Are you contemplating buying your home in Manatee, Sarasota or Hillsborough?

Purchasing a home is stressful for a lot of people. However, with a little up-front planning, it isn't all that complex. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the entire deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

When you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or send me e-mail. I'm happy to address any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are a lot of things you need to consider before commencing your home search. When you start your search, you'll want to make a checklist of items you need to have, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Because today's market is moving so fast, you should consider speaking to a mortgage broker and get pre-approved.  Your mortgage broker will take the guess work out of "how much home you can afford", but a good guideline to go by is that your mortgage payment should be around a third of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
This is where Patricia Baker with REMAX Alliance Group comes in. I'll plan a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Sarasota area.

I can also help you start the loan process. I partner with some of Florida's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with choosing which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the homes at a time that's convenient for you.Foreclosures and REO's are also available in the area, although they are declining from what they used to be.

When we view the houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you what things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to update their must-have list as we tour homes and some items become more essential than others. If that's the situation, I'll look through all the listings again and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
My knowledge of the Sarasota market is a fundamental resource in your home search. I'm familiar with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can alert you to certain districts are "hot" and require prompt action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful analysis.

As we view houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Any REALTOR® in Sarasota will tell you they truly know the housing market, but be wary, and make sure you ask lots of questions. If things don't add up, call me at 941-727-7345 or e-mail me at, and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in the Sarasota area. When we do, I'll thoroughly develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs, including some contingencies. A few examples are getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let REMAX Alliance Group guide you through finding your dream home in Sarasota When we turn in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is often put towards the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals don't close on the beginning offer, and it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

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

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't take very long at all. But you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy. I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most likely take place at a title company or attorney's office and will most often be a smooth and easygoing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to contact me at 941-727-7345 or send me an e-mail.