Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home.

Over the course of the next few months, you’ll be dealing with several professionals to help you through the purchase of your home.  Allow us to walk you through the process so there are no surprises along the way.
Below is a ‘timeline’ of the major events you can expect as you push toward move in day.  We hope you find this helpful!

Step 1 - Selecting a Mortgage Company

Why pre-approval?

Before you invest your time (and emotions!) selecting a home, you should find out exactly what you can afford.  You don’t want any surprises after you’ve already done the leg work.

Also, if you have a mortgage pre-approval it puts you in a stronger position when negotiating with the seller.  The last thing a seller wants is to accept an offer only to have it withdrawn due to financing.  If you’re bidding against buyers who aren’t pre-approved, you have a leg up.

Types of mortgages

There are 8 different types of mortgages out there.  However, most people will have one of the 2 most common.

With a fixed mortgage, the interest rate is set when you take out the loan and will not change through the life of the loan.  This means stable and predictable mortgage payments.

A variable or adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a mortgage with a rate that will fluctuate based upon market conditions.  This option may be more attractive up front.  However if interest rates spike an ARM may leave you unable to make your mortgage payments.

What mortgage term is right for you?

The 30 year mortgage has become the standard in Western Pennsylvania.  However there are 15 and 40 year…

Step 2 - Working with a Real Estate Partner Professional

You're in love, but are you really in love?

One of the functions of a real estate agent is to temper your emotions.

You don’t want to buy a house under duress.  You new home purchase should be thoughtful and well planned.  A good real estate agent will keep you in check and thinking practically.

Step 3 - Offer, Negotiation and Acceptance

The Offer and Negotiation

Once you’ve decided on a home, that’s when the value of your real estate agent really starts to show through.  Their guidance on an offer can be the difference between getting a great deal on a home, squandering several thousands of dollars, or missing your shot at a property you love.

After the in initial offer, the seller may come back with a counteroffer or conditions.

Contingencies

Contingencies are conditions that must be met before an agreement is formally accepted.

Essentially, a contingency gives either the buyer or seller the right to back out of an offer if certain conditions aren’t met.

For instance, let’s say you’re selling your existing home and need the cash from the sale to make the down payment.  You may make your offer to the seller contingent upon the sale of your house going through.  If the sale falls through, you’re not left paying 2 mortgages.

Offer Acceptance

Okay, so the seller has agreed to your terms.  Congratulations!

Now you’ll be asked to provide hand money.  This is a good faith down payment to show you’re a serious buyer.  This money is applied toward the down payment if the deal goes through.

Step 4 - Insuring Your Home

Selecting an Insurance Agent

Change me- add direct

here are two routes you can go when shopping for your insurance.  You can work with a captive agent or an independent agent.

Captive insurance agents work for and with one specific company.  This means that when you call to get a quote, you’ll get just that.  One quote.

Independent insurance agents work with several companies.  They will shop your coverage around to several carriers.  This flexibility helps get you the best product for your needs at the best rate.  Not to mention saving you time as well!

Know What You're Buying

A good insurance agent should help to educate you on your home insurance policy.  We’re talking about protecting one of the largest investments you’ll ever make.  You should take the time to understand your policy and your agent should be willing to take the time to answer your questions.

Home

Fire

Risk Factor

Most fires are devastating. Besides the emotional impact, the physical damage to your home can be significant. If you lost your home to fire, do you have adequate insurance to replace your home and its contents? Remember, inflation rates on building materials and construction costs rarely track with real estate values. As a result, rebuilding a home can often cost significantly more than expected.

Solution

Make sure your homeowners policy contains guaranteed replacement cost coverage. This protects you if the cost to reconstruct your home is higher than your current limit of coverage. Also be sure that your insurance includes rebuilding your home to code. Very often, local ordinances and building codes change over time, which may require additional costs.

Personal Property / Contents - Property Damage

Risk Factor

When your home suffers damage due to an unexpected event, your personal property is also at risk. Furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics and other personal items can also be damaged or destroyed.

