The Buying Process
So you’re ready to buy a house! Understanding the steps involved can help you anticipate what is to follow – as well as be prepared for the unexpected as the process unfolds.
Speak to a Mortgage Broker/Banker – Before you start your house-hunting, you need to know what you can afford in today’s market. With your Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter in hand you will be treated as a serious buyer by both agents and sellers alike.
House-Hunting – On Long Island 90% of sellers use a real estate agent to sell their home – most of them are listed on the Multiple Listing Service. In addition to my listings, you can search the entire Long Island Multiple Listing data base from my web site. I encourage you to register for the Free Home-Finder Service. You will receive daily updates of homes that meet your criteria from Multiple Listing. A Home Just For You! – Once you find your home – and your REALTOR© has successfully negotiated an acceptable price and terms for you – then both parties move toward a contract signing.
Engineer’s Inspection – You will need to arrange for an Engineer’s or Home Inspection as soon as possible. It takes time to arrange the appointment and then additional time for the report to be finished and delivered back to you. If you want additional inspections those should be arranged at this time also.
Certificates of Occupancy or “CO’s” – If there are extensions, additions, decks, sun-rooms or out-buildings that have been added – then you will want to check to see if “CO’s” are on file at Town Hall. In Huntington, you can check first on the Town’s Web Site at . If the list is incomplete, you may need to go to the Building Department at Town Hall and request a “Site History Report”.
Attorney – You need to arrange for an attorney who specializes in real estate and is familiar with local housing codes to handle your home purchase. After the engineer’s inspection report has been received and deemed to be satisfactory, the contracts will be prepared by the sellers’ attorney and sent to your attorney. After your attorney has reviewed them you will meet with him to sign the contracts. Your deposit will be placed in the sellers’ attorney’s escrow account when the sellers sign the contracts.
Termite Inspection – If it was not a part of the Engineer’s Inspection, you will have approximately 10 days after the contracts have been signed by both parties to inspect the home for termites.
The Survey – If all “improvements” are shown on the survey, you probably will not need a new one. However, bank and title company requirements vary on this and you may be required to have a new or updated survey.
Mortgage – Depending on when your closing date is, you will need to apply for your mortgage application as soon as possible. Once you have signed an application, an Appraiser will inspect the home and send a report to the bank. A targeted Closing Date is discussed after the attorneys receive the written confirmation of mortgage. One word of advice: Don’t just look at the interest rate; look at the terms, any price adjustments and ALL FEES that you will be required to pay.
And Don’t Forget – you will need to Select a Moving Company, Register your Children in their New Schools, Arrange to transfer all Utilities to Your Name – and then Pack, Pack, Pack! I have several books about Children and Moving. Ask me about them.
Closing – Prior to the Closing Date, your agent will arrange for you to “walk-through” the house that you are purchasing. Your attorney will advise you what certified funds and paperwork you will need to bring that day. And then the big day finally arrives! Congratulations on Your New Home! May you have many happy memories ahead!