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Are you buying your new home in Needham? Louis Wolfson & Co. can help.

Buying a home is stressful for many people, but it's not very difficult with a bit of planning ahead of time. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are a lot of things you should do prior to beginning your home search. When you start your search, you'll want to assemble a checklist of features you want, get a plan of what school districts you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule to adhere to.

Step 2 – Connect with a real estate agent
That's where I come in. We'll book 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, schools in the Needham area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you start the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Needham, and I partner 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 approved.

Step 3 – Begin house-hunting
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research many of the houses and exclude the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes when it's most convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll identify positive features and bad ones. And I'll ask you about things you like and dislike. As a rule, buyers change their wish list as we view homes and some items become more essential than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through the listings one more time and trim it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market
An agent's awareness of the Needham market is a crucial agent in your home search. And I assure you I'm familiar with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know what neighborhoods are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for more examination.

When we tour homes, I'll let you know if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent in Needham will tell you they understand the market, but trust your instincts, and make sure you ask lots of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find the house of your dreams in the Needham area, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including some contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure an offer to buy the property. The amount is typically put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the first offer, and it's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll discuss whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a large role in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll compose a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Get a loan
Once we sign the final sales contract, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't be a long process at all if you've been pre-approved, but you need to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll manage all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

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

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will probably be a smooth and easygoing affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply contact me at (617) 799-3326 or e-mail me at .

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