Feb. 3, 2011

Home Ownership 101: Tips from my first time to help you with yours! Step 2: Making an Offer

Home Ownership 101: Tips from my first time to help you with yours!

As a new agent and first time home buyer, I am learning so much about the real estate process. I had no idea there was so much involved in     purchasing a home or property. I had already gotten my real estate license when my husband and I began looking for our first home, and even  with the amount of knowledge needed to get my license, I had a lot to learn. I have decided to document our journey and blog along the way to offer some behind the scenes looks at what exactly is involved in buying your first home.

Step 2: Making an Offer

After months of searching for the right home, we finally found what we thought was the perfect property. On close to 7 acres, this property would allow us to remodel the existing home and eventually build another home a few acres away, giving us a great investment opportunity. After taking a week to think it over and making sure this was what we wanted to do, we decided to make an offer.

Making an offer involves lots of paperwork and very specific timelines. Did we want an inspection? How long would we give them to accept our offer? When could we close? Was the property on a septic tank or city sewer? Would we need inspections on the septic? Buying land out in the county is different from buying in the city limits. You need to look into the quality of the land and whether or not it's in a flood zone, if there are any wetlands on the property, how it is zoned and if it's on a well or city water. Working with an agent makes this process much easier. They will prepare the paperwork, do research on the land, and help you put together a great offer. My mentor went through all the details with me until I was familiar with the information and Purchase and Sale Agreements. After they were all signed and ready to go, I called the listing agent to let him know I had an offer to submit. This is where our problems began.  He informed me that the sellers had gotten an offer the week before. Our excitement about our first offer immediately went down the drain- after all those months of searching and preparing, we would have to compete with another buyer for the most appealing offer. After reviewing our options and with lots of advice from my mentor, we decided to increase our offer and hope that ours would be more appealing than the other prospective buyer. When making an offer, there are other things to take into consideration other than just the price. Our offering price was higher, but the other buyer offered a much quicker closing date, which appealed to the sellers because they wanted to sell ASAP.  We were planning on getting an FHA Rehab loan, and the process required for that kind of financing would not allow for a quicker closing. In the end, we decided to start searching again to see what else was available.

We started from scratch, re-evaluating our goals and expectations, and started searching for houses that needed less work and were closer to town.  After looking at some more houses, we finally found one that fit our criteria. It was ready to move in, had beautiful upgrades, and was close to the freeway, making my husband's commute about 5 minutes shorter. However, instead of the 7 acres we had found and loved at the previous house, this had a tiny yard and was in the middle of a very populated neighborhood. We had to compromise and decided that the yard would be large enough for our 2 small dogs and we liked the house enough to put in an offer. I wrote up the offer the next day and sent it along to the listing agent. He informed me that another agent potentially had a cash offer to bring in, but there was nothing submitted yet. This made us nervous and brought back nightmares from the other offer that didn't work out, but we got down to business, got our lender in order and closed on our new house in 3 weeks. It was a long and emotional process full of excitement, disappointment and a lot of compromise, but in the end, we got a house that we can start a family in and can make our own.

Watch for next week's blog: Step 3:  Closing. If you have any questions about real estate, the buying or selling process, or would like to see how eXp is changing the real estate world, please contact me

Mikki Flaherty -Realtor

Direct: ( 360)402-8968

mikki.flaherty@exprealty.com

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