Click here to download a fantastic guide to assist you with the many steps in the home purchasing process!

In today's high-tech market, buyers often come to us with a pre-set number of listings they wish to see. Sometimes they do not find the right home on the first trip. By listening carefully to our buyers' wants and needs and searching diligently, we are able to zero in on the perfect property.

Once we find your property, we will walk you through every step of the buying process from beginning to end including the negotiation of a proper sales price, locating financial institutions, finding qualified inspectors, providing suitable closing companies, and scheduling your final walkthrough and settlement date.

If you wish to start the buying process now, please contact us, and we will be in touch with you immediately. Thank you!

Come visit us!

The best way to get to know the Wallenpaupack Area is to actually be here! There is no better substitute. We suggest you travel here and take at least a day or two to get familiar with the area. Travel through some of the communities around the lake. Enjoy a meal at a few of the local restaurants and eatery establishments. Take a pontoon boat tour on Lake Wallenpaupack to do some sightseeing. We have plenty of places for you to stay! Please visit our Wallenpaupack Area Amenities page for information and stuff to do!

What it Means to be "Pre-Approved"

One of the best things you can do to help ensure that you have the best possible chance at owning the home you wish to purchase is to become pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval is a note from a lender that has looked closely at your credit report, your employment history, and your income and has determined that you are qualified to borrow up to a certain amount of money at a specific interest rate, subject to a property appraisal and other requirements. However, it is not a guarantee that your loan will be approved. This approval means the lender is confident that you can make the necessary down payment and that your income is sufficient to cover subsequent mortgage payments.

Best Preparation for the Process

The first step you should take before trying to get pre-approved for a home loan is to check your credit reports and credit scores. By taking care of this early on, you’ll have an idea of what types of loans you may qualify for, and you’ll have time to clear up any mistakes or problems you find on your reports all before you start searching for a home. You may obtain your free annual credit reports once a year at

Why it's Important to be Pre-Approved

When you are ready to present an offer, both your real estate agent and the seller may ask to see a pre-approval letter. This is proof that you are likely capable of making the purchase and, as a result, will be viewed as a serious buyer. In a competitive housing market, sellers prefer a pre-approved buyer to those who might be unable to close the deal.
  • What about pre-qualification? - Becoming pre-qualified is an informal process in which you are interviewed by a mortgage professional about your income and expenses. This gives you a general idea of the price range you can afford but does not bring you any closer to securing a mortgage.
  • Supplying Documents to the Underwriter

    The process of becoming pre-approved is actually quite simple. All you have to do is provide your lender the documentation that they require. Be prepared to supply your loan representative with pay stubs, bank account statements, tax returns and W-2 forms, and documents to show other sources of income (which could include a second job, overtime, commissions and bonuses, interest and dividend income, Social Security payments, VA and retirement benefits, alimony, and child support). Once all these items have been successfully analyzed, the underwriter will inform you of their final decision.

    Teaming up with the right Realtors

    As mentioned above, we listen carefully to our clients. This critical factor in addition to our experience and knowledge of the area will enable us to succesfully find the right property for you and your family. Working together as a team allows us to be readily available to you at a moment's notice.

    Factors to consider

    Choosing a new place to live can be exciting and challenging at the same time. How do you choose the best location? What’s the tiebreaker if you love two places equally? The first way to begin the decision-making process is to grab your calculator. As you calculate, look beyond the listing price. For example, a house with a vaulted ceiling costs more to heat than one with a low ceiling. And a house with a pool means paying to maintain it. All these extra factors can add up.

    Trust your instincts

    Another less-tangible way to decide if a home is right for you is to trust your intuition. Most buyers form an impression in the first few seconds after they walk into a house. Notice how you respond and trust your reactions. When a house is a good fit, you may begin to talk about where you would place your furniture. If you’re viewing a house and find yourself imagining your sofa near the window and your green chair near the fireplace, pay attention. Chances are, the house is a nice match for you. Seldom will you go wrong if you follow your heart.

