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Here's How to Find Your Home

Let’s talk home buying. Whether you are about to kick off your home search or you’ve been at it for a while, there is reason to be optimistic this fall. Buyers can enjoy more peace of mind with a more balanced market and the return of several protective offer contingencies. And while inventory is still low, pricing is improving. Preparation is crucial to make the most of your fall home search. Luckily, when you work with Rutledge Properties, you have access to the latest market data, local knowledge, trusted recommendations, and real estate expertise. Still curious about what the process will look like? Here's your step-by-step homebuying success plan: 1) Get Preapproved If you're serious about buying a home, get preapproved for a home loan before looking at properties. You are likely to be approved for more than you might want to spend, but you can choose to borrow less based on your overall financial goals. While you are getting your finances in order, remember that gifts from parents or others need to be in your accounts at least 90 days before applying for your mortgage. 2) Understand Your Needs While you can wait to drill down into the finer details, clarify the basics of your search early in the process. Have answers to questions like:

  • Which towns and communities are desirable for your family?

  • How many bedrooms do you need?

  • Do you need a home office?

  • Are you willing to update the home, or are you looking for something move-in ready?

3) See As Many Properties As Possible At the start of your search, it pays to see everything possible—even homes you don't think you want. Go to lots of open houses and work with your agent to arrange showings. This process educates you about the market and helps you feel confident jumping on it when the right home does come along. 4) Make an Offer When you find a home you love, you’ll work with your agent to make an offer. The details of this process can vary from transaction to transaction, but here’s a general sense of what to expect:

  • You will make an initial offer on the property accompanied by $1,000—$5,000 held in escrow. This money is almost always refundable if you need to back out due to one of the contingencies, such as issues uncovered during the inspection.

  • You typically have seven days from your offer to arrange a home inspection to assess the home’s major systems and check for structural issues, radon, or pests. One of the changes we have seen in this recent market is a possible renegotiation depending on inspection results.

  • Next, with help from an attorney, you'll sign a Purchase & Sale (P&S) agreement and put 5—10% of the purchase price into escrow. Unless something falls through with your financing, you’ll lose that 5% if you back out of the deal. In this document, you'll specify a certain number of visits to the property to measure or get contractor estimates for the work you hope to do. Once you sign your P&S, avoid making other major purchases (like cars or high-ticket appliances) because of their potential impact on your credit.

5) Close and Celebrate You'll receive a settlement statement from your lender three days before closing. You'll also do a final walk-through of the home directly before the closing to ensure everything is as it should be. On closing day, you'll sign many documents. An additional expense will be title insurance, which is important and recommended by most attorneys because it can save you if any issues arise when you one day sell your property! Once the paperwork is complete, your attorney will go on record with the registry, and the money will be transferred. It's ideal to schedule your closing in the morning because you won't get your keys until the sale is on record. You want plenty of time to get into the home with your belongings and celebrate ownership of your new home! Do you have more questions about what your home buying process will look like this fall? I’d love to help.

Want to make a name for yourself in real estate? Boutique means better. As a boutique agency, Rutledge Properties offers all agents thoughtful mentorship, high-touch marketing support, access to exclusive listings, and plenty of opportunities to shine. We want every one of our agents to make a name for themselves and to feel confident that we’re on their team, not interested in playing games. If you’re ready to experience the genuinely supportive culture we’ve created and thrive as a part of the Rutledge team, we’d love to speak with you. Contact Rutledge to arrange a visit.We don't just help you buy or sell a house; we welcome you home! Rutledge Properties is an independent, women-owned local real estate brokerage. We’ve been helping clients in the Metrowest area buy and sell their homes since 1978. Because we are not part of a big, impersonal chain, we get to do things our way—and our way is all about you. Our clients are our neighbors, and we are committed to putting their needs first every time. We leverage our insider knowledge about the community, industry-leading technology, dynamic strategies, and our worldwide network to provide a level of service that keeps Rutledge clients keep coming back to us, move after move. Contact me today to get a free market analysis or discuss your homebuying goals!

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