Purchasing your new home in Pinellas County

Purchasing a home is a stressful event for many people. However, with a bit of planning ahead of time, it isn't very complex. I like to provide buyers with a road map of the whole deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to buying a home.

If you have any questions regarding this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or send e-mail to MainlandsRealEstate@msn.com.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
Before you begin your home search, there are several things you'll want to take into account. When you start your search, you'll want to put together a list of must-have features, get a feel for what school districts you want to live in, and start planning your budget. Ensuring your mortgage payment is no more than 1/3 of your net monthly income is a good rule of thumb to adhere to.

Step 2 – Talk to a real estate agent in Pinellas County
This is where I can help. I'd love to schedule a time to get together with you and talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about neighborhoods, schools in the Pinellas County area, the mortgage and housing industries, and any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I'll also help you facilitate the loan process. I partner with some of the finest mortgage professionals in Pinellas County, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They can help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
After our first meeting, I'll start searching for homes on the market that meet your needs. I'll research many of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to view the homes at a time that's convenient for you.

When we tour houses, I'll call attention to positive features, as well as bad ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and don't like. Usually, buyers change their must-have list as we view houses and some features become far more essential than others. If that happens, I'll search all the listings once again and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Know the market
Your agent's knowledge of the Pinellas County market is a fundamental component in your house search. And I assure you I'm mindful of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I can alert you to some districts are "hot" and require prompt action and the rest that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the asking price has room for bargaining or if I believe the home is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and make sure you ask lots of questions. Any real estate agent in Pinellas County will claim to truly know the home market. If it doesn't seem like they know everything, contact me at or e-mail me at MainlandsRealEstate@msn.com, and I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. My market expertise will keep you a step above the rest throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I know we'll find your dream house in Pinellas County. When we do, I'll thoroughly create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including many contingencies, such as getting financing, completing the home inspection, and a clear title.

Let Mainlands Real Estate Inc guide you through finding your dream home in Pinellas County When we submit your offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most contracts aren't closed on the first offer – it's really common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

The state of the market determines how aggressively we negotiate the deal. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll formulate a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
Upon completing the deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're pre-qualified, this won't be a long process at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll take care of 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) outlining your closing costs from your lender within three days of taking your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will likely be a smooth and pleasant occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply call me at or send me an e-mail.