What to expect when looking at homes

8th and home relocation and real estate When you begin looking at homes with your Realtor, here are some key tips and tricks that they may not think to share with you!

#1 - Do NOT rush through homes. No matter HOW tightly scheduled your showings are, insist on spending enough time at each home for YOUR comfort level. We like to plan for at least 30 minutes in each home to best get a feel for the home before heading off to the next.

#2 - Look at the neighbor's yards! Do they exhibit and display as similar set of values as yours when it comes to the care of their property?

#3 - Wear comfortable shoes AND bring socks in case a homeowner requests that you remove your shoes while you are looking at homes. Your own socks beat those awkward disposable booties any day!

#4 - You are totally allowed to look in every closet, behind the washing machine, and pull back curtains! STELLAR TIP: If you are curious whether there are hardwoods under the carpet, take a peek under the air vent.

#5 - If the seller is home, engage in polite conversation but don't allow the chit-chat to go too far. You may be tempted to ask 101 questions, but the less dialogue you have with the sellers, the better.

#6 - If you see items of concern during your tour, note them but don't lean too heavily on those items being deal breakers! You can put an offer in on your favorite home and deal with potential repair issues down the road during the due diligence time period!

#7 - If you like the home you've just seen, make time to revisit the neighborhood at night or at a time opposite of your initial showing. Pay attention to the happenings of your potential new street and make sure your initial impression matches what you see the second time.

#8 - If you see a neighbor outside, totally take advantage of that free information funnel and introduce yourselves! Ask questions about what happens on the weekends, and what they love the most about the neighborhood.


BONUS TIP: If you are going to be taking your own photos while looking at homes, take an introductory photo of the house numbers before going inside to help determine which photos belong to which home.

What tips would you add to this list?

Cascades Community

Cascades Community Virginia Neighborhood Spotlight  

Cascades Community is incredibly large, yet still maintains a tight-knit feeling! Inside is 2,500 acre planned community with 6,500 homes along the Potomac River north of Route 7 it practices what it preaches and lives out the motto: "Finest for Family Living". Amenities include five community centers, 5 swimming pools (of which one has designated hours exclusively for lap lane swimming), 15 tennis courts (4 are lit), 10 multipurpose courts, 25 tot lots, a bocce court and a soccer field. Riverfront access to the Potomac River is provided, along with a boat launch AND an 18 hole golf course, mini golf, rental cabins, and a picnic area are all available at Algonkian Regional Park.

Cascades is served by Potowmack Elementary, River Bend Middle School and Potomac Falls High School. Check them out on Great Schools!

If you are over 50 and want to get to know your neighbors and enlarge your group of friends, consider joining the Cascades 50-Plus Club! The Club offers many activities, such as: Wine Tastings, Lifetime Learning Courses, Bocce, Bike riding, Tennis, Bowling, Walking, Monthly Pot-Luck Dinners, Monthly Dining-Outs, Book Club, Pub crawls, Golf, and a number of local and out-of-state trips.

The upcoming holiday party is reserved for residents only and offers carriage rides, pictures with Santa, refreshments, live music, face painting, and crafts! What fun!

Interested in making the Cascades community YOUR next neighborhood?



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Neighborhood Spotlight: Potomac Crossing

Neighborhood Spotlight Potomac Crossing Potomac Crossing is a combination of 914 single family homes and townhomes located on Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg Virginia. Amenities include 2.5 miles of paved foot paths, four tot lots, a pool, and a basketball court. A new playground at the intersection of Bluff Court and Garrison Court was completed during the Summer of 2015 and is accessible from the walking paths throughout the neighborhood.

Community Events are prevalent in Potomac Crossing including outdoor summer movie series, a community yard sale, an annual Turkey Trot and more!


Potomac Crossing is home to Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and covers some of the land on which a Civil War battle was fought between the Union and Confederate armies.

Ball's Bluff Elementary School services students in grades K-5. Students in grades six through eight attend Smart's Mill Middle School, located two miles away in the Exeter subdivision. and High School students attend Tuscarora High School.

Interested in making Potomac Crossing your new neighborhood?



