Buying your home in The Columbia Gorge

For most people, buying a home can be a stressful event. However, with some up-front planning, it's not very complex. I like to give buyers an overview of the entire deal so they understand exactly what they can expect. Below are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

Should you have any questions regarding any of this information or if you're prepared to get started, you can contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to buy a home
There are a lot of things you need to consider prior to commencing your home search. You'll most likely want to create a checklist of features you want, plan for what school districts you want to live in, and start working on your budget. Keeping your mortgage payment less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income is a good rule to adhere to.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent in The Columbia Gorge
This is where Pathfinder Real Estate Services can help. I can arrange a time to meet so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your plans for the future. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the The Columbia Gorge area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

In addition, I'll help you get started on your loan. I work with some of The Columbia Gorge's finest mortgage professionals, so you're in great hands. They'll assist you with determining which type of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Begin looking for a home
After we meet for the first time, I'll begin looking for houses on the market that best suit you. I'll preview many of the homes and ignore the duds, and then we'll set up appointments to tour the homes when it's convenient for you.

As we view the houses, I'll show you the good features, as well as negative ones. I'll also ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. It's widely common for buyers to change their list of must-haves as we view homes and some things become far more crucial than others. If that happens, I'll look through all the listings again and trim it down to the house you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the housing market
Your agent's awareness of the The Columbia Gorge market is a leading component in your home search. And I assure you I'm acquainted with all the schools and neighborhoods, and I can let you know certain neighborhoods are "hot" and warrant prompt action and the rest that are "cold" and allow for careful analysis.

As we tour houses, I'll make sure to communicate if the seller's list price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, trust your instincts and be sure to ask plenty of questions, as every REALTOR® will convince you they comprehend the market. If it appears they don't know everything, just call me at 509-774-0466 or e-mail me at, and I'd be glad to answer your questions. My market expertise will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the home you've been waiting for
I'm confident we'll find your dream house in The Columbia Gorge. When that happens, I'll precisely create your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including several contingencies, such as obtaining financing, carrying out the inspection, and a clean title.

Let Pathfinder Real Estate Services guide you through finding your dream home in The Columbia Gorge Upon sending in your purchase offer, you'll likely need to submit "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is most often put towards the closing costs. If the offer is accepted, we should close on the property within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Unfortunately most deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's pretty common to receive a counter offer. But don't let this discourage you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, submit our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions determine how aggressively we negotiate the contract. In addition, we'll work within your financing budget. And when it's all said and done, we'll put together a deal that is best for you.

Step 7 – Secure a loan
After the contract is finished, you'll begin working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-qualified, this won't take long at all. However, you'll need to keep in close contact with your mortgage lender. And I'll handle 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) of closing costs from your lender within three days of getting your loan application. The estimate depends on the loan amount. RESPA requirements dictate that it has to involve all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy, and I'll go over the estimate and let you know if it all looks permissible.

Then it's time to close on your house. This will most often happen at a title company or escrow office and will most often be a smooth and stress-free occurrence.

Step 9 – Move in
You made it! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, make sure you call me at 509-774-0466 or send me an e-mail.

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