Are you contemplating purchasing your new home in Havre? Northern Land & Realty Co. can help.

Purchasing a home is intimidating for most people, but with a little planning ahead of time, it's not that confusing. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm happy to answer any questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
Prior to beginning your home search, there are many things you'll want to consider. When you begin your search, you'll want to make an index of items you want, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning your budget. A good rule to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Get in touch with a real estate agent
That's where I can help. We'll book a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Havre area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. Northern Land & Realty Co. partners with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Havre, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview most of the homes and remove the bad ones, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's convenient for you.

As we view homes, I'll identify positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and dislike. It's common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we view houses and some items become far more crucial than others. If that's the case, I'll go back through the listings once again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Comprehend the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Havre market is an imperative element in your house search. And I can assure you I'm conscious of all the schools and neighborhoods, and I'll alert you to some districts are "hot" and require immediate action and some that are "cold" and allow for more examination.

When we view homes, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and be sure to ask lots of questions, as any real estate agent in Havre will convince you they know the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, just call me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home of your dreams
I'm certain we'll find your dream home in Havre. When that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including a lot of contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When we present your purchase offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually applied to the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the first offer – it's extremely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to take the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

Market circumstances determine how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your budget. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that's best for you.

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

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will send you a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing your closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. This estimate is based on the loan amount. RESPA requirements order that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks good.

Then it's time to close on your home. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and relaxing event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, just call me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at .