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Contemplating purchasing a new home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't all that hard, but the event is stressful for a lot of people. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you start your home search, there are plenty of things you'll want to take into account. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to create a check list of features you want, get a feel for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is less than 1/3 of your monthly income is a good guideline to go by.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd like to plan a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss neighborhoods, school districts in the Needham area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any additional economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also assist you with getting started on your loan. Louis Wolfson & Co. partners with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Needham, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that are great for you. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we view the houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we view homes and some things become more essential than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings once again and narrow it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Needham home market is a crucial component in your house search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to certain districts are "hot" and call for immediate action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and make sure you ask a lot of questions, as any real estate agent in Needham will convince you they truly know the housing market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I know we'll find the house of your dreams in the Needham area. When we do, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When we turn in your purchase offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is most often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts aren't closed on the initial offer. It's widely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller's offer and move on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't take very long at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

Then we'll close on your home. This should occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and calm event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, simply call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at .

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