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Are you contemplating buying a home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

For many people, buying a home can be a stressful event. However, with a little planning ahead of time, it's not that confusing. So they know exactly what they can expect, I'll provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to address any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are plenty of things you should consider before beginning your home search. You'll probably want to make a checklist of must-haves, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good principle to go by.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
This is where Louis Wolfson & Co. comes in. We can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Needham area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Needham, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They can help you choose which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After our first meeting, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the houses and exclude the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's most convenient for you.

As we tour homes, I'll show you the good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and dislike. For the most part, buyers change their must-have list as we view homes and some items become more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through all the listings again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My awareness of the Needham home market is an essential component in your home search. I'm informed of all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will let you know some neighborhoods are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for more analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be mindful and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Every real estate agent in Needham will claim to comprehend the home market. If things don't add up, call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My market expertise will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find the home of your dreams in Needham. When that happens, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon sending in your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is most often applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
A lot of contracts don't close on the initial offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market conditions. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll create a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this shouldn't take much time at all. However, you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will likely take place at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and peaceful occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, just call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at .

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