Buying or selling a home? Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate can help.

With some planning ahead of time, purchasing a home isn't all that complex, but the event intimidates a lot of people. So you'll understand exactly what to expect, I like to provide my buyers with an outline of the entire deal. Below are my nine steps to buying a home.

When you're ready to get started, just contact me here or send e-mail to I'm happy to address questions you have about this information.

Step 1 – Prepare to purchase
There are plenty of things you need to do prior to beginning your home search. You'll most likely want to form a check list of items you want to have, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and begin working on your budget. A good rule of thumb to follow is that your mortgage payment should be less than or close to 30 percent of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Get with a real estate agent
This is where Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate comes in. I'll plan a time to get together so we can talk about your real estate needs and get an idea of your upcoming plans. We'll discuss the mortgage and housing industries, other economic factors that could affect your buying decision today or in the future, as well as neighborhoods and school districts in the Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside area.

I can also help you facilitate the loan process. I work with some of Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside's best mortgage professionals, so you can rest assured that you're in great hands. They'll assist you in deciding which kind of loan is best for you and help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
Following our initial meeting, I'll begin searching for homes on the market that are a great fit for you. I'll get a sneak peek of most of the houses and throw out the duds, and then we'll book appointments to tour the houses at a time that's convenient for you.

As we tour the houses, I'll identify positive features, as well as negative ones. And I'll ask you to talk about things you like and dislike. Generally, buyers revise their wish list as we view homes and some features become far more important than others. If that's the case, I'll search the listings again and narrow it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Know the market
An agent's knowledge of the Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside home market is a fundamental agent in your house search. And I assure you I'm conscious of all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I'll alert you to certain districts are "hot" and demand immediate action and the ones that are "cool" and allow for cautiousness.

As we tour houses, I'll be sure to tell you if the seller's asking price has room for negotiation or if I believe the house is "priced to sell." When working with an agent, be on guard and be sure to ask plenty of questions, as every real estate agent in Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside will claim to understand the market. If it appears they don't know everything, contact me at 386-931-8531 or e-mail me at, and I'll be glad to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will help you stay a step above the rest through the entire deal.

Step 5 – Find the house of your dreams
I'm sure we'll find your dream house in the Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside area. When we do, I'll precisely develop your real estate purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including a lot of contingencies, such as getting financing, finishing the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let Ben & Marie Lane, Two Lanes Real Estate guide you through finding your dream home in Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beachside Upon submitting your purchase offer, you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit submitted to a seller to secure an offer to purchase the property. The amount is typically applied to the cost of closing. If the offer is accepted by the seller, we should close about 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows enough time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate
Most deals don't close on the beginning offer. It's very common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this alarm you. We'll talk about whether or not to consent to the counter offer, present our own counter offer, or refuse the seller's offer and move on.

Market conditions will play a big part in how aggressively we negotiate the contract. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll compose a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Secure financing
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your mortgage lender to close the loan. If you've been pre-approved, it shouldn't take long at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your lender needs to close the loan.

Step 8 – Close the deal
You'll get a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) detailing closing costs from your mortgage lender within three days of receiving your loan application. This estimate rests on the loan amount, and RESPA requirements require that it has to include all closing costs and fall within a tight range of accuracy. I'll examine the estimate and let you know if everything looks permissible.

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

Step 9 – Move in
Congratulations! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you have any questions, be sure to call me at 386-931-8531 or send me an e-mail.