Starting Your Home Search
Here are the best steps to finding a home:
First, Click on Property Search above. This is where you will find all of the listings by all agencies. Since we cooperate with each other, we can show any listing. It makes for a smoother process if you work with one agent as we will get to know each other. And it will be easier for the agent to narrow down your wants, needs and preferences. So when the right house comes along we are ready to make the offer and have everything in place. I highly recommend you check the website each day or register so that the system emails you when a home comes on the market with your search criteria. Being the first notified gives us an edge since moving quickly on a good property is important!
Second, You will need proof of funds or a pre-approval. If financing, a pre-approval will establish your ‘high end’ or "preferred monthly payment" so we can narrow our search. We will need it to make an offer, as well as some sellers require the pre-approval to view their home. You should get this pre-approval in approximately 20 minutes over the phone. Below are a few local lenders.
- Finance of America - Pat Flynn 814-826-3330 (specializes in FHA, VA, and Rural Housing loans)
- Erie Bank - Terry Swanson, 814-726-9000
- Northwest Savings Bank - 877-672-5628
- Key Bank - 800-421-0004
- Residential Home Funding Corp - Francis W Gozdalski Jr. (Frank) 716-661-3286 (specializes in the 203K Rehab loan)
(Each bank has its own requirements, so if one doesn't give you pre-approval, call another.)
You can use any mortgage company, as you should always shop for the best rates and type of loan that fits your needs. We will discuss loan options prior to scheduling appointments since different loans require different criteria that the house must satisfy.
Third, When you find a house on the website, do a drive-by (if you are in the area) to make sure it is in the neighborhood you want to be in and see that the pictures do it justice. Some take good pictures but in person it is not so appealing, while others do not photograph well but look great in person. Don’t rely on the pictures alone.
Fourth, call me (Karlene Smith) to set up an appointment to view the inside of the homes you like.
The remaining steps will occur when you are ready to make an offer. We are with you every step of the way to ensure your real estate journey is a rewarding one.
Karlene Smith, Broker/Owner, ABR, QSC
Real Living Real Estate Experts
224 Liberty St.
Warren, PA 16365
19 Field St.
Kane, PA 16735