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The Home Buying Process

The process of buying a home can be daunting and rarely are two experiences exactly alike, but there are some standard steps along the way. 

Research

The smartest way to start your home search is by doing some research on local towns. You can find more information about the towns in the area you are interested in right here on our site on the Towns page. There is also a wealth of knowledge available on the Internet.  A local Hearthside Realtor® can also give you the inside scoop on the areas you are considering.

Mortgages

Before you can set a price range for your home search, you need to find out how much you can afford. You should sit down with a mortgage specialist to determine the maximum dollar amount a lender will approve for your purchase. We recommend that you contact a few different lenders to discuss rates and programs best suited for your purchase. The lender you select to complete your mortgage should be someone you are confident will provide prompt, diligent service and look out for your best interests. We have worked with many reputable mortgage companies and are happy to give you referrals.

Home Search

Now that you know how much house you can afford and have the right towns to look in, it's time to find your dream house. Perhaps it's one of our exclusive properties or maybe it's out on the Multiple Listing System waiting for us to find it. When the time is right, your Hearthside Realtor will help you track down your dream home. Set up a My Home Search so that you can stay on top of the market and see listings that match your needs as they come on.

Should you find that your dream home is a For Sale By Owner, don't forego your right to representation. We can help you through the negotiation and sales process to make sure your best interests are being looked after by a licensed professional.

If you are thinking about new construction, keep in mind that the listed price will often not be the final sales price, as any improvements made to the property beyond the builder's original specs will be added to the price. As long as you keep this in mind, you'll find that there is a world of opportunity in new construction. Whether you are planning to buy a home that is currently under construction or looking for someone to build your dream home from the ground up, we can help you find a reputable builder to make your dream a reality.

Home Showings and Negotiations

We'll go out and pound the pavement to view potential properties. This can take days, weeks, or months. When you walk into the right home, you'll know. If it feels right and you are ready, we'll write up an offer in the form of a Purchase & Sales Agreement. Negotiations can be quick and easy or long and frustrating. This is where hiring an experienced Hearthside Realtor will pay off.  Once the terms are agreed upon by all parties, you're "under agreement" and ready to start the due diligence phase of purchasing a home.

Home Inspection

When you find a property that you can afford and we are ready to write up a Purchase and Sales Agreement, you'll need to start thinking about a home inspection. Whether the house is old or new, we always recommend a professional home inspection. You will find that many lenders require an inspection by a licensed professional inspector. Even if your lender does not require an inspection or if you are paying cash for your new home, we still recommend that you consult a NH licensed inspector.

A qualified, experienced home inspector works for you in providing knowledge about the condition of the house and its systems that may not otherwise be apparent to you. When you are making such a large financial commitment, the expense of a professional home inspection is a small price to pay for the knowledge about your investment. We have worked with many home inspectors over the years and are happy to provide you with a list of reputable, licensed professionals.

Title Insurance

Once all the conditions and terms of your offer to purchase a property (including home inspection) have been met, it is time to start thinking about title insurance. The lender orders the home appraisal to make sure that the property is worth the dollar value you have agreed to pay in the Purchase and Sales Agreement. In addition, the lender protects his financial investment by requiring that you purchase lender's title insurance.

Title insurance protects against loss caused by defects in the title of real estate. The lender requires the title insurance for the amount of the mortgage in order to avoid financial loss should a defect (such as an undisclosed heir to a previous owner) surface after a complete title search and transfer of property. But the lender's title insurance does not cover the owner's investment (your down payment and subsequent mortgage payments, a.k.a. equity).

We strongly suggest purchasing owner's title insurance, usually offered at a reduced premium rate if purchased at closing, to protect your equity in the property and insure future marketability.
 

Closing

Prior to closing, we'll do a final walk through of the property to make sure everything looks the way it should.  Then it's off to closing!  If you have made it here, then you're in the home stretch.  Transfer of ownership takes place at the closing table.