Are you looking to buy your home in Havre? Northern Land & Realty Co. can help.

Buying a home is stressful for a lot of people, but it isn't too complex with some planning ahead of time. I like to give buyers a road map of the entire deal so they'll understand exactly what to expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home. Should you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase a home
There are plenty of things you need to consider prior to starting your home search. You'll want to put together an index of features you need, get an idea of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is around 30 percent of your monthly income is a good rule of thumb to adhere to.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent
This is where I come in. I'd like to book a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Havre area.

I can also assist you with getting started on your loan. There are some excellent mortgage professionals in Havre, and I work with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They can assist you in figuring out which type of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking
After our first meeting, I'll start looking for available houses on the market that are great for you. I'll preview many of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we view homes, I'll identify positive features and negative ones. And I'll ask you to tell us about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we view houses and some features become far more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been dreaming about.

Step 4 – Know the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Havre housing market is a leading element in your house search. And I can assure you I'm familiar with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will alert you to certain areas are "hot" and require prompt action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour homes, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for bargaining or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." Be careful and be sure to ask your agent lots of questions, as every REALTOR will claim to understand the market. If things don't add up, contact me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at , and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been looking for
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Havre area, and when we do, I'll carefully create your purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Upon presenting your offer, you'll likely need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is most often applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days after. This allows sufficient time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the first offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it discourage you. We'll consider whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

Market conditions will play a part in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll formulate a contract that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Once the contract is complete, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it shouldn't take long at all, but you should to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will give you a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs within three days of receiving your loan application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of receiving your application. This estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and be within a strict range of accuracy, and I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your home. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and pleasant occurrence.

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