Here's a step-by-step look at the home buying process.
Starting Your Home Search
It's time to start looking for your new home. To narrow your search, consider these questions:
- What is my price range?
- Where do I want to live?
- What is the neighborhood like?
- What is the crime rate?
- What is the school district?
- How far is my commute to my job, stores, schools, etc?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want?
- What style of home do I want?
Mel Foster Co. Resources to Find a Home
Mel Foster Co. Website
- Search over 7,000 properties for sale on our website, including other company's listings
- Quick search by any part of the address, city, state or zip code, or advanced search by school district and more
- Get detailed information on each property
- New listings featured daily on homepage of website for one week
- Multiple interior pictures and virtual tours
- Open houses and shown by appointments
- Mapping directions to the homes for viewing
- Register to receive automatic e-mail updates on properties matching your criteria
- Top quality vendor links for home-related products or services to get your home move in ready
Mel Foster Co. Mobile Website : www.melfosterco.mobi
See any property for sale in the area, even other real estate company's listings. Go to www.melfosterco.mobi on your internet enabled phone! No applications to download. It's easy, quick and in the palm of your hands!
Mel Foster Co. Homes Magazine
It's published monthly and distributed to over 300 locations. Or, pick up your copy at any Mel Foster Co. office. The magazine features color listings for sale in Iowa and Illinois.
Homes are advertised in the Moline Dispatch and The Quad City Times, which have a combined circulation of over 257,000 readers each week.
After your initial counseling appointment, your Mel Foster Co. agent will have a good idea of your wants, needs, price range, and preferred location. They will enter your requirements in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which will generate a customized list of homes just for you. Your Mel Foster Co. agent will then make arrangements to show you the homes on the list.
When you start visiting homes, what should you be looking for?
At each home consider these important factors:
- Is there enough room for you now and in the future?
- Is the home's floor plan right for your family?
- Is there enough storage space?
- Will you have to replace the appliances?
- Is the yard the size that you want?
- Will your present furniture work in this home?
Don't be discouraged if the first home is not the right one! Your Mel Foster Co. agent is committed to finding you the perfect home.
What should I tell my Mel Foster agent about the homes I look at?
Tell your Mel Foster agent what you liked and didn't like about each home you saw. As a rule of thumb, ask any questions you have about specific rooms, features or functions. Pay particular attention to areas that you feel could become "problem" areas - additions, defects, areas that have been repaired, etc. And above all, if you don't feel your questions have been answered, ask until understand and are satisfied. In most cases, your Mel Foster agent will be able to provide you with detailed information.
Preparing to Purchase
Your Mel Foster Co. agent will:
- Provide any information that can help you make a decision on a property you wish to purchase.
- Prepare an offer to purchase agreement and explain each detail. Provide you with copies of all documents involved in the purchase agreement and financing.
- Arrange an appointment with a loan officer and accompany you to the loan application if you haven't done so.
- Provide you with an estimated cost of closing or settlement, including points, title, insurance, appraisals, and credit reports for the property you are buying.
Coordinate any necessary property inspections to evaluate major elements of the home and negotiate the results of the inspections with the seller on your behalf.
Track the step-by-step process of completing the terms of the contract with you, or provide online tracking for you to use at your convenience.
Making an Offer
When negotiating the purchase of your new home, the first step will be to make an offer to purchase. This offer should be in writing and be accompanied by an earnest money check to show good faith. The offer will include:
- The amount you are willing to pay
- Financing terms
- Any personal property specifically included
- Loan commitment date
- Closing and occupancy date
- Other contingencies, including inspections
The offer will be written on a standard Quad City Area Realtor Association Purchase Agreement. If the seller does not accept the initial offer, we'll continue until agreeable terms to both the buyer and the seller are reached. When both agree on the terms, the buyer completes financing and arranges for inspections.
Understanding Closing Costs
Application Fee - Fee charged by lender to pay the fixed costs related to mortgage loan processing, such as appraisal, credit reports, and underwriting.
Closing Fee - The fee charged by the agent who prepares the closing documents computed at % of the mortgage amount, or an amount as charged by the lender.
Commitment Fee - This is often called an origination fee and is generally computed at 1% of the mortgage amount, or an amount as charged by lender.
Discount Points - Each point is equal to 1% of the mortgage amount. Points are used by the lender to adjust the yield on the mortgage when it is sold to an investor. By paying more points, the borrower can obtain a lower mortgage interest rate.
Funding Fees - Normally applicable on VA loans only, equal to a percentage of the loan amount. The fee is due at closing or may be added to loan amount and financed.
Homeowner's Insurance - One year premium is due in advance at the time of closing.
Mortgage Insurance - Insurance required by the lender when the down payment is less than 20%. In the case of loan default, this insurance reduces the lender's loss.
Pre-Payables - Adjustments to escrow accounts from the date of closing to the date of the first payment. Interest is paid through the end of the month of closing; taxes are paid through the end of the month of closing, plus the following month. Two months of PMI may be collected. Two months of homeowner's insurance may be collected. A homeowner's insurance policy must be provided along with a receipt showing that the first year's premium is paid.
Processing Fee - Fees charged by the escrow processor (either working for the escrow company or real estate company) for administrative escrow services performed from the point of contract through closing.
Recording Fee - Fee usually required and used by the lender to check for encroachments from within or from outside the subject property.
Survey Fee - Fee usually required and used by the lender to check for encroachments from within or from outside the subject property.
Title Insurance - Provides protection for lenders and homeowners against financial loss resulting from legal defects in the title.
Underwriting Fee - Fee usually included in the application fee, although practices do vary from lender to lender.
Flood Certification Fee - Lender must determine if the home requires flood insurance.
Tax Service Fee - A one-time charge collected at closing which arranges for the payments of real estate taxes from the borrower's escrow account to the taxing author city or verifies payment to the taxing authority.
We realize how busy you will be as your closing on your new home draws near. One of your last duties is the final walk-through. Things to look for, check for and operate during your tour are listed to make your life a little easier.
Making the Move
Watch market conditions in your area - these conditions will have an impact on your position as a buyer.
The supply of homes on the market exceeds the demand
High inventory of homes. Few buyers compared to availability. Homes are on the market longer and prices tend to drop.
More time to look for a home. More negotiating leverage.
There are more buyers looking to buy homes than there are homes on the market.
Fewer inventories of homes available. Many buyers. Homes tend to sell quickly and prices generally increase.
May have to pay more and make decision quickly. Conditional offers may be rejected.
The number of homes on the market is equal to the number of buyers.
Sellers accept reasonable offers. Homes sell within an acceptable time frame and prices are usually stable.
More relaxed atmosphere. Reasonable number of homes to choose from.
Depending on your area, impact and expenses may vary.Back to Top