Buying or selling a home?

Buying a home intimidates most people, but with a little up-front planning, it's not that confusing. So you know exactly what to expect, I like to supply my buyers with a road map of the whole deal. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

If you have questions about any of this information or if you're ready to get started, you can contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Get ready to buy
There are many things you'll want to do before you search for a home. When you start your search, you'll probably want to form a check list of features you want to have, get an idea of what school districts you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good rule of thumb to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be no more than 30 percent of your monthly income.

Step 2 – Communicate with a real estate agent in Napa
This is where I can help. I'll arrange a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss the mortgage industry, other economic factors that may potentially affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and schools in the Napa area.

I can also help you begin the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Napa, and I partner with a lot of them, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll help you decide which type of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking
After we meet, I'll begin looking for available houses on the market that are a good fit for you. I'll preview many of the houses and reject the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

When we view the homes, I'll point out good features, as well as bad ones. I'll even ask you to point out what things you like and don't like. It's pretty common for buyers to revise their list of must-haves as we view homes and some items become far more substantial than others. If that's the situation, I'll go back through the listings once more and narrow it down to the house you've been wishing for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
My understanding of the Napa home market is a crucial resource in your house search. I am acquainted with all the school districts and neighborhoods, and I can let you know some areas are "hot" and require prompt action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for cautiousness.

When we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you when the list price has room for bargaining and when I trust the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and make sure you ask a lot of questions. Every real estate agent will convince you they comprehend the home market. If it seems like they don't know everything, contact me at (707) 259-5290 or e-mail me at, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. My knowledge of the market will keep you a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find your dream house in the Napa area. When that happens, I'll carefully create your purchase offer. The offer will be tailored keeping your needs in mind, including some contingencies, such as acquiring financing, finishing the inspection, and a clear title.

Let Deanna Antovich guide you through finding your dream home in Napa When we turn in your offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure the offer to purchase the property and is often put towards the cost of closing. If the seller accepts the offer, we should close on the home about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows plenty of time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
A lot of deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's really common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll figure out whether or not to accept the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

How aggressively we negotiate the deal depends on market conditions. We'll also work within your financing budget. And at the end of the day, we'll create a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After the contract is signed, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it shouldn't take much time at all. However, you should to stay in close contact with your lender. And I'll sort out all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.>

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) outlining closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of accepting your loan application. The estimate is based on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements dictate that it has to contain all closing costs and be within a tight range of accuracy. I'll study the estimate and let you know if it all looks okay.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and will most likely be a smooth and relaxed event.

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, make sure you call me at (707) 259-5290 or send me an e-mail.

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