buyer's tips


Buying a Home

Simplify Your Home Buying Experience

Buying a home can be an enormous undertaking, so be sure to retain the services of a qualified REALTOR®. You can trust Masterpiece Homes, Inc. to always keep your interests first and foremost. As qualified professionals, we'll guide you through the entire home buying experience and assist you in being an educated buyer.

Simplify Your Search
What features would you require in a home to satisfy your lifestyle now and in the future? Once you know what you can afford, we'll help you explore your possibilities; from design preferences to neighborhood choices.

Moving Forward
Once you have found the home that is right for you, it's time to present an offer. This will consist of earnest money to be held in an escrow account, a loan pre-approval letter if you will be financing the purchase, and a written purchase agreement. This agreement will set forth your terms of the purchase and a schedule of events in order to own the property. This extremely important document is a legally binding agreement. Masterpiece Homes, Inc. will help you prepare this document, and will work diligently to cover all of your interests.

Final Steps
Upon your complete satisfaction, arrangements will be made to attend a closing. The closing is usually facilitated by a title company that holds your earnest money in escrow. After furnishing the down payment and other applicable fees have been agreed upon prior to closing, final papers will be signed. The deed and mortgage will need to be recorded in the state Registry of Deeds, and you will be a homeowner.

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Rewards & Challenges

It is highly rewarding to buy, own and maintain your own home. Whether this is your first home or you have experience with the home buying process, we can help. When you have the tools at your fingertips, you can be confident in your ability to search, finance your home, negotiate terms and be prepared at closing.

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Purchasing a new home can be overwhelming. Without the right resources and information, the buy process can be stressful and frustrating. With our services, you can avoid the pitfalls. We'll be there to help every step of the way.

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Money Matters – the most important part of financing is your knowledge of the options available. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your financing needs.

  • How much mortgage can I afford?
  • What down payment is needed?
  • What is the difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval and approval?
  • What interest rates are available?
  • What is mortgage insurance and is it required?
  • What type of documentation will I need?
  • How do 15- vs. 30-year terms compare?
  • What are points and do I pay them?
  • What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage?
  • What closing costs will I incur?
  • What is being "locked-in?"
  • How long will the mortgage process take?
  • What is included in a mortgage payment?
  • What would the payments be?
  • When would the payments begin?

Make Your Mortgage The Right Fit!
Mortgages to meet everyone's needs. These summaries will help you narrow your search. Click here for a PDF.

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Know Your Needs

Drive To Learn
Evaluate as you drive though a community. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your location needs:

  • Where is the nearest shopping center, bus line, police station and library?
  • What schools are available and school district are you in?
  • What types of homes (single family, apartments, condominiums) are in the neighborhood?
  • How far apart are the homes?
  • How far is it to your work?
  • What community resources are available?
  • Generally, where are the cars parked (driveways, garages, street)?
  • Do you notice a lot of noise, traffic or pollution?
  • Are the homes in good repair and the landscaping well kept?

Finding The Right Home
Keep your eyes open and your notebook in hand as you walk through a potential home. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your needs as a homeowner:

  • How long has the home been on the market?
  • Why is the home being sold?
  • What is the asking price of the home?
  • Has the price been lowered?
  • Is the price comparable to other homes in the neighborhood?
  • What is the down payment required?
  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Is there room enough for the present and the future?
  • Do you like the floor plan of the home?
  • What condition is the yard in?
  • What improvements must be made?
  • Will the seller repair or replace any items that need repair or replacement?

Think carefully about each house you see and don't be in a hurry. Your REALTOR® can point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.

The Offer
Making an offer to buy a home entails many factors. You and your REALTOR® will discuss the following factors prior to putting the offer on the table:

  • Amount of earnest money
  • Down payment
  • Price you are offering
  • Details of financing
  • Proposed move in date
  • Proposed closing date
  • Details of the sale
  • How long the offer is valid

The seller will either accept the offer as presented, or make a counter offer and either you will agree to the terms in counter offer or you will submit another proposal. When all the parties involved have agreed upon the details, initialed any revisions, and signed the final agreement, then an offer becomes a contract.

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Contract Review

Sales contracts may differ significantly yet all should clearly set forth the responsibilities and privileges of all the parties involved. It is a legally binding document that protects each party. Carefully review the terms of the contract. The sales contract should include the following:

  • Legal description of the property and the exact street address
  • Selling price of the property
  • Amount of earnest money and who is holding it - Often it is held in an escrow account by a third neutral party
  • Amount due at settlement
  • Specifics of the mortgage (amount, rate and terms)
  • Title Company - The title company must be agreed upon by buyer and seller
  • Home inspection - Recommended to have a professional's opinion against structural and unknown defects, and must be completed by a specific date set forth in the contract and completed by a certified home inspector
  • Inclusions and exclusions - Examples would include washers, dryers, drapes, etc.
  • Warranties - Get the description of any that are included with the house
  • Repairs - Unless you are accepting as-is, state who is responsible for repairs, with a date for a walk-through inspection
  • Well and septic - They must pass a test, if applicable
  • Date of possession - When you take possession of the property
  • Acceptance date - Either an acceptance or counter offer must occur by a specified date

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Processing the Sale

Once the contract is signed, Masterpiece Homes, Inc. will continue to be your advocate and ensure that your best interests are served. Some of the details we will be available to handle are:

  • Assist with scheduling all necessary pre-closing inspections
  • Check finances are deposited according the contract specifications
  • Keep you informed of any unseen problems that may arise and offer solutions
  • Present a list of utility companies available for service
  • Schedule and attend the pre-closing walk through
  • Prepare for and attend the closing

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