19220 Kepharts Mill Terrace, Leesburg

Welcome home! Large fenced-in yard, end unit, fully finished basement with gas fireplace and full bath, walkout with multiple windows. 19220 Kepharts Mill Terrace 8th and Home

Main level boasts gorgeous hardwoods,  eat in / separate dining room and great room off the kitchen. Fabulous kitchen with a screened in deck, with secondary deck space for a grill. Lansdowne amenities with reduced HOA fees coming in January of 2016.

Three bedrooms, two full baths upstairs with upper level laundry as well!

Lansdowne amenities include:

30,000 square foot Potomac Club complex with amenities that include 25 meter indoor pool, heated whirlpool and locker rooms, outdoor resort style pool with spa, exercise and aerobics rooms, business center with computers, meeting rooms, ballroom facility, game room with pool table, television, air hockey table, foosball and video games.

If that wasn’t enough, access to a tot-lot, outdoor amphitheatre and a sand vollleyball court is also available. Additional amenities include three outdoor tennis courts and playing fields.

Stop by at our open house today, November 8 from 1-3pm ... comment on our Facebook page so we'll know to expect you!

So you've been pre-approved for a mortgage

Congratulations! You've been pre-approved for a mortgage!! Now what? Pre Approval 8th and Home

  • Keep the process moving by responding to your loan officers’ requests for documents ASAP!
  • Make decisions as soon as possible.
  • Keep your Realtor informed during the process (!!!)
  • Relay questions or concerns AS they develop.
  • Continue to make all of your rent or mortgage payments on time.
  • Stay current on all other accounts, including utilities, credit cards, etc.
  • Continue to work your normal work schedule with no unplanned time off. If you have planned vacation time, be sure to notify your lending / Realtor team.
  • Do not open any new accounts or charge large amounts.
  • Be prepared to explain any large deposits in your bank accounts.

preapproval 8th and home

After you have been pre-approved for your mortgage:

  1. DO NOT make any major purchases (car, boat, jewelry, furniture, appliances, etc.).
  2. DO NOT apply for any new credit (even if it says you are preapproved or “xxx days same as cash”).
  3. DO NOT pay off charges or collections (unless directed by your loan officer to do so).
  4. DO NOT make any changes to your credit profile.
  5. DO NOT change bank accounts.
  6. DO NOT make unusual deposits into your bank accounts or move money around from one account to another.

pre-approval 8th and home


Are you in the market for a new home? Do you need to speak with a trusted loan officer? Check out our trusted loan officers here: 8th & Home Lenders

VHDA 3% Down Payment Assistance Grant

Do you know the definition of first-time homebuyer? Did you know you can qualify to be a first time homebuyer even if you've purchased before? Simply moving to a new state can qualify you as a first time homebuyer! 19195 Sweig Terrace Leesburg

VHDA’s First Time Home Buying programs are truly a breath of fresh air!

Did you know that:

  •  a First Time Homebuyer by definition is someone who hasn’t had a mortgage in 36 months!
  • in “Targeted VHDA Areas” you don’t have to be a first time homebuyer at all!
  • the VHDA offers 100% loan options for buyers!
  • the VHDA offers a 3% grant to help with the down payment of a loan!
  • the VHDA program works with all eligible buyers to make sure they understand how to balance their finances.

19195 Sweig Terrace Leesburg


Qualified buyers may receive up to 3 percent of the purchase price, to help with the down payment on their first home.

Buyers must have household incomes at or below program limits. Down Payment Assistance Grant may be used with only the following VHDA purchase programs: Conventional, FHA and Fannie Mae. Additionally, grant funds may not be used in combination with other down payment assistance resources (including FHA Plus). Finally, the down payment assistance grant has no repayment (with no note or deed of trust).

19195 Sweig Terrace Leesburg

VHDA's first mortgage must be locked on or after March 12, 2015 and the funds (available on a first-come, first-served basis) must be allocated by September 30, 2015.

As a Certified Licensed VHDA Instructor and Originator, Joe Sable's knowledge can unlock the door to your new home! Contact him directly for more information about this program and more!

