First Time Home Buyer Process

Buying a home for the first time can seem intimidating or stressful, but with the right knowledge the process can be easy and stress-free. The key to buying your first home is to be prepared and know what to expect.

Find a Nevada County Real Estate Agent

As experienced Realtors, we will help you through the process of buying a home with your best interest in mind.

There is no out-of-pocket cost to you for working with a us – our service for buyers is totally free! Agents have access to all the properties listed on the Nevada County MLS. Even though real estate agents are paid for by the property sellers, they are loyal and trustworthy advisors for the buyers they represent. Sellers pay commission to the agents for listing their property on the MLS, finding buyers, and handling the details of the sale. 

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

You will also need qualify and get pre-approved for a home loan. We can give you the names of a few reputable lenders that offers low rates and competitive closing costs.

What you need to apply for a mortgage preapproval:
W-2s from the past two years, recent pay stubs, Social Security card and driver’s license, or state-issued ID, recent bank statements

Down payments for a home begin from a minimum of 3% of the sale price as a down payment. Down payment exceptions might apply if you are eligible for a no-money-down VA (military) loan. It is also common for family to gift money towards a down payment.

See Nevada County Homes for Sale

Once you are preapproved for a home loan, it is time to find a home that is right for you. In today’s real estate market there is a wide selection of homes for sale. Your PHA Realty agent can help you see homes for sale in Nevada County that are right for you.

Make an Offer to Buy a Home

Once you have found the Nevada County home for sale that is perfect for you, your Realtor will help you make an offer for a home.  We understand the needs of first time home buyers, and can help write the contract to reduce your closing costs, so you pay less money to “close” on the house. Your Realtor will also help negotiate between you and the seller if there are counter-offers until you both the buyer and the seller agree on home sale price and terms of the contract.

During the process of making an offer on a house you will also need to write an earnest money check which is part of your down payment. The earnest money check shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home. Your agent will help you determine the appropriate amount for the earnest money deposit.

When your offer is accepted, your real estate agent will work with your mortgage lender to make sure that all the required paperwork to buy a home is correct and submitted.

Home Inspection and Appraisal

Home inspections are done during this time, the “Inspection Period”, where licensed and certified inspectors take a look at the home for sale. Their job is to make sure that any issues that may exist in the home are documented and disclosed.  If there are any repair costs,  your real estate agent will help you negotiate who will pay for them.

During this time an appraisal is ordered on the home. A state-certified appraisor provides a formal valuation of the home for sale. This process ensures you are purchasing a home at the fair market value or below.

When the home appraisal process is complete, your mortgage loan will undergo “underwriting”, which is where the lending bank checks that all required documents have been received. During this process, the lender also checks that the loan amount reflects the appraisal value.

Closing a Home Sale

The home buying contract will declare a closing date. A few days before closing, you will receive a  “Settlement Statement” that gives you the opportunity to review the credits and charges involved with closing on your new home. At this time you will sign the remaining of the home loan mortgage paperwork. A closing officer or attorney will be present and available to help you understand all the details and answer any questions you may have.

Depending on the terms that your real estate agent wrote into the home sale contract, you may be able to move into your new home immediately, or there may be a later date determined by you and the seller.

Ready to find your first home? Contact us today and view Nevada County homes for sale.