Are you thinking about buying a new home?

Buying a home is an intimidating event for a lot of people. However, with a little planning ahead of time, it's not all that difficult. I like to provide buyers with an overview of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what to expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are plenty of things you'll want to consider before you search for a home. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to make an index of items you need to have, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be close to 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact Jim & Pam Pitchford! 
This is where I can help. I can schedule a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Lansing area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Lansing, and I partner with a lot of them, so you'll be in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After our initial information gathering session, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that best suit you. I'll preview most of the houses and ignore the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll identify good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and don't like. For the most part, buyers amend their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become far more necessary than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Get a feel for the housing market
My knowledge of the Lansing market is a fundamental benefit in your search. I'm conscious of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll communicate certain districts are "hot" and demand prompt action and the ones that are "cold" and allow for careful examination.

When we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be on guard and be sure to ask lots of questions, as every REALTOR® in Lansing will tell you they understand the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, call me at (517) 622-0600 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 ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm confident we'll find the home of your dreams!  When that happens, I'll carefully develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs. A few examples are acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let The Pitchford Group At RE/MAX guide you through finding your dream home in Lansing Upon submitting your offer, most likely you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is often applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the beginning offer, and it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. But don't let it alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose 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 limits. And when it's all said and done, we'll assemble a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Once we sign the final contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. It won't take much time at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate  outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. TRID requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a close range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then we'll close on your home. This will  take place at a title company and is often a smooth and hassle-free occasion.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, make sure you contact me at (517) 622-0600 or send me an e-mail or text.