Solution

Your homeowners insurance policy typically covers personal property, including the contents of your home and other personal items owned by you or family members who live with you. Make sure your homeowners policy includes replacement cost coverage for personal property so that you always receive the full cost to replace whatever item is damaged.

Additional Living Expense / Loss of Use

Risk Factor

When there is substantial damage to your home due to unexpected events such as lightning, fire or a storm, you may not be able to live in your home until it can be repaired or rebuilt – potentially incurring additional living expenses for lodging, food and other daily needs.

Solution

Ensure that your homeowners insurance policy provides additional living expense or loss of use coverage to compensate you for the additional costs you incur for reasonable housing and living expenses if a covered event makes your house temporarily uninhabitable while it's being repaired or rebuilt.

Jewelry, Fine Arts and Collectibles

Risk Factor

If your diamond ring disappears or valuable artwork is stolen, your standard homeowners policy may not compensate you for the loss. Homeowners policies include coverage for your belongings and personal property, but some special items like jewelry, furs, silverware, antiques, collectibles and other valuables have limited or no coverage and need to be insured separately.

Solution

Valuable possessions insurance covers personal property that may have unique value, cannot be replaced like regular personal property or is subject to special types of losses such as breakage or mysterious disappearance. For most valuable possession categories, there is no deductible applied at time of loss. Valuable possessions insurance can be added to your homeowners policy or may be written as a separate policy.

Medical Expenses

Risk Factor

If a guest is injured while on your property, even when it’s due to a friendly game of baseball, you may be required to pay any medical expenses associated with their injury.

Solution

Your homeowners policy should include medical expenses coverage to take care of injuries and treatment - generally not of a serious nature. In the event a person is injured on your property and requires medical attention, you would be able to submit the injury-related medical expenses to your insurance carrier. Medical expenses are usually paid without a liability claim being filed against you.

Personal Liability

Risk Factor

In the unfortunate event that someone slips and falls while on your property, you and your family may be held liable for any injuries that result.

Solution

Your homeowners policy includes personal liability coverage to respond to incidents where injuries or damages occur to a third party where you may be deemed negligent. However, you should consider purchasing a personal umbrella or excess liability policy to provide additional coverage limits to protect your assets in case a lawsuit is brought against you.

Miscellaneous Coverage

Risk Factor

The fun that comes with having a trampoline in your backyard can also be accompanied by serious risks, which may not be covered under your standard homeowners insurance policy since coverage varies from state to state and between insurance companies.

Solution

You should make sure your homeowners insurance policy covers your trampoline, as many insurance providers refuse to take on trampoline liability and exclude the item from coverage.

Personal Injury

Risk Factor

Young people are usually very active online. However, using social media and other sites can increase the possibility of them directly or indirectly damaging someone's reputation and exposing you, the parent, to a lawsuit.

Solution

Your homeowners insurance policy includes liability coverage for property damage caused by any member in the family, but it may not cover rumors or statements that damage a reputation. You need to add an endorsement to your policy to expand coverage to include liability protection that covers personal injury.

Umbrella / Excess Liability Coverage

Risk Factor

You invite guests over for a barbecue pool party and one of your guests dives into the shallow end of the pool and is permanently injured. They hire a lawyer to represent them and after a long legal battle, you and your family are left financially responsible for their injuries. Do you have enough money in savings to cover your legal responsibilities as well as the legal defense costs?

Solution

An umbrella or excess liability policy increases your personal liability limits by adding protection over and above your current auto, boat or homeowners policies - providing real financial value, as well as priceless peace of mind. Excess liability insurance is available either by an endorsement to your homeowners policy or available as separate coverage.

Flood Coverage

Risk Factor

You do not have to live near a body of water to suffer loss due to flooding. With the changing weather patterns and more damaging storms occurring around the globe, flood losses are becoming more common in places that are not normally prone to flood damage. Your homeowners policy does not cover damage from flood. Could your home be at risk?

