Contemplating buying a new home in Havre? Northern Land & Realty Co. can help.

Buying a home is intimidating for many people, but it isn't that confusing with a little up-front planning. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. Below 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 about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are a lot of things you need to take into account before beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to put together a list of features you need to have, get a feel for what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start working on your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is no more than 1/3 of your monthly income is a good rule to follow.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Havre
This is where I can help. I'd be more than happy to arrange a time to meet with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Havre area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. I partner with some of Havre's finest mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They'll assist you with choosing which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
After we meet for the first time, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll research many of the homes and reject the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we view the homes, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. Oftentimes, buyers revise their wish list as we view houses and some things become far more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll go back through all the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
My awareness of the Havre market is a crucial component in your home search. I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can communicate some neighborhoods are "hot" and demand immediate action and others that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour homes, I'll let you know when the list price has room for negotiation and also when I think the house is "priced to sell." Be mindful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as every real estate agent will claim to understand the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have. My market expertise will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find the home of your dreams in Havre, and when that happens, I'll carefully develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Upon presenting your purchase offer, you'll probably need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's most often put towards the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of contracts aren't closed 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 agree to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or decline 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 put together a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Obtain your loan
Once we sign the final deal, 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'll want to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll look after all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount. RESPA requirements mandate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a precise range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if it all looks adequate.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will probably occur at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and stress-free occasion.

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