Understanding how to find and finance the perfect Napa Valley home for you
Buying a house requires a lot of time and effort, but these 10 steps can help make the home buying process manageable and help you make the best decisions possible. When looking to purchase a Napa home for sale, many buyers find their dream home and then miss out on the opportunity to purchase that Napa dream home when they realize they haven’t secured financing, their credit is not what they expected, or they don’t understand their debt to income ration. Below please find the top 10 steps to make your Napa home purchase successful and seamless.
STEP 1 :: GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER
Before you start looking for a home, you need to know exactly what your credit report says. The report plays an important role in the mortgage approval process, determining the interest rate and other loan terms that a lender offers you.
STEP 2 :: DETERMINE YOUR AFFORDABILITY
If you plan to put 20% down on a Napa home, lenders will generally recommend that property cost no more than 3-5x your annual income. They also take into account your Debt-To-Income ratio, which should be no more than 43%. Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. This number is one way that lenders measure your ability to manage repaying the money you have borrowed. To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, add up all your monthly debt payments and divide them by your gross monthly income. Your gross monthly income is generally the amount of money you have earned before your taxes and other deductions are taken out. For example, if you pay $1500 a month for your mortgage and another $100 a month for an auto loan and $400 a month for the rest of your debts, your monthly debt payments are $2,000. ($1500 + $100 + $400 = $2,000.) If your gross monthly income is $6,000, then your debt-to-income ratio is 33 percent. ($2,000 is 33% of $6,000.) After you’ve gotten an idea of where you stand, the best way to find out how much you can actually spend is to get prequalified for a mortgage.
STEP 3 :: FIND A LENDER
I have several lenders that I work with in Napa and surrounding areas. There are different mortgage lenders I would recommend for different scenarios. You will just need to provide some financial information to the lender, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. Your lender will review this information and will tell you the price range of the homes you should be looking at. Later, you will get pre approved, which involves providing more detailed financial information. Whether you are looking for a manufactured home, an investment property, or a 2nd home, I’ve got you covered in finding the right lender to help you finance the purchase of a Napa home for sale.
STEP 4 :: START SEARCHING!
Now is the fun part! We can begin looking at Napa homes for sale in your price range! It might be helpful to take notes (using this helpful checklist) on all the homes you visit. You will see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home.
Make sure to check out the little details of each house. For example:
Test the plumbing by running the shower to see how strong the water pressure is and how long it takes to get hot water
Try the electrical system by turning switches on and off
Open and close the windows and doors to see if they work properly
It’s also important to evaluate the neighborhood and make a note of things such as:
Are the other homes on the block well maintained?
How much traffic does the street get?
Is there enough street parking for your family and visitors?
Is it conveniently located near places of interest to you: schools, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, and public transportation?
STEP 5 :: MAKE AN OFFER
Take as much time as you need to find the right home. Then we will review all disclosure and comparable sales in order to negotiate a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes in the same neighborhood. Once we have reached agreement on a price, the house will go into escrow, which is the period of time it takes to complete all of the remaining steps in the home buying process.
STEP 6 :: GET A HOME INSPECTION
Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. I will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.
Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
STEP 7 :: CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOAN
Lenders have a wide range of competitively priced loan programs. You will have many questions when you are purchasing a home, and I will ensure we are working with a knowledgeable lender with excellent customer service.
Every home buyer has their own priorities when choosing a mortgage. Some are interested in keeping their monthly payments as low as possible. Others are interested in making sure that their monthly payments never increase. And still others pick a loan based on the knowledge they will be moving again in just a few years. Whatever your priority is, my experienced and tenacious lenders will make it happen.
STEP 8 :: APPRAISAL
Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the Napa house purchase. The appraiser is a member of a third-party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
STEP 9 :: PAPERWORK
As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your lender will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.
STEP 10 :: CLOSING
At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. It typically takes a couple of days for your loan to be funded after the paperwork is returned to the lender. Once the check is delivered to the seller, you are ready to move into your new Napa Valley home!
✅Click here to download my 4 phase breakdown of the home buying process.
✅This step-by-step guide creates transparency by laying out the entire home buying process up front. ✅Digital download ready for print or email
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