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

With a little planning ahead of time, buying a home isn't all that complicated, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have any questions about 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
There are a lot of things you'll want to do before you start searching for a home. You'll most likely want to make an outline of features you need, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment around 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good guideline to adhere to.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I can help. I'd be happy to schedule a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Needham area.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Needham, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They'll help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin your search
After our first meeting, I'll begin finding available homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll research many of the houses and reject the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we view the homes, I'll call attention to positive features and negative ones. I'll also ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers amend their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some things become more necessary than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings one more time and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the market
Your agent's understanding of the Needham housing market is a leading component in your home search. And I assure you I'm informed of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can communicate some areas are "hot" and warrant immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

As we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent will convince you they truly know the market. If it appears they don't know everything, call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer your questions. My understanding of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm confident we'll find your dream home in the Needham area. When we do, I'll thoroughly create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When turning in your purchase offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's most often put towards the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most deals aren't closed on the initial offer. It's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Upon finishing the deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, it shouldn't take very long at all, but you should to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs within three days of receiving your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements mandate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a close range of accuracy. I'll review the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and hassle-free occurrence.

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

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