Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home is intimidating for many people, but with a bit of up-front planning, it's not too confusing. I like to supply buyers with an outline of the whole deal so they know exactly what they can expect. Here are my nine steps to buying a home.

When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send me e-mail. I'm glad to address questions you have regarding this information.

Step 1 – Get ready to purchase
There are a lot of things you need to contemplate prior to commencing your home search. When you begin your search, you'll probably want to create a check list of features you need to have, get an idea of what neighborhoods and school districts you want to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good principle to go by is that your mortgage payment should be less than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Astoria
This is where I can help. I'd be more than happy to schedule a time to get together with you and speak with you regarding why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Astoria area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also assist you in getting started on your loan. Halvatzis Realty Inc partners with some of Astoria's best mortgage professionals, so you'll be in great hands. They can assist you in determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your search
After our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for available houses on the market that suit your needs. I'll preview many of the homes and exclude the duds, and then we'll book appointments to view the homes whenever it's most convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I'll show you the good features, as well as bad ones. I'll also ask you what things you like and dislike. It's pretty common for buyers to update their must-have list as we tour houses and some items become more essential than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings once again and trim it down to the home of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the housing market
Your agent's understanding of the Astoria housing market is a leading aspect in your home search. And I can assure you I'm conscious of all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can communicate certain neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant immediate action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

When we view houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask lots of questions. Every real estate agent will convince you they comprehend the housing market. If things don't add up, call me at 917.701.5013 or e-mail me at, and I'd be more than happy to answer your questions. My market knowledge will help you stay a step ahead through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
I'm certain we'll find the house of your dreams in the Astoria area. When we do, I'll precisely create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind, including many contingencies. A few examples are obtaining financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let Halvatzis Realty Inc guide you through finding your dream home in Astoria When submitting your purchase offer, you'll want to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property. The amount is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted by the seller, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days after. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals aren't closed on the first offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. Don't let it intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the contract depends on market conditions. In addition, we'll work within your financing limits. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
Upon finalizing the contract, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. It shouldn't take very long at all if you're pre-qualified, but you'll need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your application. The estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to contain all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if everything looks good.

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

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It's time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at 917.701.5013 or send me an e-mail.