    What makes up an offer to purchase?

    An offer to purchase is a written contract which you sign and submit to the seller. It is accompanied by an earnest money deposit, which is a good faith deposit to show you are serious about buying the home. Once an agreement is entered into, this is typically put toward your closing costs. The offer consists of the amount your are offering and how you will pay the seller whether it be cash, mortgage, etc. Certain contingencies will be put in place to protect you in case your financing falls through or if the home inspection reveals any unexpected problems with the home. Your offer will also have an expiration date, by which the seller must respond or the offer expires.

    Submitting your offer

    Once your offer and earnest money deposit has been submitted, the seller have the right to either sign your offer as is, make a counter offer, or reject your offer outright. If the seller accepts, the offer becomes a contract, and you are on your way to owning the home. If the seller counters, you may choose to counter the offer, or walk away. The negotiation process may continute until a final agreement is reached, moving thenceforth into a contract.

    Negotiation Period

    The negotiation process can be a bit tricky at times. As a result, it is imperative that you are represented by a Realtor that has years of experience negotiating successful real estate transactions. By working in your best interest, we will help you attain the best price possible for your home.

    Hire a professional inspector

    Inspecting the physical condition of a house is an important part of the home-buying process and should be included in your purchase contract as a condition of closing the sale. Even if the seller provides you an inspection report, it's best not to rely on this alone. Not all sellers know about problems with the house or honestly disclose them. One or more professional inspectors should look for defects or malfunctions in the building's structure, systems, and physical components, such as the roof, plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems, floor surfaces and paint, windows and doors, and foundation, and detect pest infestations or dry rot and similar damage. The inspector should also examine the land around the house for issues concerning grading, drainage, retaining walls, and plants affecting the house.

    When should I order an inspection?

    Before paying for a professional inspection, you can conduct your own informal inspection. The best time to do this is before you make an offer, so that you can save yourself the trouble should you find serious problems. Most buyers get professional inspections only after they have entered into a contract to purchase a home. The contract is commonly made contingent on the buyers' approving the results of the inspections.

    After the inspection has completed

    If the inspection brings problems to light, you may negotiate to have the seller pay for necessary repairs or to lower the purchase price or you could possibly back out of the deal, assuming your contract is written to allow you to do so. If the inspection report shows that the house has passed, you may proceed with the purchase, knowing that you are getting what you paid for.

    What Does a Title Company Do?

    A title company makes sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate and then issues title insurance for that property. Title insurance protects the lender and/or owner against lawsuits or claims against the property that result from disputes over the title. Title companies also often maintain escrow accounts — these contain the funds needed to close on the home — to ensure that this money is used only for settlement and closing costs, and may conduct the formal closing on the home. At the closing, a settlement agent from the title company will bring all the necessary documentation, explain it to the parties, collect closing costs and distribute monies. Finally, the title company will ensure that the new titles, deeds and other documents are filed with the appropriate entities.

    How Does a Title Company Determine That a Title is Valid?

    To ensure that the title is valid, the title company will do a title search. This is a thorough examination of property records to make sure that the person or company claiming to own the property does, in fact, legally own the property and that no one else could claim full or partial ownership of the property. During the title search, the title company also looks for any outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes associated with the property, as well as any restrictions, easements, leases or other issues that might impact ownership. Before a title company issues title insurance, it will prepare an abstract of title, which is a short summary of the property's ownership history. Then, it will issue a title opinion letter, which is a legal document that speaks to the validity of the title. Once the title is found to be valid, the title company will likely issue a title insurance policy, which protects lenders or owners against claims or legal fees that may arise from disputes over the ownership of the property.

