10 Steps to Owning Your Home

Watch the video to find out the 10 steps to buying a home. To get your FREE Buyers Planning Guide, click on the link below.


Research and Commit to Buy

Most buyers start by researching the market on the internet. There are several sites that can help you get familiar with the pricing of homes and understand the local areas that may be desirable to you. Deciding to purchase a home is one of the biggest steps you can make in your life. Being fully committed to this decision will give you confidence during your home search thus making the home buying experience exciting and life fulfilling. There will be plenty of questions you may know or may not know about buying a home. That’s why hiring an experienced real estate agent is crucial. We understand that buying a home is an investment and should be treated like one. Stress should never be a factor when you are 100% confident in the agent you choose to work with. 

Get Financing Approval

The first step to buying a home is to understand your buying power and establish a price range. A licensed lender can help evaluate your financial standing and provide a pre-approval. They will review your income and credit history to determine how much the bank will lend you, which will help you determine the price range for your search. You will need to know personally what you feel comfortable paying every month. Your lender only sees your finances and won’t be in charge of deciding how much you should spend on your new home. Having a pre-approval letter in-hand can also increase the attractiveness of your offer, particularly when a seller has multiple offers to choose from. Most sellers and listing agents will not consider an offer unless a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter is included with your offer. 

The Home Search

Once you are preapproved you may now begin the exciting part of finding your dream home. But how do you know where to begin? This is where having the best agent for your area of home search is crucial. Experienced agents will have important questions to begin the home search process. You will be asked question such as where would you like to live, what size home do you need, are you looking for a new home or a fixer-upper and what type of amenities are you interested in. You may be set up with an automated search that will send you all homes that are available that meet your criteria. Your agent will schedule private showings either in person or by virtual tour so that you can narrow it down to your favorite properties.

Make an Offer

After you’ve found your dream home you will want to make an offer rather quickly. Homes in the San Antonio area are typically priced at fair market value meaning that homes for sale do not typically sit very long. At times available homes will have multiple offers on the table. When you're ready to move forward with a purchase, we will advise you on constructing the strongest offer possible. Then I will draw up the necessary paperwork on your behalf. There is a lot to consider when making an offer. We'll discuss the purchase price, the closing date, sale contingencies and any special stipulations for your particular purchase. Once an offer is submitted, the seller may accept, reject or counter the offer. We at the Gateway Group will negotiate fiercely to get the best possible terms on your purchase.

Under Contract

If your offer is accepted and signed by both parties, you will be officially under contract! But, the purchase will not be complete until closing. The good news is, the home cannot be sold to anyone else while the contract remains in effect. At this point, unless you are making a cash purchase, it will be time to make an earnest money deposit and secure your mortgage loan. Your agent will keep you updated on the timeline to complete your purchase. During this time, it is critical that you not make any major purchases or take out additional loans for any reasons, as this could affect your loan approval and jeopardize closing.

The Home Inspection

Inspecting the physical condition of your next home is a vital part of the home-buying process. A licensed home inspector will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the entire property and report any problems with the condition of the home's structure or systems. The inspector will also investigate potential issues such as pest infestations or mold. Looking for structural damage from water, ground shifting or major plumbing or electrical issues will be of high concern. Other things that the inspector points out could be minor and nothing to be alarmed by. It’s a home inspectors job to point out and report every discovery made but some of these items can be easily fixed. Depending on the purchase agreement, we may enter additional rounds of negotiation to resolve any problems discovered during the inspection.

The Home Appraisal

Your lender will arrange a professional appraisal of the home. An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of a home and is conducted by an independent third party. The appraiser will confirm the appraisal value of the property for all parties involved. If the home appraises at less than the expected value, you may have the option to renegotiate the purchase agreement or terminate the contract.

The Final Walk Thru

Prior to closing, we will conduct a final walkthrough of the home to ensure that all negotiated repairs have been completed, and that the home is in the same (or better) condition as when the original offer was made. This is the final opportunity to call out any problems identified with the home before closing. Depending on the purchase agreement, you may sign a formal contract addendum confirming that the walkthrough is complete, and the condition of the home is acceptable. During this final walk thru on new construction, you may also be advised of the process to submit a warranty service request. 

Closing and Funding

Time to celebrate! Your lender will provide a final closing disclosure that summarizes the loan terms, monthly payments, taxes, and other costs associated with the closing. They will also confirm that you are clear to close, and you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete your purchase and loan agreement. Once the paperwork is signed by all parties and your loan is funded, you will receive keys, and you'll be ready to move into your new home!