A Little Extra "Love"
A Little Extra "Love"
by Kari McMurray
Over the past few weeks I have had the great pleasure of working with a client that I love dearly. To ALL of my clients: Do not misunderstand; I love and appreciate every one of you! This client is particularly special because he is my hero, my best friend and my husband.
To write about my experiences with this beloved Navy client would take a lot more than a quick blog. Should anyone so desire to read that epic series, please let me know and I will begin working on it immediately. This is not about the stress or joy that a couple shares while in the process of purchasing a home. Rather, I would like to talk about the confusion.
Who are all of these people involved in what my client thought was a sales transaction between a seller and a buyer? Being the real estate agent, I am familiar with who does what and why. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification on any or every step of your purchase. During our daily briefings regarding the status of our contract my husband has asked "Who is that?", "What does he do?" and "Why?". So, my darling, here is the answer.
Your Realtor, whom you trust and direct all of your questions to, is your go-to person. I will meet with you about your needs and your time frame. I will woo you with my professionalism, motivation and genuine investment in finding the right home for your family (and my humor, of course). When those have been established, I will direct you to a mortgage lender for preapproval. Then, I will set up a comprehensive search of all active listings in the area to determine which homes suit your needs. I will be the one that comes with you to look at them. I will pay very close attention to what you like and what your family requires in a home. With my help, we will put together an offer on the home that you chooseand become "under contract." Under contract means that the sale for your house is pending and no one else can make an offer on it or even view it. Congratulations!! That was the fun part before the hard work.
Now enters your lender. If you are my client, I will direct you to the absolutely amazing dream-weaver, James Walrod of Veteran's United Home Loans. (www.veteransunited.com) James will have already preapproved your home loan before we started house hunting, remember? Well, now he a vital part of your dream team! You will meet with him to go over all of the numbers involved in your home loan. He will help you get all of your documents in order for a full loan application. He will talk to you about the benefits of a VA loan and much more. I promise a full feature on lenders in the near future, but for now, know that he is THE guy for all things financial.
Within just days of your offer being accepted, I will set up a home inspection for you. The home inspection is done by a licensed home inspector. The inspector will look at every square foot of your home. He will make sure everything is in working order. You will receive an inspection report that details every issue that he might find. It will also suggest any repairs that may be needed. This is a very important step. With the guidance of your home inspection report, I will request repairs to be completed by the seller before the sale is executed at closing. It is also when you get to know your house! This is a great time to bring out the tape measure and take pictures you may need before you move in.
After the buyer and seller have agreed on repairs to be made, our lender will request an appraisal. If you are a veteran using the VA loan, the appraisal is done by a VA appraiser. The appraiser comes out to the house to give a very thorough valuation of the property's value. The appraisal will be based on the location, the improvements made to the home and previous sales in the neighborhood. The appraiser's value assigned to your house is very important because the VA will not let you borrow more money to purchase your home than what it is worth. That is probably a lesson your mom taught you a long time ago as well!
So, after 2-3 weeks and several dozen emails between everyone involved, all of the paperwork is in order. You have spent countless hours daydreaming about wall colors and where you will put your sofa. You have set up utilities for your new house. You have probably driven past it a couple of times, just to see it. You are almost ready to move into your new home. If only you had the keys!! There is one last step... you have to sign the papers. Our process ends at the closing table. We will go to the title company for closing where your settlement agent will walk us through every disclosure and every penny involved in the purchase of your home. My friends at Vintage Estates and Title (www.vintage-estates-title.com) are top professionals in their field. Your title company will research the title of your property to insure that it comes with no skeletons in the closet. They will prepare our closing documents and walk you through all of them. Even though you are really excited, pay attention to them! You already know that you are getting a VA loan. I assume that you know if you do not pay your mortgage, you don't get to keep your house. You may not know that if you make just one extra payment on your mortgage every year that it can take seven years off of your 30 year loan!
After bouncing out of your chair, signing your way through a seemingly endless stack of papers and smiling for about thirty minutes you come to the end. The settlement agent will take the whole journey full circle by looking at me and asking me to give you the keys to your new home. I say that is the end, but we all know it is really the beginning!
It is the beginning of many years full of laughter and warm memories in your new home. Remember me in this moment and not when your toilet overflows and you have no landlord to call. May the joy you feel snuggled up with your family in front of the fire on a cold Virginia night reflect in the pride of ownership your home displays. The American dream is so sweet, isn't it?!
So, my dear husband... even though I have told you three times why we have to wait for our appraiser, feel free to ask me again tomorrow. I will hold your hand through it all and be your biggest cheerleader. We will get it done!
For all you do in your service to our country, this joint force of real estate professionals is honored to be of service to you!
If you or a loved one needs a dedicated team of professionals for the purchase, listing or management of a home, please contact
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