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Looking to purchase a new home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

Purchasing a home is intimidating for a lot of people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it isn't very complicated. I like to furnish buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have questions regarding 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 purchase a home
There are several things you'll want to contemplate before you search for a home. When you start your search, you'll probably want to make a checklist of features you need to have, get a feeling for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd be happy to arrange a time to meet with you and speak with you about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Needham area.

I'll also help you start the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Needham, and I work with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you decide which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

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

When we tour the houses, I'll call attention to positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to update their wish list as we tour houses and some features become far more crucial than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings again and trim it down to the home you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
My knowledge of the Needham housing market is an imperative element in your house search. I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will alert you to some districts are "hot" and require prompt action and some that are "cold" and allow for careful consideration.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I think the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and make sure you ask plenty of questions, as any real estate agent in Needham will claim to understand the market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, just call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
I'm positive we'll find the home of your dreams in Needham. When that happens, I'll precisely create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including several contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When presenting your purchase offer, you'll likely want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property and is most often applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts don't close on the initial offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it discourage you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

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

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
After we sign the final sales contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it won't take much time at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs within three days of taking your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your house. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and is often a smooth and relaxing affair.

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

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