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Once you Find a House


ou’ve found a house has walked through hundreds
of houses and knows what
you want to make
warning signs to look for.
Ask questions of your agent,
your home. Whether it’s
neighbors if possible, a homebeen weeks or months of owners association and anyone
looking, this is an exciting else who can give you an idea
of what the neighborhood is
step. Before you fall in love like.
When you’re ready to make
with it, make sure you’ve
an offer, talk with your agent
kicked the tires, so to speak. about price. Don’t be afraid to

Turn on water faucets, flush toilets, check fireplaces and stoves,
look closely at walls, ceilings and
floors for any signs of structural
damage. According to the Guide to
Buying a Home, your real estate
agent is a great resource; he or she

negotiate, but know how much
you’re willing to pay and be careful
not to overextend yourself. Get a
pre-approval from your lender.
The offer document is dozens of
pages long (all filled out by your
agent, but read each page carefully)

and includes information about
the home itself, including potential
drawbacks like living near an airport or previous issues with the
When your offer is accepted,
you’ll put a small amount of
money down with the title company. This starts the escrow period, a
set amount of time during which
certain steps must be completed.
Your agent can help you find an
assessor, who examines the house
to make sure it’s in good condition
and what repairs are needed. You
can ask the seller to make those
repairs or negotiate a lower price
or other trade-off.
States allow only a certain num-

ber of days for the assessor to
come in and for the buyer and seller to negotiate repairs, so start the
process quickly.
Your lender will send an
appraiser, who looks at the home
itself and also at similar nearby
homes that have sold recently to
determine the home’s value. You
likely will not be able to get a loan
for more than the appraised value
of the home; if it comes back less
than the asking price, the buyer
and seller may have to renegotiate
the price or the buyer puts more
money down. You can also appeal
an appraisal if you believe it to be


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