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Buying a home will likely be one of the largest financial transactions you will ever make. At times it may seem overwhelming and confusing. Working with a knowledgeable and professional real estate agent can help make the process much less stressful and much more enjoyable.


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A legal contract between the buyer and the seller that outlines the agreement between them.

Contract typically includes:

  • Earnest money deposit
  • Financing terms
  • Inspection terms
  • Seller’s Disclosure Form
  • Comprehensive Rider
  • Various addendums
  • Disclosures: Lead paint, HOA, Condo, etc.
  • Closing instruction




Ever-changing market conditions demand that you obtain the services of a qualified agent, skilled in the art of negotiations.

Items considered in the negotiation phase often include:

  • Market value of the house
  • Condition of the house
  • Financing terms
  • Circumstances surrounding the sale
  • Loan pre-approval at the time of the offer
  • Earnest money
  • Closing date
  • Once your offer has been presented to the sellers, they will either accept it, counter it, or reject it. Often times, sellers accept portions of the agreement but counter other portions. Once the contract is mutually accepted by both buyer and seller, the rest of the purchase process begins.

Inspections & Approval:

After your new home has been put under contract, certain contingencies will come into play:

  • Inspection period – This will vary depending on the type of contract agreed upon. An As-Is contract will typically have a 10-day as-is period whereas a typical Contract for Sale will have a 20-day period
  • Remaining escrow deposits
  • Financing Contingencies – Typically 30 days
  • HOA and Membership Approvals
  • Insurance
  • Walk-through


The closing agent:

  • Requests a title report and policy
  • Drafts the deed and/or other necessary documents
  • Arranges to pay off existing loans when necessary
  • Prorates taxes and insurance between buyer and seller
  • Computes interest in loans
  • Records the appropriate documents
  • Disburses the documents and monies to each party involved


Determining how much you can afford before your home search will save you valuable time in choosing the right home in the right neighborhood.

There are many different ways to finance a home. This table describes some of the options you should discuss with your real estate sales professional and the lender you select.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
Borrower and lender agree upon an interest rate and corresponding principal and interest payment. They remain constant throughout the life of the loan.
  • Stable and predictable
  • Makes budgeting for the future easy
  • Protects borrower from rising interest rates
  • Interest rates are higher than initial interest rates for other types of loans
  • Doesn’t benefit you when interest rates fall
  • You prefer not to take risks
  • You plan to stay in your home for more than 5-7 years
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Borrower and lender agree on an initial interest rate that will change periodically, usually in relation to a specific index. Payments rise and fall accordingly.
  • Interest rates are generally lower than fixed-rate mortgages at the beginning of the loan
  • If interest rates fall, your payments go down
  • Borrower takes the risk on the rise and fall of interest rates
  • Future payments are unpredictable
  • Interest rates are high
  • You plan to keep the home for a short time
  • You expect an increase to your income
Balloon Mortgage
Starts out as a typical fixed-rate mortgage but has a shorter mortgage term, usually 5-7 years, and requires borrower to pay off the balance at the end of the term.
  • Interest rates and monthly payments are lower than for traditional fixed-rate mortgages
  • Predictable payments for term of loan
  • May require refinancing at whatever rates are available at the end of the loan term, if borrower chooses to keep the home
  • Unpredictable situation after loan ends
  • You plan to keep the home for a  short time
Government Loans
Through various lenders, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) offer opportunities for many Americans.
  • Often allows for a lower down payment than traditional bank loans
  • Insured by the government
  • Limited to properties designated as approved for government loans
  • You are a veteran – VA Loan
  • You are buying a lower-priced home with a small down payment
Convertible ARM
Starts out as a typical ARM but provides an option to lock in a fixed rate without refinancing. The option is made available after a set time.
  • Initial Interest rate  is generally lower than fixed-rate mortgages
  • Locked-in, predictable payments after conversion
  • Borrower takes the risk on the rise and fall of interest rates for at least the initial period of time
  • Interest rates are high


By working with the Echo Fine Properties Team, you will have access to information on all homes currently listed for sale in our area.

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Responsive and knowledgeable throughout the whole process. Andrea was also honest and realistic and worked hard to help us get the property we...


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Excellent representation of the property by the ultimate professional!

Bill Harris

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Andrea, I just wanted to send you a quick note and thank you for the way you helped Jacqui get through her purchase and her closing. As a twenty-something...

Dawn Calder

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