    Actions to avoid after pre-approval

    Once you have completed the pre-approval process with a lender, you should have a clear picture of your financial health and ability to borrow money for a mortgage. Working with your lender and a qualified financial professional, you can make any changes that will improve your qualifications as a borrower. At this time, you may want to be careful when making any changes to your financial picture. If you make major changes to your career, credit, debt, or assets after pre-approval, but before you secure a loan, you could jeopardize your chances of obtaining a mortgage.
    • New Debt - You may want to avoid taking on any new debt as this will affect your debt load and debt-to-income ratio.
    • Large Purchases - Resist the temptation to buy any large purchases such as a new vehicle, furniture, or an expensive vacation, especially if these luxuries are paid via credit card.
    • Lines of Credit - Try not to open any new lines of credit including credit cards, loans, and store lines of credit as this may lower your credit rating.
    • Paying Off Old Debts - Be careful when closing out older lines of credit or beginning payment on old debts as this may make the account current and can negatively affect your credit score.

    From pre-approval to the closing table

    There are a number steps that must be accomplished before your mortgage can be approved. Here are some items to consider:
    • Acceptance & Processing - Once you have an executed agreement, a complete copy should be provided to your lender for processing along with your mortgage application. The loan processor will work closely with your mortgage originator to prepare your transaction for underwriting. During this stage, title insurance and escrow are ordered.
    • Homeowner's Insurance & Appraisal - You will need to provide your lender with the contact information of who will be handling your homeowner's insurance. The lender will request a binder from your home owners insurance provider. If you are purchasing a home, the appraisal is typically ordered after the home inspection has been completed and the results are satisfactory. When the lender receives the appraisal, it is reviewed and then provided to the borrower. If the appraisal comes in less then the sales price, there may be an issue as the lender will base the loan on the lower of the sales price or appraised value.
    • Underwriting Approval & Review - Once processing has a complete loan application with supporting documents, the loan will be submitted to underwriting. Underwriters will review the application, supporting documentation and lender guidelines and will then either issue a conditional approval or possibly deny or suspend the file. The file is sent back to processing to work on getting the items requested by the underwriter. Once the processor has obtained everything from the underwriters conditional approval list, the file is sent back to underwriting for review. If the documents appease the underwriter, final approval is issued.

    What is the final walkthrough?

    There is one more crucial step to take before closing on your house: the final walkthrough. This is the last chance before closing to make sure everything is in working condition. A final walkthrough will help you feel more confident about your purchase and can also pinpoint any last-minute problems that should be taken care of before settlement. Take your time during a final walkthrough to ensure there are no surprises after the closing.

    Scheduling the walkthrough

    A house walkthrough should take place within 24 hours of closing on your home and should take roughly 30 minutes to complete, enough time for you to be extremely thorough. During this assessment, you should check for new issues that may have come up since the last time you viewed the home.

    What to look for when conducting the final walkthrough

    At this time, you should check all major appliances to ensure they are in working condition. Look to see whether any fixtures the seller agreed to leave behind are missing. Check to make sure any previously agreed-upon repairs have been made. Then, look over the general condition of the property, inside and out. If you do identify problems, you may choose to postpone the closing until the sellers fix the problem. Once this important last step is complete, you are on your way to becoming the proud owner of a new home!

    What should we bring to the closing table?

    Some of the more common items that you may need to bring to the closing include:
  • Photo identification - Your signature will be notarized on various loan and title documents, so bring your state-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, to the closing even if your purchase is to be made solely with your own cash.
  • Proper funds - The title company will calculate the amount of money you need to bring to the closing. You’ll need to bring enough money to cover the costs of closing your mortgage loan. You may want to include a small overage as a cushion to cover any unanticipated closing cost.
  • A sound writing utensil - During the closing process, you will sign several documents. These include the HUD-1 settlement statement, which lists all the costs related to the sale of the home; the final Truth-in-Lending statement, which details the costs associated with your mortgage loan and its interest rate; the mortgage note, a document stating that you promise to repay your mortgage loan and spelling out what recourse your lender can take if you fail to do this; and the mortgage or deed of trust, which provides your lender with a claim against your home if you don’t following the terms of the mortgage note.
  • Congratulations, you've made it!

    You will now receive the keys and all other entry devices to your new home. Best of luck!