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

With some up-front planning, buying a home isn't that confusing, but the event is stressful for many people. So they know exactly what to expect, I'll give buyers an overview of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home. Should you have questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home
There are many things you should consider before you start looking for a home. It's likely that you'll want to form a list of features you need to have, get a feel for what neighborhoods you want to live in, and begin planning your budget. A good guideline to go by is that your mortgage payment should be 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Havre
This is where I come in. I'd love to book a time to meet with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, school districts in the Havre area, the mortgage industry, and any additional economic factors that may affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Havre, so you're in great hands. They will assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
Following our first meeting, I'll start searching for available homes on the market that are good for you. I'll preview most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we view houses, I'll point out positive features and bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. Most often, buyers revise their must-have list as we view homes and some things become more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings once again and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the Havre home market is an imperative factor in your home search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to some neighborhoods are "hot" and require immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for thoughtful consideration.

As we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for negotiation and when I know the house is "priced to sell." Any real estate agent will claim to truly understand the market, but keep an eye out, and be sure to ask your agent a lot of questions. If things don't add up, call me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at , and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will help you stay a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
We'll find your dream home in the Havre area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including some contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

When sending in your offer, you'll likely want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit given to the home seller to secure an offer to buy the property, and it's often applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

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

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a deal that's best for you.

Step 7 – Get financing
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. This shouldn't take very long at all if you're already pre-qualified, but you should to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of taking your application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements require that it has to contain 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 house. This should happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and calm event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply contact me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at .