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A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.


Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.


Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.


Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.


Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.


She worked remotely with me prior to my visit to Austin - provided all information about areas, and helped me narrow down a few homes, which I visited with her! Very thorough in knowledge and process. A true 5-star professional.

— Shripad


I was introduced to Urvi by a friend as I was looking into some investment in RE. She was very diligent, proactive, and very knowledgeable. She helped me close on a property within no time and as a bonus, helped me find a tenant within 2 days of closing!

— Sid


We highly recommend Urvi as a REALTOR! She was crucial in helping us purchase our first home (new build). Since it was our first home, we needed a great deal of guidance to pick a good location with an excellent school zone. The level of service we received from her and her firm was exceptional!

— Rojesh


We quickly realized that we made a great decision because Urvi is an amazing person to work with. She went out of her way to walk us through the pros and cons of each step of the selling process. If you are looking for peace of mind, we highly recommend that you place your trust in Urvi just as we did.

— Kiranshri


Urvi helped us with the purchase of a new home in Leander, TX, and then assisted with the rental listing and finding a tenant. She knows the local market really well and has a good sense of the pricing and market movement. She is a person with integrity and you can lean on her for her judgment - someone you can trust.

— Snene


Being a first-home buyer, I’ve heard all the horror stories. We were so blessed to come upon Urvi. She did not waste any time getting the ball rolling in this competitive market. She always kept a great communication line open regardless of the time. We have also recommended her to friends and colleagues. Thanks, Urvi for everything you do!

— Joe & Nancy


We are so glad that we had found Urvi as our REALTOR. We were first-time home buyers and our experience could not have been any better. Urvi is a professional person with a wealth of knowledge and experience about Austin and the surrounding area. Having lived in the area for years herself, she has got a good grip on the housing market and different agencies that would be helpful to the buyers. I would re...

— Bhavin N.


Urvi is the best real estate agent we have worked with! Her professionalism, expert guidance, and attention to detail were crucial to helping us find the perfect home. She worked with us to narrow down our favorite locations and then showed us a few homes we loved. We ultimately settled on a new build and she helped us through the entire process from design to close - treating us as a family instead of j...

— Govind R.


Our initial thought process behind hiring Urvi to sell our home was because of her familiarity with the neighborhood. We quickly realized that we made a great decision because Urvi is an amazing person to work with. Urvi has this uncanny ability to provide her entire attention to you as if you were her only client (she was working with other clients at the same time as us). She went out of her way to wal...

— Seller


Urvi is an amazing person to work with. Her energy, dedication, deep knowledge, and negotiation powers always helped us make the right decision. She is very data-driven when it comes to doing a comparative analysis of the property you are purchasing, renting, or selling. She literally locked our dream property within a month(No kidding from sharing listings to meeting with the Builder to negotiating a de...

— Sanket P.

Work With Urvi

Urvi's work ethic revolves around client-first philosophy, always looking for their best interest which enables her clients to make wise decisions. Urvi's clients often commend her integrity, confidence and professionalism. Her ability to successfully navigate complicated Real Estate transactions and maintain on-going communication with her clients makes it a seamless experience for her clients.

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