Are you buying a home in Lake Wales? Heidi Gravel can help.

With some planning ahead of time, buying a home isn't all that confusing, but the event is intimidating for a lot of people. I like to supply buyers with a road map of the entire deal so they'll know exactly what they can expect. These are my nine steps to purchasing a home.

Should you have any questions about this information or if you're ready to get started, simply contact me here or send e-mail to

Step 1 – Prepare to buy
Before you begin your home search, there are plenty of things you need to do. It's likely that you'll want to create a checklist of items you want, get a feeling for what school districts and neighborhoods you'd like to live in, and start planning around your budget. A good rule to adhere to is that your mortgage payment should be close to a third of your net monthly income.

Step 2 – Speak with a real estate agent
This is where Heidi Gravel comes in. I can schedule a time to meet so we can talk about why you want to buy a home and get an idea of your future plans. We'll discuss everything from neighborhoods, schools in the Lake Wales area, the mortgage industry, to any other economic factors that might affect your purchase today or in the future.

I can also help you start the loan process. There are some great mortgage professionals in Lake Wales, and I partner with a lot of them, so you're in great hands. They will help you determine which kind of loan is best for you, as well as help you get qualified.

Step 3 – Start your home search
After we meet, I'll begin finding available houses on the market that meet your needs. I'll get a sneak peek of many of the houses and eliminate the bad ones, and then we'll schedule appointments to view the homes whenever it's convenient for you.

When we tour the houses, I'll identify good features and negative ones. I'll even ask you what things you like and don't like. It's widely common for buyers to update their list of must-haves as we view homes and some features become more important than others. If such is the case, I'll search all the listings once again and trim it down to the home you've been waiting for.

Step 4 – Understand the market
My knowledge of the Lake Wales home market is a fundamental benefit in your home search. I am acquainted with all the neighborhoods and school districts, and I will let you know certain areas are "hot" and require immediate action and the others that are "cool" and allow for careful examination.

When we view homes, I'll let you know when the list price has room for bargaining and when I know the home is "priced to sell." Every REALTOR® in Lake Wales will claim to know the housing market, but be careful, and make sure you ask your agent plenty of questions. If things don't add up, call me at 863-676-8058 or e-mail me at, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. My market expertise will keep you a step ahead throughout the entire process.

Step 5 – Find the house you've been waiting for
I'm certain we'll find your dream house in the Lake Wales area. When we do, I'll carefully create your home purchase offer. The offer will be tailored to suit your needs, including many contingencies, such as acquiring financing, carrying out the home inspection, and a clean title.

Let Heidi Gravel guide you through finding your dream home in Lake Wales Upon presenting your purchase offer, most likely you'll need to present "earnest money." This is a cash deposit made to the home seller to secure the offer to buy the property. The amount is typically applied to the cost of closing. If your offer is accepted, we should close on the home within 30 to 60 days afterward. This allows necessary time for your mortgage financing.

Step 6 – Negotiate the deal
Most contracts don't close on the initial offer – it's widely common to receive a counter offer. Don't let this intimidate you. We'll figure out whether or not to agree to the counter offer, propose our own counter offer, or decline the seller's offer and go on.

The state of the market will play a vital role in how aggressively we negotiate the deal. We'll also work within your financing constraints. And at the end of the day, we'll put together a deal that works well for you.

Step 7 – Get your loan
After we sign the final deal, you'll start working with your lender to close the loan. If you're already pre-approved, this won't take very long at all. But you'll need to keep in close contact with your lender. And I'll handle all the property information your mortgage lender needs to close the loan.>

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

Then it's time to close on your house. This will probably happen at a title company or escrow office and should be a smooth and stress-free affair.

Step 9 – Move in
Success! Now you can move into your new home. Enjoy it. And if you need anything or have any questions, be sure to call me at 863-676-8058 or send me an e-mail.

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