Cindy Mitchell 706-540-5179


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Buying a Home

Buying a home can be a complicated process, especially if it is your first time. Below is an outline that may be of some assistance in making sense of the myriad of steps..

Your Credit Report
This is a very good place to start the home buying process, even before you start looking for a house. By looking at your credit report before you apply for a loan, you will know what the credit companies have to say about you, which can sometimes be a shock for a homebuyer in the middle of the loan process. Make sure there is nothing on your credit report that you don't know about, and if there is a problem, you should have time to straighten it out before you are committed to buying a house. You do have the right to contest problems on your credit report by working out any problems with the vendor or creditor. At the very least, you have the right by law to write your side of the story which must appear in your credit report. You can receive a free copy of your credit report from Equifax by calling (706)549-2321.

This is the perfect way to find out how much of a home you can afford before you fall in love with a home out of your price range. By visiting a loan officer at a mortgage loan institution, which Cindy can help you find, he or she can tell you what price range of home they will lend you money for and how much money you will need to have up front at closing. Be prepared to give them detailed information regarding your financial history such as employment history, salary, other income, outstanding loans, etc. Since you do not have a contract in hand at this point, they will give you what is called a good faith estimate which may differ somewhat from the final numbers on your loan.

Finding A Home
Now that you know how much of a house you can afford, you will not want to waste your time visiting and getting excited about homes out of your price range. Cindy knows that your time is valuable and will do the best job possible in finding the home that fits both your style and your budget.

Making an Offer
Once you've found your home, it's time to make an offer. Cindy should be able to help you determine what comparable homes in the area are costing. When you've decided on the amount you are willing to pay for the home, Cindy will draw up an official CENTURY 21
contract that should protect both the buyer and the seller and present this along with your earnest money to the seller. The earnest money shows the seller that you're serious and may be forfeited if you fail to live up to your part of the contract. If the seller accepts your offer, then the contract is official and the loan process starts immediately. If not, the seller will counter-offer with another price. This will continue until you both agree on a price, or you have the option of withdrawing your offer at anytime if there is no agreement reached.

Selling Your Previous Home
If you've waited to sell your home until you've found a new one, you may want to sign a contingency agreement for your new home saying that you must sell your current home before you will be able to buy the new one. Please be aware, though, that this may not be agreeable to all sellers, and may lessen your chances of getting the home for the price you would like. When you do decide to sell your home, please let Cindy know as soon as possible so that she can get it on the market. Cindy has an extensive network of buyers and sellers, and has won many awards for selling homes. Cindy also has access to services such as the Multiple Listing Service and the World Wide Web to advertise your home for sale to the widest possible audience.

The Loan Process
The loan process can be complex and stressful, but armed with a good realtor like Cindy and a good loan officer (which Cindy can help you find), your problems should be minimized considerably. Several terms you should know about are below:

  • conventional loan
  • FHA loan
  • VA loan
  • fixed interest rate
  • adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
  • interest rate lock-in
  • private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

The Walkthrough
This is where you make one final visit to your soon-to-be new house before you close. You will want to make sure everything checks out to your satisfaction and this is where any final questions need to be addressed. This usually takes place immediately before your closing or possibly a day or two before closing.

This is where all of your efforts payoff. Before you can close, you will need a good real estate attorney - which Cindy can help you with. You will need to bring to closing a year's pre-paid homeowners insurance from your favorite insurance company, and a cashier's check for the amount you will owe in closing costs and down payment. Depending on your specific circumstances, this amount can be practically anything, so you must get the totals from the closing attorney. This information should probably be available from your attorney by the day before your closing.

Moving In
After you've signed all the paperwork at closing, they will hand you all the keys for the home and you can go straight from closing to check out your new abode.

Cindy's job is not finished at closing, so she will be glad to help you get in touch with appropriate people such as movers, landscapers, painters, carpenters, etc.

Cindy can answer more of your questions if you send her e-mail. Or, you can give her a call at (706) 540-5179