7 Steps to Buy a Las Vegas Home
1. Get your financing in order
Before searching for a home there are two major considerations:
To find out how much you can afford requires the services of an experienced lender. A lender will examine your credit score, income, job history and other factors to arrive at a maximum amount you are capable of spending. The lender will then issue a letter stating that you are pre-qualified and that they are willing to offer financing up to a certain maximum limit. Most offers to purchase require that you provide a copy of your pre-approval letter along with the written offer. If you are paying cash, you will be asked for "proof of funds" such as bank statements.
There are two situations where you may choose to switch lenders. Most new home builders will offer extra incentives of you agree to use their lender. Their rates are usually comparable with anything you've found on your own. If yoiu are shopping for a bank-owned property, the seller (bank) will insist that you be pre-qualified with their lender (typically Wells Fargo or Countrywide Home Loans). Banks will not make any exceptions.
2. Determine your needs
The most important item for most people is location. For some the proximity to a favorite school is paramount while others want to live close to their workplace or other family members. How big a home do you require, how many bedrooms, etc.
3. Search for a home online
I offer two search engines on this website:
Both searches will allow you to enter a search criteria to narrow down the selection. If you have registered on this site I will search for you and send you more complete listings. There are many useful online tools to help you gain more information about a particular property:
With so many homes currently on the market it is essential that you narrow down your search before visiting the homes in person.
4. Looking at homes
If you live locally, you may wish to visit neighborhoods at various times of day to determine suitability. For example, a community may look quiet during the day but the streets may fill up with pickup trucks and basketball hoops in the evening. When you are ready to begin visiting specific homes, call me. For more details click here.
5. Preparing an offer
Nevada law requires that all offers be in writing. Your realtor will prepare offers. A typical offer is about 20 pages and contains many details concerning the purchase:
Most resale listings and new home sales tracts require that you present an "earnest money deposit" with your offer. This is simply to prove that you are making the offer in earnest. The amount typically runs from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the price of the home. This is a check made payable to the escrow company which will be cashed upon acceptance of your offer. Your earnest money deposit is credited towards the purchase price. If your offer is rejected, the check is returned to you.
In the current market, most homes being listed and sold are bank-owned. This means that the previous owners defaulted on the mortgage and the bank took posession of the property. Not having lived in the home, banks are exempt from disclosing any known defects and will ask you to sign a waiver of your rights regarding disclosures. In other words, these are "as-is" deals. Because these bank-owned properties are generally such good deals there are usually multiple offers. Here are some points to consider with bank-ownerd (REO) homes.
6. The offer is accepted
Once you have a signed accepted offer we enter into a "due diligence" period. During this time we will want to complete a professional home inspection, shop for home insurance, complete a termite inspection (required by the lender) and complete a full loan application. A few days prior to closing we will conduct a final walk-thru inspection to assure that the home is still in the same codition as it was when the original offer was made.
7. Closing the deal
In Nevada the closing is a meeting at the escrow office where loan documents and other paperwork is signed. The escrow company has adjusted and prorated all the finances (such as taxes and association fees) as of the closing date. The escrow company will present you with a closing statement which will account for every penny. Any money you owe at this point should be in certified funds.
Once everything is signed, the loan documents are returned to the lender for final funding. From signing to funding may take a few days depending on the lender. The final step is when a runner is sent from the escrow comapny to the Clark County Recorder's office with a copy of the deed. When the deed is recorded you get the keys. Congratulations!