a time to meet with your chosen agent.  This meeting will help you get to know your Realtor and will give him/her the opportunity to go over the purchasing process and show listings of houses to you.  Your agent will then take you out to look at the houses you have chosen.  
Now you have found a house and made an offer which has been accepted; what do you do next?  You should contact a home inspector and an attorney.  A home inspector is important because he will inspect the house from stem to stern noting things which may be of concern.  He will provide you with a full written report of his findings.  A radon test must be done and if there is a well, the water must be tested as required by Westchester County.   After your offer has been accepted and the home inspection done, you should contact your Real Estate Attorney who will review the contract which has been drawn up on the purchase of the house. Your attorney will, at this time, order a title report on the property.  To transfer the title, there cannot be any liens or open permits to encumber the property, and there must be a Certificate of Occupancy,                             
After all these issues have been researched then your attorney will be in contact with the seller’s attorney to schedule a closing. Your attorney will then provide you with amount of the closing costs.  Closing costs can consist of prorated school and property taxes, prorated utility bills, oil/propane proration, mortgage tax, and filing fees to record the mortgage.  Some checks may be personal checks while others will need to be bank checks.  
Closing day is here!!!….Before you go to the closing you and your Realtor should do a final walk through at the house to make sure it will be delivered to you in the condition specified in your contract. You should check all appliances and water faucets, check for any leaks or damage that may have occurred after the inspection was done.  If there are any such issues, contact your attorney as soon as possible so it can be addressed at the closing.   The moment has finally come and you’re at the closing.  By the end of it, you will know your name and the date because you will be signing it too many times to count.  Most closings go smoothly but if a problem or issue arises, your attorney is there to address it. Once you have completed signing, initialing and dating everywhere, congratulations you have a new home!!          

Pat Stam Headshot
Phone: 914-557-6858
Dated: February 21st 2014
Views: 16,120
About Pat: Pat is a longtime resident of Yorktown where she and husband Joe raised their three boys. She is v...

1 Response


    Really helpful tips.


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