Joe Sable SWBC Mortgage


Joseph Sable         

Senior Loan Officer, NMLS# 1090019

8521 Leesburg Pike, Suite 275, Vienna, VA  22182


Apply Online: https://www.swbcmortgage.com/joesable


And ... if you're in the market for a new home to purchase with your VHDA program loan, take a look at this beauty:


To learn more about this listing, visit I Saw A Sign

Bridle Paths Northern Virginia Equine Therapy

Lucketts Virginia Summer Series 8th and Home We are excited to feature local events, business, artisans and products in the Northern Virginia area over the coming months! This post continues the series highlighting Lucketts, Virginia! We look forward to sharing more about the communities, neighborhoods and offerings in each corner of Northern Virginia.

Introducing Katie Fallon and Bridle Paths!

Bridle Paths Lucketts Virginia

What is the story behind Bridle Paths and how did it come to be?

The Bridle Paths program is a nonprofit organization that offers strength, support, and healing to individuals and families through safe, effective, and high-quality equine-assisted activities and therapies. We offer a unique combination of mounted and unmounted programs, including both therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted psychotherapy. The program provides a safe and supportive environment in which clients can be honest and authentic, think clearly about their challenges, and achieve growth, learning, and healing.


The Bridle Paths staff works with both individuals and families, and has particular expertise in working with those coping with experiences of anxiety, depression, and trauma. Although she had worked with horses for many years, Bridle Paths President Katie Fallon did not become involved formally in equine-assisted activities until her daughter was diagnosed in infancy with hydrocephalus and a Chiari I malformation and began participating in therapeutic riding activities. She swelled with powerful emotion as she watched her daughter achieve physical and cognitive milestones that initially seemed out of reach for her, and was struck by the incredible motivation and connection that the horses offered to her.


For that reason, Katie achieved certifications in both therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted psychotherapy, and founded the Bridle Paths program to integrate the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of working with horses. Katie notes that working with horses requires her to be her best and most authentic self, and she believes strongly in the efficacy of this work in helping others to discover those strengths for themselves as well.


Bridle Paths Lucketts Virginia


If the sky was the limit with your business, what do you envision happening?

The Bridle Paths program seeks to provide a setting in which clients are defined not by their disabilities, experiences, or diagnoses, but rather by their abilities and possibilities, in partnership with horses. In an ideal world, we would be able to offer equine-assisted activities and therapies at little to no cost to those in need in our community. In many cases, those who stand to benefit the most from these services are those who are least able to pay for them; making these services available at a greatly reduced cost would be a huge benefit for many families. For example, we would love to serve adoptive and foster families and children who have experienced abuse and neglect through the Loudoun County Department of Family Services. We also seek to partner with local governmental, community, and nonprofit organizations to serve youth and adult survivors of sex trafficking. Additionally, we would like to expand our riding, psychotherapy, and camp services to serve the large and growing population of military families in the Northern Virginia area.

Bridle Paths Lucketts Virginia


Are there any goals that are intimidating for you?

Financing these goals is a daunting challenge. Keeping horses is an expensive proposition under the best of circumstances, and many of our program horses have come to Bridle Paths from other careers and require specialized care to remain healthy and sound in service to our clients. We recognize that our clients frequently juggle multiple therapies and treatments, and for that reason we strive to keep our program fees as low as possible. At present, program fees cover less than 50 percent of the total costs of program operations. Community support is vital to help cover the costs of maintaining our herd and offering innovative and effective programs to our clients.


What is your FAVORITE way to spend a weekend morning?

Every weekend morning, you’ll find Katie at the Bridle Paths facility, teaching lessons, running psychotherapy sessions, training volunteers, and caring for the horses. It’s her favorite place to be, and she wouldn’t have it any other way!

Bridle Paths Lucketts Virginia


What is your go to place in the Leesburg / Lucketts area to visit, tell others about?

Katie’s go-to place in the Lucketts area is, of course, the Bridle Paths facility, located at Pat and Bob Meurer’s glorious Stone-Horse Farm. There’s little that compares to the promise of a sunrise over verdant fields, or to the peaceful sound of horses munching evening hay in their stalls. When she’s not at the farm, Katie and her family love sampling the ice cream at Brossman’s and enjoying the bounty of produce at local farmers’ markets. We look forward to the opening of the Little Rock Tea House at the corner of Spinks Ferry Road and Route 15 in the near future!


Image Credit: Julie McCarter/Shoot Photo Inc.

What are your favorite ways to give back to others - whether in your community or on a larger scale?

