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Serving Lancaster
& Berks County 717-824-7624


Buying A Home

The guide to buying a home

  1. Know how much home you can afford. Get pre-approved if you are not sure.
    LMC Home Loans
  2. Start your Home Search
    • Use our search feature to see available homes
    • Determine what requirements your new home must have
    • Tips: expand your search criteria to above and below your target. For example, if your budget is $300,000, search between $275,000 and $325,000. Or if your ideal home is 2,500sf, search between 2,000sf and 3,000sf. You may find the right home that is just outside of your ideal parameters.
    • Contact us and we setup an automated search that will be emailed to you when new homes are listed that meet your criteria
  3. Do Your Homework
    • Before scheduling home tours, do a little online research to make sure the home and location are worth your time to visit.
    • Use online mapping tools to make sure the home location meets your requirements (we recommend the satellite images available through our search app, google or zillow). A few minutes checking the location online can save a lot of time
    • Check the setting of the home (corner lot, private yard, busy road, overhead power lines, nearby railroad)
    • Check for nearby schools, churches, grocery stores, shopping, parks, etc.
    • Topography (hilly, flat) can be difficult to decipher from satellite images, if you have specific concerns let us know and we can provide input here
  4. Schedule Home Tours
    • Contact us to let us which homes you would like to tour and what dates/times suit your schedule
    • You’ll receive confirmation of tour dates & times by phone call, text or email
    • We’ll meet you at each home to tour and offer input on any questions/concerns you may have about each home
  5. Making an Offer
    • When you are ready to make an offer on a home, we’ll provide a detailed market analysis to ensure the asking price is fair and what a strong offer will be.
    • No Lowball Offers – submitting an offer substantially below the asking price is often creates a more difficult negotiation process. Our philosophy is to submit strong offers based on strong market research.
    • Potential exceptions to the No Low Balling rule: Sellers needing to unload the property fast due to job loss, job transfer, divorce, etc. – unreasonable asking prices (homes that need TLC or updating to meet market value)
    • Home Inspections – we highly recommend every offer to be contingent upon a home inspection. This will provide important information on the condition of the home you are about to purchase and any potential problem areas
    • Negotiations – we believe in presenting strong offers, but sellers may still counter-offer if the price and/or terms are lower than their expectations. We have extensive experience in handling negotiations to protect the best interests of our clients and will provide insight as to what terms the seller may accept.
  6. Mortgage Application & Appraisal
    • Once the agreement documents are finalized, you’ll need to complete the mortgage application process (usually takes 4 weeks)
    • Your lender will order an appraisal to ensure the agreement price is indeed fair market value.
    • If the appraisal does not confirm the agreement price is fair market value, there are a few steps to take (appeal the appraisal, renegotiate the purchase price) we’ll help you decide which steps to take to ensure your best interests are met
  7. Home Inspections
    • Once the agreement documents are finalized, we’ll schedule your selected home inspections (you’ll be billed for inspections directly from inspections company)
    • Any unsatisfactory findings can provide a way to negotiate corrective measures, price adjustments or even a way out of the contract
  8. Closing the deal
    • One day before or the day of settlement you’ll want to do another home tour to make sure everything is in the same condition as when the agreement was signed, any repairs done by the seller are actually complete, and all fixtures/appliances, etc remain as stated in the contract
    • A title or settlement company will prepare the documents required to complete the transaction
    • Your lender and the settlement company will be able to explain and answer any questions you have regarding financing and the settlement documents. We are also available to review this information and help you understand anything that seems unclear or confusing.
  9. * this buying guide is intended to be used as an overview of the general process. Every transaction has unique circumstances and may vary from the steps listed above.