9 Steps To Owning A Home

Buying or selling a home in Napa?

Virginia Podesta Morse, Realtor® can help.

There are many things you should consider prior to beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you’ll want to assemble a checklist of must-haves, get a feel for what school districts you’d like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 1 – Get ready to buy a home

There are many things you should consider prior to beginning your home search. When you begin your search, you’ll want to assemble a checklist of must-haves, get a feel for what school districts you’d like to live in, and start working on your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent

That’s where I can help. We can plan a time to get together so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your plans for the future. We’ll discuss neighborhoods, schools in the Napa area, the mortgage industry, and any other economic factors that could potentially affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. There are some very good mortgage professionals in Napa, and I work with a lot of them, so you’re in great hands. They can assist you with deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get approved.

Step 3 – Start looking for a home

Following our first meeting, I’ll start looking for available houses on the market that are great for you. I’ll preview most of the houses and remove the bad ones, and then we’ll book appointments to tour the homes whenever it’s most convenient for you.

As we tour the homes, I’ll show you the good features and negative ones. I’ll even ask you what things you like and dislike. It’s pretty common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we tour homes and some features become more crucial than others. If that happens, I’ll look through all the listings another time and narrow it down to the house of your dreams.

Step 4 – Get a grasp of the housing market

An agent’s awareness of the Napa housing market is an essential agent in your house search. And I assure you I’m familiar with all the neighborhoods and schools, and I can let you know what neighborhoods are “hot” and warrant immediate action and some that are “cool” and allow for more analysis.

As we view homes, I’ll be sure to tell you when the asking price has room for negotiation and also when I think the home is “priced to sell.” Be mindful and be sure to ask a lot of questions, as any REALTOR® in Napa will convince you they understand the market. If it doesn’t seem like they know everything, call me at 707.888.2199 or e-mail me at vmorse@cbnapavalley.com, and I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been looking for

I know we’ll find the home of your dreams in Napa. When we do, I’ll carefully develop your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored with your needs in mind, including a lot of contingencies. A few examples are acquiring financing, completing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Upon submitting your purchase offer, most likely you’ll need to submit “earnest money.” This is a cash deposit given to a home seller to secure an offer to buy the property and is usually applied to the closing costs. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the property about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal

Unfortunately most deals aren’t closed on the initial offer. It’s very common to receive a counter offer. Don’t let it intimidate you. We’ll discuss whether or not to accept the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or reject the seller’s offer and go on.

Step 7 – Get a loan

Upon signing the contract, you’ll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you’re pre-qualified, this won’t take long at all, but you need to stay in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I’ll sort out all the property information your lender will need to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal

Your lender will supply you with a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing your closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You’ll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining your closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of getting your application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements order that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy. I’ll review the estimate and let you know if everything looks adequate.

Then we’ll close on your house. This will most likely take place at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and hassle-free event.

Step 9 – Move in!

Success! It’s time to move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything, simply call me at 707.888.2199 or send me an e-mail.
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