At Bridle Paths, we seek to give back to the families in our community each day. We strive to provide a safe and supportive setting where clients and families can do their best thinking about challenges, enjoy honest and nonjudgmental experiences, learn new skills, and reconnect and relate in new and improved ways. Without question, however, we get much more than we give; the families are endless sources of inspiration and hope for us, and we hope to provide these services for many years to come.


Bridle Paths Lucketts Virginia


Contact 571.216.9089 bridlepaths@gmail.com

Facility Address Stone Horse Farm 43247 Spinks Ferry Road Leesburg, VA 20176

Ready to search for your home in Leesburg/Lucketts, Virginia?

Map search here

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VA Loan Benefits 101

Veterans and Active duty military deserve affordable home ownership. You’ve served your country, and you should know how you can achieve significant savings when buying a home! Over 50% of all veterans and active military personnel do not understand the benefits and ins/outs of a VA Loan, and we are here to help answer your questions! military veteran heroes home advantage



You can finance 100% of your home purchase price with no money down. You will not be required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI), which all translates to money saved up front as well as on a monthly basis!  Because the government backs your VA Loan, lenders have greater confidence, which means your loan and interest rates can compete with other loan types, such as conventional or FHA.

military veteran heroes home advantage


You do not have to qualify at the same credit score or have loads of cash saved up and can be approved for a VA Loan when you may not have otherwise qualified for a conventional loan. Additionally, you may use your VA Loan benefits many times over! (You may be required to make a down payment if you borrow more than your entitlement.) Also, while the Montgomery GI Bill expires 10 years after discharge, the VA mortgage benefits never expire!

While it is a common myth that you can only have one VA Loan at a time, the actual fact is that as long as you don't exceed your maximum entitlement, you can have multiple VA loans. You simply must be able to afford all payments.

The funding fee can be rolled into your loan (typically 2% of the loan) and for anyone with service-related disabilities, the funding fee is waived.

military heroes home advantage veterans


Did you know that the VA Loan benefit also allows for refinancing? Currently, you can hold a credit score as low as 660 and be approved for the IRRRL program (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan). Typically, no appraisal is required and the process is very streamlined (typically just a copy of the original Note and current mortgage statement). 

In addition, the funding fee is reduced to .5% of the loan amount (which can be financed) AND the closing can be structured for zero cash out of pocket with a fast closing, in as little as two weeks from application!


The VA loan is for single family homes, in move-in condition. You will not be able to use your VA loan benefits for a home that has multiple repairs needed. Very few know this, but you can STILL use your VA benefits even after a foreclosure or bankruptcy!


heroes home advantage

Click here to learn more about the Heroes Home Advantage program, where we give back 25% of our commission to heroes who work with us, or here to learn about the 8th & Home preferred lenders, all of which are experienced with the VA Loan program.


Why Rent When You Can Buy

Just this week, we've answered this question many times for clients, and we thought we would write a blog post breaking down the topic of:

Why Rent When You Can Buy?

If you are currently living in a rental and have lease with your landlord, you may be thinking to yourself, why am I throwing all of this money away, for basically no return on my investment? In the Northern Virginia area, monthly rent payments are close to that of a mortgage for the same property and we would love to help you learn more about the process of moving from being a renter to a home owner.

why rent when you can buy 8th and home

Determine What You Can Afford.

It will take TIME to stock up on your savings for a down payment and because this is true for almost every buyer, it is super smart to research your options for purchasing.

"Among first-time buyers, 28 percent save for six months or less, while 13 percent save for more than five years."

Because of a large variety of programs currently available to home buyers, the percentage of a down payment needed can fluctuate greatly. The average tends to be between 15-20% of the purchase price. There are programs that can however, provide an opportunity for homeownership for as little as 3% (or even 0% down!).

Our preferred mortgage lenders are ready, willing and able to assist you in discovering what your purchasing power is!  You may feel uncomfortable divulging every last minute detail about your financial status, and that's ok! You can obtain a summary of your options by simply giving some basic information to Kelly, Greg or Joe!

Don't Have Your Head In The Clouds.

What are you currently paying in rent each month?  Don't get ahead of yourself and start looking at properties where your mortgage payment would exceed your current rent payment! If you are currently paying $1,000 in rent, speak with one of our lenders to determine what that means once you add in interest, taxes and insurance (a 'PITI' payment).

