Buying or selling a home? Jason Compton can help.

Buying a home intimidates many people, but it's not that difficult with a bit of planning ahead of time. So they'll know exactly what to expect, I will give buyers an outline of the whole deal. Below 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 happy to answer any questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase a home
There are several things you need to contemplate before commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll want to put together a checklist of features you need to have, get an idea of what school districts you want to live in, and start working on your budget. A good principle to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than 1/3 of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent
That's where I can help. I'd like to set up a time to meet with you and communicate with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Lexington area.

I'll also help you start the loan process. Jason Compton partners with some of Lexington's finest mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They can assist you with determining which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start house-hunting
Following our first meeting, I'll begin finding available houses on the market that are good for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll schedule appointments to tour the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

When we tour homes, I'll point out positive features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some items become far more essential than others. If that's the case, I'll look through the listings again and narrow it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the Lexington housing market is an essential agent in your home search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can let you know which districts are "hot" and demand immediate action and others that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we view homes, I'll make sure to communicate when the list price has room for negotiation and also when I trust the home is "priced to sell." Be careful and be sure to ask lots of questions, as any real estate agent in Lexington will claim to comprehend the market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at , and I'll be more than happy to answer your questions. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
We'll find the home of your dreams in Lexington, and when we do, I'll meticulously develop your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored exactly to your needs and the home, including many contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

When we submit your offer, you'll probably need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to a seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer – it's very common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll discuss whether or not to take the counter offer, propose 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 budget. And at the end of the day, we'll assemble a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure your loan
After the deal is signed, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, this won't take long at all. But you need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll deal with all the property information your lender needs 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 getting your application. This estimate depends on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a precise range of accuracy. I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks all right.

Then we'll close on your house. This will likely occur at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and easygoing event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to contact me at (803) 957-5566 or e-mail me at .

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