Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors | Buyers Guide
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No matter the reason – growing family, marriage, new job or retirement – it’s exciting when you decide now is the time for a new home. For buyers, it can be an intimating process. How do you start? Who can you contact? How much can you afford? Fortunately, Ruhl&Ruhl provides trusted real estate advisors and resources to help buyers with every step of the process.

Where to Start?

When you start the process of buying a home, you should first consider your needs and wants, your timeline, and current market conditions

Step 1: What do you want?

Consider where you want to live, what type of house do you want, what features are absolutely necessary to you. Take some time to gather your housing needs and put your 'wish list' on paper.

Here are some questions you should discuss with your family and then share with your Realtor:

  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • What style of home do you prefer?
  • When you purchased your current home, what was the process you used to find that home?
  • Is there anything you would have changed in this purchase?
  • Have you been in homes that you loved? What did you love about them?
  • Do you have a monthly payment in mind?
  • Anything that you need to resolve before buying?
  • Do you have a home to sell before you buy?
  • How are you going to pay? Will anyone else be helping you with the purchase or downpayment? Have you already spoken with a loan officer and been pre-approved for a home loan?
  • What are your priorities in a home? Have you and anyone else involved in the purchase created your wish lists? Have you compared those?
  • Do you want to move twice (if you’re selling)? If not, this is something to consider with timing.

Preparing to Buy

Now that you have considered your needs and wants, as well as your timeline and the current market conditions, you will want to start identifying where you would like live and how you will purchase a home.

Step one: Decide your price range. Get preapproved.

There are three key factors that you will need to consider when determining how much home you can afford. These are:

  1. Your ability to qualify for a mortgage
  2. The down payment
  3. The closing costs associated with your transaction

You will first want to sit down with a mortgage loan officer to share your timeline and some of your expectations of the home buying process. Based on your income, debt and savings, they will be able to provide a pre-approval letter for the total loan amount you qualify for, and discuss different loan products that may work for you.. It's important to find a mortgage loan officer that is knowledgeable and has access to lots of different loan products. To contact a loan officer or to get pre-approved for a mortgage online, visit .

Here are the benefits of a mortgage pre-approval:

Remember, you shouldn’t just go to one lender. You should always get a second opinion.

Choosing the Right Agent & Team

Why have a team?

Behind every successful manager is a great team. In the game of real estate, you are the manager and you need to ensure you have the best team to help you reach your goals. By picking the right team, you will have a team of experts in your corner and looking out for your interests throughout the process.

Starting Your Search

You have your team in place and understand where you want to live and what is important to you – now it's time for the hunt!

Step 1: Start looking!

Ninety percent of people begin their property search online. Start your search on by choosing an area and then selecting search criteria that meets your needs.

You want to look at the wish list that you created earlier and start selecting homes that may be of interested to you. can help, because our site has all homes for sale on the market and has information about our local areas.

Also, you can set up an email alert, called a Personal Shopper, which will email you new listings that meet your specific criteria as soon as they hit the market.

We've found our home. Now what?

Making the Offer

Once you have identified a property you could see yourself living in, your Realtor will do a market analysis showing you similar, recently sold properties in the same area to help you get a feel for the value.

Your Realtor will take you step-by-step through the purchase contract and what each section means. The purchase contract is the most important document in the sale of real estate. The contract sets the terms and conditions that the seller and buyer agree to. Be sure to review the seller disclosure of property information carefully before writing your offer.

A well-written contract, which is available through your Ruhl&Ruhl Realtor, is designed to protect both the buyer and seller and will save you money if prepared and negotiated properly.

There are a few main Items that can be negotiated in a real estate purchase agreement:

  1. Price – what the buyers agree to pay for the home
  2. Terms – closing date, what inspections are being requested and who will pay for them, if a home warranty will be provided and who will pay for it
  3. Possession – when the buyers will take possession of the home
  4. Contingencies – protect the buyer in case you cannot perform or choose not to perform on a promise to buy a home
  5. Bill of Sale – what appliances or fixtures are included in the purchase

Your Realtor will work through all of these with you. Again, you will make the decisions; your Realtor will help educate you on your options and make recommendations.



  1. Inspections
  2. Next Steps: Insurance and Movers
  3. Closing
  4. Homes Services

Once you have come to terms it's time to move towards closing.

Closing takes place at an attorney’s office or sometimes your lender's office. Make sure to talk with your lender and your Realtor on what you need to specifically bring to the closing table.

Don’t forget – you’ll need to bring some information to closing, including (X, Y, Z)

When all the applicable paperwork has been signed and notarized, the keys are handed over to you. You'll want to make sure you have turned on your utilities and forwarded your mail. Title to the property is conveyed to you through a recorded deed. After the closing, the mortgage servicer collects your monthly payments and handles your escrow account.

Congratulations! You now own a house!

If you need help making your new house your new home, check out a list of our partners or contact Customer Service at 866.441.1776 with any questions.

  • First, the inspections that you requested on the purchase agreement will be ordered by your Realtor. You will receive a very detailed report from any inspections and these will be reviewed and discussed with your Realtor.
  • You will then have the option to request items to be repaired. This will be the second round of negotiations.
  • Once you have come to terms, closing will be scheduled, as will a final walk through. During the final walk through, you'll be able to ensure that all fixtures are still in the house, and that all repairs were completed. Your Realtor will continue to communicate with you throughout this process.
  • Before closing, you will want to make sure you purchase homeowners insurance. The Nelson Brothers Agency, our insurance partner, may be a good place to start. It's important to shop around so you can make sure you are getting the best deal.
  • You will also want to schedule movers and start preparing for your move. Click here for a moving checklist to help.

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