What Exactly Do You Want?

Do you want to garden, but can't because your landlord isn't ok with it? Do you really wish you could have a dog but it's against the tenant/landlord policies? Would more land/acreage make you happier, or would it be wonderful to finally have a covered parking space? Think through what you want, and compare that list against what you currently are offered from your landlord.

8th and Home Rent to Own

Think Outside The Box.

Feeling overwhelmed about your responsibility to pull your down payment amount out of thin air? Don't stress!  does not have to simply come from your savings account. Gifts from family members can come in handy. Also? Save up that cash and do away with your morning coffee routine and even (ahem!) cancel the gym membership that you're not currently utilizing! Keep in mind that you will have closing costs and set aside some extra funds for that purpose. Consider holding a garage sale and ridding your space of excess items - all in the name of "closing cost funding" !


If homeownership might be for you, don't let the comfort of renting scare you away from exploring your potions!  You are paying a mortgage whether you own or rent! You are either paying down YOUR mortgage, or the mortgage of your landlord!


Owning a Home 8th and Home


To learn more about our services and hear from our satisfied clients, click here to read our testimonials!

Home Inspections 101

Home Inspections 101 Once the contract has been fully signed by both the buyer and seller, the buyer's agent will arrange to schedule a home inspection! The inspectors have access via lock box and/or the buyers' agent will be present. This is an exciting time for the buyer and they will likely attend the inspections as well, however, the seller is not present in the home. This allows the buyer a chance to see the home again and review the findings with the inspector.

Depending on the size of the home, a home inspection typically takes one hour per every 1,000 square feet in the property. The seller should make sure all doors (attic and crawl space) are unlocked and all equipment is accessible. Seller will also need to ensure the power, gas and water is on before and during the inspection, as well as any pilot lights lit.

Once the buyer receives the full inspection report (some inspectors provide it on the spot, others usually send within 24-48 hours), they will review it with their agent and decide if they want further inspections or ask for any repairs. The buyers will make an official request for repairs as an addendum to the original contract. Once the seller's agent receives the addendum, along with the inspection report, the seller will be made privy to the findings.

Major points of concern may include moisture or water issues. Structural issues will be found during this inspection process, as well as any electrical, plumbing, heating or air conditioning concerns.  Minor concerns may be cosmetic in nature, siding or trim damage, leaking fixtures or dirty filter issues.

It is the duty of the buyer to review the inspection report with their agent to determine what, if any, concerns they wish for seller to remedy. The addendum will note those concerns and requests for repair. Seller has the option to accept the request in full, negotiate which items they will remedy or refuse to undertake the repairs.

Because the home inspection takes place during the Due Diligence period, the contract may be cancelled if buyer discovers concerns that are notremedied to their liking.


Home inspection and repair addendums are not an opportunity for the seller to return the home to like-new condition. This is an opportunity for buyer to be aware of any major issues and concerns going into the final stages of the contract before the settlement, and to allow the seller to have a chance to remedy, should the agreement be reached.

Cosmetic items are typically not included in the repair addendum as those were visible during the initial viewing of the home, and prior to the offer to purchase being made. Things like carpet stains, markings on the wall, loose or ill-fitting fixtures or wall plates would likely not be included in a repair addendum.

Structural or environmental issues are morelikely to be addressed in the repair addendum and should be dealt with by hiring licensed professionals for any repairs.

Once any requested repairs have been agreed to, the contingency for said repairs is removed and the contract moves out of the Due Diligence phase. Receipts will be requested prior to settlement and a preliminary walk through will be held a couple of days before settlement is planned for buyer and/or the buyer's agent to review all repairs.


8 Steps to Buying a Home

Have you ever wondered exactly WHAT steps are involved in buying a home? HGTV and other television shows make it seem like a super simple process, don't they? Clients visit 3-4 homes, debate the pros and cons and before you know it, they have an accepted offer and they are packing up their boxes!

8 Steps to Home Buying Naomi Hattaway

1. Deciding to buy.

Home ownership is the best “accidental investment” you could ever make. When done correctly however, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Some facts?

