Looking to purchase a new home in Havre? Northern Land & Realty Co. can help.

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for many people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it's not all that confusing. So they'll understand exactly what to expect, I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal. These are my nine steps to buying a home. When you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at . I'm glad to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are several things you'll want to contemplate before commencing your home search. When you start your search, you'll probably want to put together a checklist of features you need, get an idea of what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good guideline to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be 1/3 of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Contact a real estate agent
This is where I can help. We'll set up a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Havre area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that may affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you begin the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Havre, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They will help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking for a house
After we meet, I'll start looking for available homes on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll research many of the homes and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour the homes, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to amend their list of must-haves as we tour houses and some features become more necessary than others. If such is the case, I'll go back through all the listings another time and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
An agent's understanding of the Havre market is a fundamental agent in your house search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I will alert you to certain neighborhoods are "hot" and call for prompt action and some that are "cool" and allow for careful analysis.

When we tour houses, I'll let you know if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." Trust your instincts and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions, as any real estate agent in Havre will tell you they comprehend the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, call me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at , and I'd be happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream house
We'll find the home of your dreams in the Havre area, and when that happens, I'll precisely develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs and the home, including many contingencies, such as obtaining financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

When presenting your offer, most likely you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property, and it's usually applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows ample time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts aren't closed on the beginning offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll talk about whether or not to agree to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and move 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 assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, it shouldn't be a long process at all, but you'll want to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll care for all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate rests on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll analyze the estimate and let you know if everything looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will probably take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and hassle-free occurrence.

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, make sure you contact me at (406) 265-2253 or e-mail me at .