Congratulations for making the decision to buy a home in Bend! There are typically several reasons why we all chose to make Bend home and for many of us one of them is the lifestyle that the area offers. If you love the outdoors, healthy living and embracing life then Bend is the place for you! Bend is a vibrant community comprised of friendly (really!), thoughtful, caring residents that truly understand what is important in life. CLICK HERE to receive your complimentary Buyers and Sellers Guide and a Central Oregon Relocation Guide that offers a great overview of what you can expect to find in Bend, OR.
Before you start shopping for your new property, it is a good idea to get prepared.
Create a file that contains all your important financial documents. You will need it to secure financing for your property and typically it should contain:
Your credit score will have a huge impact on what type of property you can buy and at what price. It is first recommended to check your credit rating with an experienced lending institution so that we can determine what you can afford. The lender will research your credit ratings from the three credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Silvia is always happy to recommend experienced, knowledgeable lenders in the residential, construction, and commercial and investment real estate fields.
Now is not a good time to make sudden career changes or large purchases. You want to approach your property purchase from a position of financial stability. lenders like to see a solid employment history (typically at least 2 years) and do not want to see recent large purchases on credit cards etc.
Select your lender – if you do not have a competent local lender with which you are familiar, Silvia can offer you the names of several extremely competent lenders in town for you to select from. You will need to provide them with documentation so that they can pre-approve you BEFORE touring homes.
You will want to review estimated closing costs so that you can work this into the equation when it comes time to write an offer – Do you have the cash to pay at closing, do you need to wrap it into your loan or would you like to ask for the Sellers to cover the cost?
Now, onto the next step…
It is vital for you to have an experienced, educated advocate on your side when purchasing a home.
THE PURCHASING PROCESS INVOLVES:
Real estate contracts and any associated addenda cannot contain errors and must be worded correctly – mistakes can be costly and even potentially result in legal action. Let’s stay well away from the hot water please.
As your Realtor it is Silvia’s goal to ensure that you feel empowered, confident and educated about each step of the buying process. If you are relocating to Bend from out of area you can expect to receive a copy of her Relocation and Buyers Guides. They contain a slew of valuable information about the area, useful local resources and access to a list of quality local businesses/contacts that she has established over many years of selling real estate in Bend.
She will help you to become familiar with the community and its neighborhoods. You will be provided with information on all potential options so that you can make confident decisions. Silvia will always be your eyes and ears on the ground until you arrive in Bend and will do whatever is needed to ensure your transition is as smooth and as stress-free as is possible. She will always be available for you before and during your transaction and as an ongoing resource once you are in your home and enjoying Bend!
Once preparations are out of the way, it is time to go house shopping and find the perfect property for you.
A home can often be very different in person than how it appears online. Before touring prospective homes it is important for you to get to know the ‘where’ first. You can change many things about a property to better suit your tastes, but you cannot change the location. Get to know the neighborhoods or subdivisions which interest you. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Take a walk along some of the streets. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those areas. Silvia does not want to waste your time (or that of others) showing you homes in areas you weren’t familiar with that once you see for the first time, you rule out.
Silvia will set you up with an MLS (multiple listing service)’portal’ that provides you with real time, accurate information regarding homes that are actively for sale. Your criteria will be entered and then homes that match these are emailed to you for review as soon as they go ‘live’ on the MLS. If they go ‘pending’ (have an accepted offer) they then drop off your portal and you no longer see them. Once you have located a home (or several potential options), Silvia can schedule appointments to visit them.
When you are ready to select a home, Silvia likes to tell Buyers that they get to look at the ‘fun’ cosmetic details of a home and that my job is to review the structural components and systems to determine the condition of the home and financial consequences of purchasing it (what each home may need in terms of maintenance/repairs in the near future etc.). We will investigate the potential costs and expenses associated with each property. I also look to determine the potential for equity building and whether a property is in an area that will retain value well etc. The goal is always to locate the home that works best for you, that you love, that also has the potential of being a solid investment.
In our current market where inventory is constrained, it is vital to get into homes as soon as they hit the market or even prior if you think they have the potential of being ‘the one’. This maximizes the chance of your offer being the first one on the table and the one that gets accepted.
Once you have picked out the property you want to purchase, Silvia will help you make an offer on the property. You will collaborate to draft your offer in a way that works best for your needs and gives you the best advantages possible over any other offer that may potentially come into play. Contractual details will be discussed so that you always have a clear understanding of any paperwork that you are signing and what the implications may be of certain terms.
For the sake of clarity (and frustration-avoidance!) it is always recommended to convert all verbal negotiations and/or agreements including counter-offers and addenda into written agreements to be signed by both parties. Silvia will assist you in drafting all of the paperwork for your purchase correctly, keep copies of all of these documents, and will ensure that you are promptly provided with copies of everything.
