Looking to purchase your home in Albany? Steve Thomas Real Estate, LLC can help.

Buying a home is an intimidating event for a lot of people. However, with some planning ahead of time, it isn't too complicated. So they'll know exactly what they can expect, I'll furnish buyers with a road map of the entire deal. Here are my nine steps to purchasing a home. If you have any questions about any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or e-mail me at .

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you commence your home search, there are several things you should consider. When you begin your search, you'll want to make an index of must-have features, plan for what neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin planning around your budget. A good guideline to follow is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in Albany
This is where I can help. We'll set up a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your future plans. We'll talk about everything from neighborhoods, school districts in the Albany area, the mortgage and housing industries, to any other economic factors that could potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future.

I can also help you begin the loan process. Steve Thomas Real Estate, LLC partners with some of the best mortgage professionals in Albany, so you'll be in great hands. They will help you choose which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start looking
Following our first meeting, I'll start searching for available houses on the market that are great for you. I'll preview many of the homes and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll show you the positive features, as well as negative ones. I'll even ask you about things you like and don't like. It's common for buyers to change their must-have list as we tour homes and some features become more important than others. If that's the situation, I'll search the listings again and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Know the market
An agent's understanding of the Albany housing market is an imperative factor in your house search. And I can assure you I'm acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll communicate certain areas are "hot" and call for prompt action and others that are "cool" and allow for thoughtful examination.

As we view homes, I'll let you know when the list price has room for bargaining and when I know the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be careful and be sure to ask a lot of questions. Any real estate agent in Albany will claim to truly know the home market. If things don't add up, just call me at (518) 426-7703 or e-mail me at , and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. My understanding of the market will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find your dream home
We'll find your dream home in the Albany area, and when that happens, I'll thoroughly develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be made to suit your needs and the home. We'll include several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, finishing the inspection, and a clean title.

When turning in your offer, you'll want to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is often put towards the closing costs. If the seller accepts your offer, we should close within 30 to 60 days after. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Unfortunately most contracts don't close on the first offer – it's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this alarm you. We'll talk over whether or not to consent to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market circumstances. We'll also work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a contract that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
After the contract is complete, you'll begin working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-qualified, this won't take very long at all, but you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
Your mortgage lender will furnish you with a Loan Estimate (LE) detailing closing costs within three days of accepting your application. You'll get a Loan Estimate (LE) of your closing costs from your lender within three days of accepting your loan application. This estimate is formed from the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to include all closing costs and be within a narrow range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then we'll close on your home. This will most often take place at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and relaxing occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! It's time to move into your new house. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to contact me at (518) 426-7703 or e-mail me at .