  1. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
  3. The lack of a substantial down payment doesn't prevent you from making your first home purchase
  4. A less-than-perfect credit score won't necessarily stop you from buying a home
  5. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
  6. Buying a home doesn't have to be complicated - there are many professionals who will help you along the way

Call me at 571.482.7356 for a list of my trusted mortgage lenders who can help you determine the health level of your current financial situation.

2. Hiring your agent.

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer's agents, seller's agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be fine tuned and orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed.

It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

So just what does YOUR agent do?

  1. Educates you about your market.
  2. Analyzes your wants and needs.
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
  4. Coordinates the work of all needed professionals.
  5. Negotiates on your behalf.
  6. Checks and double-checks (and triple-checks!) paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Solves any problems that may arise.

Click for my list of questions you should ask every agent before you select the right fit for you.

3. Securing financing.

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment. The first step is to determine how much house you can afford.


From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.Six steps to Financing a Home

  1. Choose a loan officer.
  2. Make a loan application and get preapproved.
  3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
  4. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
  5. Get an appraisal and title commitment.
  6. Obtain funding at closing.

It is important to choose between several loan officer or lending institutions and it is wise to shop around. I am happy to provide you with my top list of trusted lenders and loan officers. If you feel you may have credit issues, I can also refer you to several programs who can -- some for free and others for a reasonable rate -- offer credit repair services and advice.

[mortgage mortgage_term="30"]

4. Finding home.

The process of finding your new home does NOT have to begin on those large monster sites with ads for random real estate agents popping up left and right. It also does not begin by driving all over town looking for for sale signs. While it may be exciting to begin attending open houses and perusing the internet for new listings on the market, the most important thing you can do -- first -- is to carefully look at your wants and needs.

Here are some basic questions to ask:

  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability and priority?
  7. Would I be interested in a condo?
  8. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  9. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

Clients who work with me receive access to a detailed, customized and unique Decision Matrix, a series of 8 topics with 8 questions each that really dive in deep to an individual or family's wants vs. needs. We then look at it together to begin identifying and structuring a home search plan that truly makes sense.

We will utilize our time together in the best way possible and focus on homes, neighborhoods and communities that will truly allow you to flourish and thrive in your new setting. Your home purchase is most likely the most money you will spend in any one transaction. Isn't it important that you sit down with a trusted advisor to help you with this process?


5. Making an offer.

When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you're writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. Keeping a cool head can be even easier with a professional real estate agent. When you present your offer, you will be offering a price, stating terms and discussing contingencies.

Some of the items that will be included in an offer:

  1. Schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
  2. Conveyances are the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
  3. Commission is the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
  4. Closing cost which are standard for buyers to pay. If you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
  5. Home warranty which covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
  6. Earnest money protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Performing due diligence.

Unlike the purchase of a car or an appliance, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why home owner's insurance and property inspections are so important. A home owner's insurance policy protects you against loss or damage to the property itself and in case someone sustains an injury while on your property. The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers.

7. Closing Day.

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender's confirmation of the home's value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:

  1. Stay in control of your finances (do not buy anything major or open a new line of credit!).
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
  3. Communicate with your agent promptly and consistently.
  4. Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
  5. Obtain certified funds for closing.
  6. Conduct a final walk-through.

On closing day, with the guidance of a team of trusted professionals, you'll sign documents that:

  1. Finalize your mortgage.
  2. Pay the seller.
  3. Pay your closing costs.
  4. Transfer the title from the seller to you.
  5. Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

With the right team in place, and as long as your expectations match that of the process, closing can be an exciting finale to the process of finding the perfect home for you!

8. After the closing table.

Now that you've spent a considerable amount of time with your real estate agent, it's time to keep that relationship going! Instead of throwing all of that trust and rapport out the window, instead use your new relationship to your advantage!

My clients receive frequent communication from me, whether it's a home maintenance schedule for their new home, a birthday card or anniversary greetings. I also assist my clients with the documentation they will need for their first tax return as a new home owner (including advice on which receipts to save to maximize benefits). I also maintain a solid list of vendor referrals that I provide to those who work with me.

In addition, a referral is the best thank you a client can give to their agent!

Would you like to learn more about the home buying process? No matter which stage of life you're in, I would love to talk with you about your real estate needs.