The 10-Step Guide for Home Buyers

find-your-dream-home-contemporary-luxury-dream-homes-lrg-73e8ddbd090c983cThe 10-Step Guide for Home Buyers

Buying a home may be the most complicated financial process of your entire life. Luckily, we’ve broken it down into 10 straightforward steps:

  1. Are you ready to become a homeowner?

Whether you’re becoming a homeowner for the first time or you’re a repeat buyer, buying a house is a financial and emotional decision that requires the experience and support of a team of reliable professionals.  Greg Lucado, Realtor® and the NextHome TwoFourFive family of Realtors® are ready and able to guide you through this important process!


  1. Choose Greg Lucado, Realtor® at NextHome TwoFourFive

There are two types of real estate agents.  A selling agent and a buyer’s agent.  It is very important that you work with a Realtor® who can look out for YOUR BEST INTEREST.  As a home buyer, you will want to be represented and advised throughout this legal transaction by a Realtor® as a buyer’s agent.  There is generally no cost to the home buyer for representation however, it will cost a home buyer greatly if you are unrepresented.  In the maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing, and negotiating, it makes sense to work with Greg Lucado a local professional Realtor® serving Central Virginia who specializes in contract negotiation, knows the community and much more.

  1. Get a mortgage pre-approval

Most first-time buyers need to finance their home purchase, and a consultation with a mortgage lender is a crucial step in the process. Find out how much you can afford before you begin your home search.  Greg Lucado, Realtor® will provide you with a list of local lenders with proven track records of great service.  The prequalification process is quick and easy, and finding the right lender can be stress free with the right help.  You will be in close contact with your lender throughout your home buying experience, so finding a knowledgeable lender who knows our local real estate market and your goals is important.

  1. Look at homes

Educating yourself on your local real estate market is the key to success.  A quick home search on our site will bring up thousands of homes for sale, but finding the perfect home for you will require some research.  Greg Lucado, Realtor® will be able to share his knowledge of our local real estate market and work closely with you to narrow your search based on your priorities to make an informed decision on which home to choose.

  1. Choose a home

While no one can know for sure what will happen to housing values, if you choose to buy a home that meets your needs and priorities, you’ll be happy living in it for years to come.

  1. Get funding

The cost of financing your home purchase is usually greater than the price of the home itself (after interest, closing costs, and taxes are added). Get as much information as possible regarding your mortgage options and other costs.  Having Greg Lucado, Realtor® along the way will take the mystery out of your journey.

  1. Make an offer

While much attention is paid to the asking price of a home, a proposal to buy includes both the price and terms. In some cases, terms can represent thousands of dollars in additional value—or additional costs—for buyers.  Putting together the best package possible in your offer to buy your home is critical.  Considering all of the costs involved, Greg Lucado, Realtor® will ask the right questions that are important for you to and engage in contract negotiation to “win” the deal that works for you.

  1. Get insurance

No sensible car owner would drive without insurance, so it figures that no homeowner should be without insurance, either. Real estate insurance protects owners in the event of catastrophe. If something goes wrong, insurance can be the bargain of a lifetime.

  1. Closing

The closing process, which in different parts of the country is also known as “settlement” or “escrow,” is increasingly computerized and automated. In practice, closings bring together a variety of parties who are part of the real estate transaction.  Greg Lucado, Realtor®  will recommend closing companies, or settlement companies that will be the best fit for your situation and he will work closely with them to keep the communication flowing.

  1. What’s next?

You’ve done it. You’ve looked at properties, made an offer, obtained financing, and gone to closing. The home is yours.  The home is yours…..  Fast, Fair and Hassle Free….  Now it’s time to begin life in your new home and with Greg Lucado, Realtor®, the memories created are just the beginning in realizing your dreams.


Direct# (434)546-9189


Should You Use Your Tax Refund Towards a New Home?

During Tax Season, Refunds Help So Many become homeowners!

Down payment is one of the biggest obstacles for prospective first time buyers to purchase a home.  But during tax season, many tax payers have more funds than any other time of year.  So there is no better time to qualify for a new home!  Quite often a tax refund may actually cover the whole down payment on a home purchase.  Additionally there are several programs that do not even require a down payment.  Even though down payment may not be required, assets help the strength of the borrower.  Furthermore, tax refunds may be used as assets or down payment right away.

If I Use a No Money Down Home Loan to Buy, Can I Spend My Tax Refund?

The quick answer is NO!  At least that would be the answer for right now.  Even if a buyer is using a 100% financing mortgage product like USDA or VA.  There are several reasons NOT to spend that tax refund.  Here are several reasons.

  1. Use the tax refund to pay closing costs
  2. Pay off debts to help qualify (talk to us before paying off a debt or collection!)
  3. Keep the refund in the bank as reserves.  More reserves equals better chance of approval
  4. Pay down credit card balances to raise credit scores
  5. Have money for furniture, curtains, or an emergency fund as a homeowner

Can I Apply Now for a Mortgage Even Though I Do Not Have my Refund Yet?

It is perfectly fine to apply for a mortgage loan when you don’t have your refund yet.  At application we can just assume the amount that you will be receiving.  As long as we can prove receipt of the funds in your account prior to the final underwriting approval.

Warning!  Don’t Do This With Your Tax Refund!

Too often we see borrowers receive a tax refund and then just cash the check.  Others will immediately withdraw the funds
from their account. Converting the refund into cash causes problems on a purchase.  Also if the cash is deposited later, proving the source is very difficult.  So it is best to deposit the refund and keep it there.  At least keep the funds in the bank account while waiting for correct advice from a mortgage professional.

Most importantly, talk with one of our professionals before spending or withdrawing the tax refund.  Each borrower’s scenario is different.  Sometimes it is more important to pay off a debt to qualify.  Conversely, others may benefit by having a down payment.

No down payment loans such as USDA or VA are great options.  Believe it or not, these loan payments may even be lower per month than loans which require a down payment.  So we will review these potential options as well for you.

In summary, let’s make sure you know all of your options before spending your tax refund.  You many not even have to spend it at all!

Mortgage Products Available for First Time Buyers Offering Low to No Down Payment

  1. USDA – No down payment required
  2. VA – Usually no down payment required.  Depends on entitlement amount, purchase price, and county limit
  3. FHA – 3.5% down payment
  4. Down Payment Assistance.  Use to offset down payment or closing costs
  5. Conventional – 3% or more down payment
  6. AND first time buyers can even get up to an additional $2000 tax credit each year!

With a tax refund, is there a better time to buy?  This is a great opportunity – low rates, stable job market, and affordable homes.  Why not buy a home now?