Obtaining your Loan Pre-Approval
This is the first, and arguably, the most important step in the home buying process. It is absolutely crucial that you speak to a lender as soon as you decide that you’re ready to buy a home. It’s in your best interest to know well in advance what monthly payment you are comfortable with and how that translates into a price range.
A great lender will walk you through the loan process and help you determine what loan program might be best for you.
Getting preapproved consists of speaking with a loan officer who will collect financial information from you in order to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. This ratio determines the amount you are approved to purchase. The loan officer will then pull your credit report and verify employment prior to preparing your preapproval letter.
Once you’re approved, the loan officer will send your preapproval letter to Curt Mikulla. Just know that he cannot write or submit an offer on a property without this important document.
It’s important to remember that you’re relying on this lender to be timely and accurate in order to close your new home on time. Not all lenders can accomplish this, and some of the big-named banks aren’t always your best option.
Curt works with several exceptional loan officers, and would be more than happy to make a recommendation to you.
Once preapproved, Curt will set up a time to meet with you for a Buyer’s Consultation.
His goal is to ensure that you are informed about all aspects of the home buying process… so that you are confident and prepared for anything that may happen throughout the process.
The more Curt can educate you upfront, the less stress you will feel during that process. In addition, this meeting will help him determine your needs and wants when it comes to selecting the homes you will be viewing online and in-person.
Searching for Homes Online
Once Curt knows the price and type of home you’re looking for, he will create a customized search within Mid-Indiana Board of Realtor (MIBOR’s) Matrix Portal… otherwise known as the Broker’s Listing Cooperative (BLC).
This search will enable you to see ALL available properties on the market that match your specific search criteria.
Once your search is set up, you will receive email notifications of new listings, price reductions and status changes. From within your Matrix portal, you’ll be able to save properties as Favorites, Possibilities or Rejects.
For most Buyers, this is the most exciting part of the process.
Curt is responsible for scheduling all showings for properties that you have an interest in seeing. In addition to “resale” homes, Curt can assist you with building a new home (new construction), or to purchase a builder “spec” home, For Sale By Owner home, or Bank-Owned property.
Together, you and Curt will discuss the positive and negative features for each home you visit.
Writing an Offer
Once you’ve determined which home is perfect for you, it is time to write an offer!
The first question most Buyers ask is “what should I offer?”
The answer to that question will depend on several factors, including: current list price, condition of the home, location, features, market inventory and your level of motivation.
Curt will complete a market analysis of the home to determine a fair purchase price for the property. The Seller will likely counter your offer.
The countering process can go back and forth numerous time until one party accepts.
After the purchase agreement has been accepted, you will immediately order a home inspection.
The average cost of an inspection is $400-$450. The inspector will fully inspect the home and make recommendations for needed repairs or areas to monitor throughout the home, both inside and out.
Once the inspection report is released, you and Curt will discuss and prioritize all items listed on the report.
With your guidance, Curt will then draft the Buyer’s Inspection Response… specifically stating which defects with the home you would like the Seller to repair.
The inspection response process is similar to the offer process. Each party can counter until an agreement is reached between Buyer and Seller.
Once this step is negotiated, your are another step closer to the closing table.
After the home inspection is complete, your lender will order a third-party appraisal on the home.
This can take 10-14 days to complete. Your lender will receive a copy of the appraisal and advise you of the results.
It is important to understand that if the home does not appraise for the purchase price that was agreed upon, it could cause the transaction to be terminated.
Most lenders will require you to pay for your appraisal at the time they order it. The average cost of an appraisal is $375-$450.
In the final days and/or weeks of the transaction, Curt will work closely with your lender and the title company to ensure that everything is in order for a seamless closing.
On the day of closing, Curt will physically be with you at the title company to answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding your closing documents.
Once the documents are signed and all funds have been transferred… you officially own the home!
Depending upon the terms negotiated in the purchase agreement, you will more than likely take possession of your new home immediately following the closing. Curt has a plethora of vendors he works with and would be more than happy to make recommendations if you need movers, painters, landscapers, contractors, etc.
Just know that Curt Mikulla will be there for you, from start to finish… and beyond.
His goal is to be your preferred Realtor, and the one you can’t help but recommend to everyone you know!