Buyer Resources

A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.

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Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.

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Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.

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Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.

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Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. I may be able to steer you away from certain homes or neighborhoods, suggest hidden gems, or give you pointers that will help you find your dream home for the right price.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.

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Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.

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Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

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Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.

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Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.

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Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.

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Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.

Congratulations!

After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams. 

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Adam F.

Have known Kade for years and when it was time to choose a Realtor® I choose a true professional in every sense of the word. Kade is knowledgeable about Indianapolis and the neighborhoods that make it such a great place to live...
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Sandy F.

Kade sold our home quickly and the closing was fast and easy to complete. We had another agent who did little to get it sold, but as that listing was closing Kade called us, asking if he could be our next agent. His get-up-and-...
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Rebecca B.

Kade was more than I could have asked for in a Realtor®. He was truly amazing! I was new to the area and he made sure to educate me on all my options. This was also my first home purchase so he held my hand through the entire p...
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Johnson F.

Kade did a great job in the purchase of my new home and the sale of my old one. He was very professional and knowledgeable and answered all the questions I had. He helped me to navigate through all the necessary paperwork and s...
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Melissa V.

Kade was great to work with. We were new to the area, and he told us about the different communities to help us make a decision on where we wanted to live. Kade gave us lots of housing options that were within our price range, ...
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F & M

Our Experience with Kade Koch: We had the luxury to spend 2 years finding a new home. Kade was very patient and professional. He performed all necessary "Realtor® functions" smoothly and efficiently. He was consistently prepare...
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A D

Kade was amazing Realtor®. He helped me buy my first home when I had no idea what I was looking for or even where I was looking. I appreciated that he took the time to show me many different styles of homes as well as areas to ...
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D W

Kade was extremely helpful in helping my family find the perfect home! He was patient, thorough, and super responsive when we had questions. Kade didn't waste our time and knew exactly what we were looking for! I rarely write r...
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Hilary P.

House buying is very stressful and difficult. But Kade made this process so smooth! We are very picky and indecisive and Kade never once lost his patience or drive to find us a perfect home. I have used him twice now and will u...
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Ben & Brooke P.

Kade was a fantastic Realtor® He was always realistic and honest with us. He was very knowledgeable but would look for answers if he did not have them. He never rushed us and was always willing to talk about options. He made ou...
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Daysheuanna H.

Special thanks to Kade Koch for making our home buying experience great. He let us know upfront that it might be stressful at some point especially for me(which it was) but his professionalism and great customer service made it...
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Michael B.

From day 1 of calling him to have his schedule viewing after viewing for us, he was the best Realtor®, I could’ve asked for. Felt more like a friend was helping me through the whole process. Basically spending entire Saturdays ...
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Josh A.

Kade was very informative with each property we looked at. He took great care of me while I was looking for the right house. He also had a lot of patience for me when I didn't have time to look at houses with him. He even went ...
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V & M

Kade was phenomenal! We were purchasing out first home (on a whim, nonetheless) so we had no idea what we were doing. He was able to give us all the info we needed and answered every crazy question we threw at him. He was alway...
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Steve R.

Kade is the best Realtor® we have ever worked with and we have worked with several Realtor®. Kade sold our house in less than two weeks at the above asking price. Kade worked tirelessly so we could close on the house we were se...
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John G.

I used Kade to both buy and sell my home and on both transactions, he more than saved me from myself several times. He is responsive and steady and offered me the best advice and I could not have had better results on both the ...
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Allconra

As a first-time buyer, I was very happy with choosing Kade as my Realtor®. He aided me every step of the way and was able to give me a lot of knowledge on the home buying process. Because of this, I was able to find a home I lo...
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Elliott H.

Having to find a house while in California on active duty was already a hard enough challenge. Kade stayed in contact with me and kept me up to date with everything I needed to find and close for our house. I would highly recom...
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Blake K.

Kade was always on top of his game! Provided great resources for new home buyers, as well as giving insight from previous experiences along the way. I would highly recommend Kade for anyone who wants someone in their corner who...
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Graham T.

Kade was great! Very knowledgeable yet patient with us being initially unsure of exactly what we wanted. Guided through the whole process and was always there for us without applying the slightest pressure. We couldn’t be happi...
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