We have put together these nine tips for anyone who is considering buying a home or a second home in Orlando to use.  It is especially a useful tool for first time home buyers or those who have not purchased in a decade or two.

When you’re ready to get started, you may use the contact form or feel free to contact Jules via phone or text at 407-509-4994 or by email jules@greathomesinorlando.com.  Jules will be glad to answer any question you might have.

1) GET READY TO PURCHASE

Before you start looking for a home there are a few things you will want to do first.  You can start by making a list of the type of features you are looking for in your new home - then you will want to divide your list in two by "need to have" and "nice to have."  Add to the list the neighborhoods or school districts you are interested in or at least the have an idea for the type of community you are interested in.

You will also want to figure out your budget and get pre-approved for a home loan.   Pre-approved means the lender has looked over your credit and financial statement and agreed to lend you the money for a home purchase. This will be especially handy when submitting an offer on the home you have selected -  sellers like pre-approved buyers because there is less risk that the deal won’t go through. 

2) TALK TO JULES

Jules likes to schedule some time to meet with you before starting the process so she will have a full understanding of your needs and to help guide you through the steps of the process.  She will discuss your preferences with you from home style and features to neighborhoods/schools districts, as well as the mortgage process, and any other factors that could impact your buying decision. Be sure to make a list of all your questions; Jules is here to help you!

3) FIND A HOME

Following the initial meeting, Jules will start looking for houses that are on the market that could be a good match for you and your family. She will conduct extensive research for you based on your needs and will forward homes for you to review online.  Once you have identified a home or homes you are interested in, Jules will set up appointments with the sellers, and you will tour them together. She will make a note of your likes and dislikes for each home you look at, so she can help you find the home you are looking for.
  
You may also wish to conduct some research yourself using Zillow or Trulia. We encourage this—it will allow you to become familiar with the market and prices. If you find a home that you would like to see, just email the link to Jules, and she will set up a private showing for you. 

4) MAKE AN OFFER

Jules will work diligently to find the right house for you and your family. When that happens, Jules will do the research on comparable homes that have sold in the area in the last six months.  She will review the numbers with you and will advise you on the market conditions and a fair price range, but ultimately, it will be your decision on what you want your initial offer to be.  The initial offer will be the first step of the negotiation process towards securing your new home.

5) NEGOTIATING THE CONTRACT

The negotiating process may go back and forth a couple of times before you reach an agreement with the seller.  In most real estate transactions, both parties will make counteroffers not only on price but terms of the contract until hopefully meeting in the middle.

Once a final agreement is reached the contract is fully executed.  At this time you submit a cash deposit (earnest money) in the form of a check that will be held in escrow to secure your offer to purchase the property.  The amount in escrow will be put toward your down payment and/or closing costs at the closing. Closings generally occur four to five weeks after the contract is signed, depending on the financing.

6) PERFORM INSPECTIONS

Jules will make sure that your contract is written with enough time for inspections.  This will allow you to hire a home inspector to have the home you are planning to purchase thoroughly inspected.

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Home with flower gaarden
 
House with a pool

There are several types of inspections: radon, mold, pest/termite, structural, and full home inspections. This inspection will be an important part of the process. Once the inspection is completed and you have received the report, Jules will help with the negotiations of the repairs if any are needed.

7) OBTAIN YOUR LOAN

Once the sales contract is finalized, you will start working with your mortgage company on your home loan. It should be a fairly easy process since you have been pre-approved, but there is usually additional information that your lender will need from you as they process the loan for closing.
 
Jules will also work with your lender to supply documentation as needed. About three days after completing your loan application the lender will provide you a Good Faith Estimate with your estimated closing costs.  Jules will go over the estimate with you to make sure that everything looks right.

8) THE CLOSING

You are almost home! A few days before closing, Jules will review the closing statement and final numbers with you, and obtain the final instructions from the title company.

The closing should take about an hour, bring your favorite pen; you will be signing a lot of documents. The title company will process all of the paperwork, for your lender to fund the transaction.  When the transaction is completed, you receive the keys to your new house!

9) MOVE IN!

Congratulations! Time move into your new house. If you have any questions, please contact Jules at 407-509-4994 or send an e-mail to jules@greathomesinorlando.com.