Solution

Purchase a flood insurance policy to protect your home and covered contents from certain types of flood losses as designated by the National Flood Insurance Program. A flood policy is purchased as a separate policy through the federal program (NFIP) or through a servicing carrier known as a write your own carrier.

Secondary Home

Risk Factor

Owning a secondary home has the potential of increasing your liability exposures.

Solution

Be certain that you extend the liability coverage under your homeowners policy to include your secondary home. You should also consider including the secondary home under an excess liability or umbrella policy to provide for additional liability limits.

Collector Cars

Risk Factor

Collector vehicles often have significant value and require specialized insurance coverage and claims handling.

Solution

Schedule your collectible vehicle on a separate collector car policy. By doing so, you are protecting the vehicle for either the appraised value or market value.

Wine Collection

Risk Factor

If you are a connoisseur of wine, you know that it is susceptible to outside environmental exposures that can ruin it. If the collection is damaged, coverage from your homeowners policy is a possible recourse. However, the damage is only insurable if it is a covered cause of loss as outlined in your homeowners policy. A deductible would also apply.

Solution

If you have a sizable wine collection, you may want to consider scheduling the collection on your homeowners policy. Doing so expands your coverage and eliminates the deductible in case of a loss. You can also consider unique coverages for wine, such as for spoilage.

Water Back-Up

Risk Factor

Most homeowners policies exclude coverage for water back-up damages as a result of a clogged drain, sewer or sump pump.

Solution

Water back-up coverage can be added to most insurance policies. Consider adding it so that you have the coverage you need in the event of damages caused by a clogged drain, sewer, sump pump and related risks.

Off-Premises Theft

Risk Factor

Surprisingly, standard auto insurance does not cover personal property or contents stolen from your car.

Solution

Most homeowners policies offer an option to include off-premises theft coverage as an endorsement, which covers you for theft of your personal property away from your residence.

Click the yellow hot spots to learn how your homeowners policy can protect against common risks.
Get a home insurance quote now

Step 5 - Title Clearing and Inspection

Title Clearing

Before purchasing a property, you must be certain that the title is clear.  A clear title is a title that doesn’t have any leins or levy against it from creditors or other parties.

Clearing the title verifies legal ownership of the property.  This means you won’t be left holding the bag for past debts attached to the property.

Home Inspection

Your offer to buy a home will likely be contingent upon an acceptable home inspection.

The inspector will look at a wide range of systems in the home.  ….

Step 6 - Closing

Home Closing

Before purchasing a property, you must be certain that the title is clear.  A clear title is a title that doesn’t have any leins or levy against it from creditors or other parties.

Clearing the title verifies legal ownership of the property.  This means you won’t be left holding the bag for past debts attached to the property.

Step 6 - Moving in

Moving

Did you know that when you hire professional movers your stuff may only be protected by the pound?

Movers are liable for damage done to your belongings. However most movers are only required to provide $0.60 per pound damaged.  You read that right.  So your ultra-light flat screen valued at $800 may be covered for $8.  Ouch.

Also, whether you’re hiring the pros or conning your friends into moving you, make sure you have your help lined up as early as possible.  This is especially important if you’re trying to hire a mover at a high volume time of year (80% of moves happen April-September).

Utilities

To be safe, it’s best to contact your utility provider at least 2 weeks before your move.  Most providers can get you turned on within a couple days, but occasionally they’ll get backed up.  Welcome to your new home, you’ll have electricity in 3-5 business days.  Yikes!

Meet Realtor

Professional Real Estate Agent
Contact Angel Now!

Hey there.  My name is Realtor.  I’m a real estate agent in the Pittsburgh.  I love rodeo clowns and dislike jalepeno wraps.  Etc…

Hey there.  My name is Realtor.  I’m a real estate agent in the Pittsburgh.  I love rodeo clowns and dislike jalepeno wraps.  Etc…

Hey there.  My name is Realtor.  I’m a real estate agent in the Pittsburgh.  I love rodeo clowns and dislike jalepeno wraps.  Etc…

Contact Angel Now!