Now that your offer has been drafted, you will be given a timeline to mark every stage in the process of negotiations, acceptance and ultimately, closing of the real estate transaction. Meeting the requirements on time ensures a smoother flow of negotiations so that each party involved is not in breach of their agreements. During the process you will be constantly updated, so you will always be prepared for the next step. No ruffled feathers around here.
In Oregon an agreed upon title company will function as the neutral closing agent. The designated title company will hold any deposits/earnest money in escrow and will research the complete recorded history of the property to ensure that the title is free and clear of encumbrances by the date of closing and that all new encumbrances are properly added to the title. Some properties are subject to restrictions which limit various activities such as building or parking restrictions. There may be recorded easements and encroachments, which limit the rights to use a property etc..
You may wish to consult an attorney or tax advisor on the best way to hold title. Different methods of holding title have different legal, estate and tax implications – especially when selling or upon death of the title holder.
Once your offer is accepted by the Seller, you will need to have a licensed property inspector inspect the property within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase – and ideally as early in this timeframe as possible to allow time for Seller response and potential negotiation. Remember to bring your checkbook to the home inspection to pay the inspector, unless they take credit cards. Inspections generally take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size and condition of the property. You may elect to have different inspectors inspect the property, if you wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). If you are purchasing a commercial property, then you will need to have an environmental audit done on the site for the lending institution. Silvia can offer the names of several experienced, local inspectors if need be.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
1. Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the close, or
2. The Buyer (you!), after reviewing the property and the papers, requests repairs be completed or a renegotiation of the terms of contract (often the price) may occur.
It is imperative that you keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution, via a third party. Appraisers are specialists in determining the value of properties based on a combination of factors. There are different methods of appraisal that can be used to determine the value of a home. Like CMA’s (Comparable Market Analyses) appraisals are subjective and it is unlikely that any two would be exactly the same. Values may also differ depending on the reason the appraisal is being conducted.
Continue through the mortgage approval process. When the lender asks for documents be sure to get them to them asap to avoid delays in closing.
Silvia will reach out to you with a reminder to call utility companies 1-2 weeks prior to close to arrange for utilities to be transfered into your name the day of closing. There is a list of local service providers and their contact info located under the ‘about’ tab on this website but Silvia will provide you with the numbers of the applicable providers.
Throughout your transaction Silvia will stay in constant communication with your lender to ensure everything is progressing smoothly and so that she can relay this to the listing agent/Seller.
If the property that you are purchasing is part of an HOA you will want to familiarize yourself with their rules, regulations and any existing/potential fees or assessments. We request copies of all important documents from the Seller as soon as you have an effective agreement to purchase so that you can commence your review. Make sure that the application documents and processing fees are submitted to the appropriate person at the association by the required time. Fill out all of the information completely and legibly so there is no delay in processing the application. Often the escrow officer handling the transaction will be able to assist you with the necessary steps to establish a connection with your new HOA.
If you are obtaining a loan, your lender will require you to purchase a certain amount of insurance on the property. The value will depend on the lending institution and the purchase price of the property. Keep in mind that you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year on homeowners insurance by shopping around. Arrange for homeowners insurance to start the day before closing.
A walk-through will typically be scheduled for the day prior to close to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was (or better) as when you wrote your offer. This isn’t a mandatory but is always recommended.
If you have come this far, then this means that it is almost time for a congratulations! … As your agent, I will ensure that all loose ends get tied up:
More of a formality than anything else, the final ‘walk through’ inspection takes place a day before, or on the actual day of closing. You have the option to visit the property to verify that all is in working order, everything is the same as when you last viewed the property, that there are no extra items left behind and that everything included in your purchase is still at the property if you would like to do so.
Silvia will have already provided you with a list of useful numbers for the activation of home services and utilities well before closing day so that these are up and running as soon as you take possession of the property.
If you are obtaining financing, you will have signed all pertinent documentation required by the lending institution prior to closing day and if you cannot attend the scheduled closing in person, arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances for you to sign remotely. If bringing funds to close the transaction, you can elect to either have them wired electronically into the escrow account at the title company or bring a cashiers check to the closing in the amount specified on the settlement statement. The escrow officer at the title company handling the transaction will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement on the actual day that the transaction funds, records and closes, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process.
The Seller will arrange to have all property keys and any other important information ready for you and Silvia typically coordinates with the listing agent to ensure pick up and drop off of keys to you at an agreed upon time after the transaction has recorded. Then.. it’s time for you to start moving in!!!!
Consider having all of the locks in the home changed and new keys made. Change any security systems over to your name and set new passwords.