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Are you looking to purchase a home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

For many people, purchasing a home is a stressful event. However, with some up-front planning, it isn't too confusing. I like to give buyers a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to answer questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are a lot of things you should take into account before you start looking for a home. You'll want to make a checklist of items you want, get a plan of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good rule to follow is that your mortgage payment should be a third of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd like to arrange a time to meet with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Needham area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Needham, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They'll help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin your home search
Following our initial meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are great for you. I'll research many of the homes and reject the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses when it's convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll point out good features and bad ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to change their must-have list as we view homes and some items become far more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search all the listings one more time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My understanding of the Needham housing market is a leading component in your house search. I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I will let you know certain areas are "hot" and demand prompt action and others that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

When we tour homes, I'll be sure to tell you when the seller's asking price has room for bargaining and also when I trust the house is "priced to sell." Every real estate agent will convince you they understand the home market, but be wary, and be sure to ask plenty of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
I'm certain we'll find the house of your dreams in the Needham area. When we do, I'll meticulously develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's usually put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days after. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to take the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

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

Step 7 – Get a loan
Once the contract is finalized, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It won't be a long process at all if you've been pre-qualified, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll take care of all the property information your mortgage lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This should take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and hassle-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. 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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