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A Guide to the Home Buying Process

Gulfport, Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach, and Ocean Springs — these are just a few of the communities in Mississippi that appeal to a lot of home buyers. And who wouldn’t want to permanently reside amidst fertile land filled with magnolia flowers, a warm breeze blowing for most of the year, and vibrant and cheerful people who reflect the locale’s sunny disposition?

If you’re in the market for homes for sale in Gulfport, MS or in Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and Long Beach, here’s a guide for you.

Deciding to Buy

Before you begin your home buying journey, understand that this will be one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make in your life, Thus, you need to make sure you’re capable enough to handle the financial responsibilities of this endeavor. Aside from the price tag, other factors to consider are property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, association fees, and regular homeownership expenses such as renovations, maintenance, and utilities.

As a golden rule, your total debt-related payments shouldn’t exceed 33% of your take-home pay. This way, you can make your payments and still live comfortably with your remaining income.

Preparation for Buying

If you’re serious about buying, take note of these three steps that you need to do before actually moving forward with your decision:

  • Compute all your current debts. See if adding your expected monthly mortgage will still keep you aligned with the 33% rule.
  • Check your cash on hand. You should be able to come up with a 20% down payment.
  • Get preapproved for a mortgage. That way, you’ll know how much house you can afford.

By going into the home buying process well prepared, you reduce your risks, whether you’re shopping for houses for sale in Long Beach, MS or condos for sale in Gulfport, MS.

Finding a Buyer’s Agent

It helps to have representation as you proceed with the home buying process. Look for someone who is known to work in their client’s best interest. When you meet with a prospect agent, try to gauge their communication skills, market know-how, and willingness to address your needs. These characteristics will shine through as early as your first meeting or two.

Looking for Homes Fit for Your Lifestyle

When buying a home, make sure that the property is well-suited to complement your lifestyle needs. Check on things that are important to you and your family. If you have kids, schools should mean a lot to you. If you are an older adult or you have one with you, then medical facilities should be nearby. Then there are the essential structures like a grocery store, workplace, parks, recreation facilities, and more where easy access from your targeted home is a must.

Discuss your priorities with your buyer’s agent so you can narrow down your options to properties that meet your living requirements.

Making an Offer

Once you find a home that ticks most if not all of your must-haves, it’s time to make your offer. The seller may choose to accept or reject your first offer, after which some negotiation may ensue. After you arrive at a price that you and the seller agree on, you may then proceed with signing a purchase contract.

Escrow and Appraisals

Your purchase contract should include a clause about having the property evaluated by a licensed inspector, followed by an appraisal by a qualified appraiser who will determine the fair market value of the property for your lender.

Depending on the outcome of the inspection and appraisal, you may find yourself one step closer to three situations: closing on the deal, back on the negotiating table, or looking elsewhere for other potential homes.

Having your real estate agent by your side during these times can make a huge difference in steering the outcome of the transaction in your favor.

Closing the Deal

The closing of the real estate process will be handled by the title company. It will be tasked to research the property’s complete history and ensure that it is free and clear of liens, restrictions, and mortgages before the closing date. The title company must also ensure that all new encumbrances are added to the title. Go over the details of the closing with your real estate agent to ensure everything is in order.

Moving In

It can be tempting to heave a sigh of relief once closing is done, but you still have to contend with the process of moving into your new home. An experienced real estate agent can make sure you cover all bases like utilities, connectivity, security, and other minute details of the moving process. That way, you’ll have less to worry about when you move in.

At every step of the home buying process, the top-ranking Owen and Co. real estate team in Gulfport, MS is ready to help. They can provide you with reliable real estate service that you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact these trusted agents of Biloxi houses for sale at 228.822.9870 or info(at)owenandco(dotted)com.