Dianne VanderWeel

Customer Service

Let Us Help You Find a Home
Free Home Warranty Offer

Looking for a Home? Let us help you find the home that fits your lifestyle and needs. Ask me about our FREE home warranty offer* when you purchase a home through CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman, Inc.

Contact Dianne Today: (817) 328-2306

*Free Home Warranty Offer and Details: In order to receive this offer, you must register with our customer service department. Home warranty valued up to $450. The minimum sales price must be $100,000. If you are already working with a CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman, Inc. agent, this offer is not valid. For more information, call (817) 328-2306 or email customerservice@c21bowman.com Program is subject to change without notice.

What Our Clients are Saying






Thank you to Mike Bowman and his staff for helping us find a home quickly. They displayed extensive local knowledge of the area. We had a successful and very smooth negotiation and closing. We highly recommend them to anyone looking for a home.

— Pete and Jamie H.

Buying a Home: Getting Started

Looking for a Home?
An online search will bring up thousands of homes for sale. Educate yourself on the area and your needs and work with one of our REALTORS® and neighborhood experts to help prioritize a list of features to narrow your search.
Learn More

Ready to Buy?
Learn about how to make an offer and the inspection process. Let us walk you through the steps of making an offer.
Learn More

Just Closed, What's Next
You did it. Congratulations! Whether you are a first-time home buyer or repeat buyer, we'll guide you on what to do next.
Learn More

What Our Clients are Saying

Planning a move from California seemed overwhelming but the Bowman relocation team constantly kept me updated on finding a home and helped me with everything from connecting utilities to movers to local school information.

— Stone Family

Getting Started: 4 Steps to Help You in Your Home Search

Step 1: What Home is Right For You?

Before deciding which house to buy, consider your lifestyle, current and anticipated housing needs and budget. It's a good idea to create a prioritized list of features you want in your new home; you'll quickly discover finding the right house involves striking a balance between your "must-haves" and your "nice-to-haves."

If you love to cook, you'll appreciate a well-equipped kitchen. If you're into gardening, you'll want a yard. If a home office is a must, you'll need a room that will provide you adequate work space. If you have several cars, you may require a larger garage. Use this list as your search guide.

Next, think about what you might need in the future, and how long you are likely to live in this particular home. If you're newly married, you might not be concerned with a school district right now, but you could be in a few years. If you have aging parents, you may want to look at homes that offer living arrangements that could accommodate them as well.

It's important to think about your new home's location just as carefully as its features. In addition to considering the distance to work, evaluate what matters to you in terms of services, convenience and accessibility, such as shopping, police and fire protection, medical facilities, school and daycare, traffic and parking, trash and garbage collection, even recreational facilities.

Be sure to talk to your real estate professional about where you want to live and what's most important to you. While buyers frequently use the Internet to gain access to listings or available properties for sale, an agent brings value to the entire home buying process. He or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in any real estate transaction. Our CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman real estate professionals can help you narrow your choices by sharing market trends and local information.

TIP: It's also important to consider the type of home that suits you best. Is it a condominium or a co-op? A townhouse or detached single-family home? Do you want brick, stone, stucco, wood, vinyl siding, or something else? Do you prefer a new home or an older one?

Questions? Our CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman real estate professionals are ready to assist you.

Step 2: How Much Can You Afford?

Now that you know what you're looking for, the next step is figuring out what type of home you can afford. A review of your income, savings, monthly expenses and debt will be necessary.

Early in the process, you'll want to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. It enables you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and can afford to buy the property. A pre-approval is a simple calculation done by a mortgage lender that tells you the amount you'll be able to finance through a loan and what your monthly payment will be. Our on-site mortgage lender Supreme Lending can help you through this process.

The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on several factors, such as:

  • Gross income
  • The funds you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender
  • Your debt
  • Your credit history
  • The type of mortgage you select
  • Current interest rates

Another figure that lenders use to evaluate how much you can afford is the housing expense-to-income ratio. It is determined by calculating your projected monthly housing expense, which consists of the principal and interest payment, property tax payments and insurance premiums on your new home loan (also known as PITI). Each buyer is unique, and a mortgage professional can help you find out just what you can afford. Your income and debts will typically play the biggest roles in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate just run the numbers for yourself using our MORTGAGE CALCULATOR.

Step 3: Already Have a Home?

Buying a new home and selling an existing home at the same time has its own set of challenges. With knowledgeable planning, you can ensure everything goes smoothly. Before putting your house on the market or committing to buying a new one, take a look at the prices of houses in the areas where you'll be selling and buying. You'll need a realistic idea of sales prices for similar houses, so you can assess both your buying and selling position. What if you're unable to time the sale of one house with the purchase of another? You may own no houses for a time, in which case you'll need money in the bank and a temporary place to live. Or, you may own two houses at once.

Buying a second home isn't all that different from buying a first home. Affording it usually depends on your ability to qualify for a mortgage on the second home. Benefits include a getaway for the family on vacations or holidays, a future retirement home, or renters making your mortgage payments for you. Keep in mind that if you declare it as a rental, your mortgage might be slightly higher and your down payment requirements higher than a standard mortgage. Work with your lender to create a customized loan program with the best combination of rate, points, and closing costs to meet your needs. TIP: A second home can be a good investment. To make the most of the opportunity, be sure you factor in sources for your down payment and monthly expenses (including the costs of maintaining the property).

Questions? Our CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman real estate professionals are ready to assist you.

Step 4: Get a REALTOR®

Our CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman real estate professionals are a tremendous resource. Once you find a REALTOR, they will provide you with information detailing current market conditions, financing options and negotiating issues that might apply to a given situation. Ask your agent for a list of schools, shopping centers, parks or other amenities that are important to you. Buying a new home is about more than the structure and property. It's about your new lifestyle as well.

Buying Your Home

We'll Help You Every Step of the Way

Buying a property is a big step involving a substantial long-term financial commitment, so it requires a thorough assessment of what you can afford.

Making an Offer

Making an offer to purchase a home has its own set of factors. Rely on our agent's experience and knowledge to make a successful home buying offer.

Once you've found your ideal house, it's time to get started with the financial and contractual side of the purchase. Let a CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman agent guide you through this process. Purchase contracts vary in length and terms from state to state, and sometimes within a state.

Multiple offers on the same home are not uncommon, so you may only get one chance to make an offer that the seller will consider. That's why it's important to think carefully about your strategy. In most cases it is better to have your real estate professional present the offer. If you have any personal interaction with the homeowner, avoid sharing any information about your move, your current housing status, financial status or your feelings about their property positive or negative. This could work against you in future negotiations.

How Much?

How much should you pay for the home? This section will help you to determine an appropriate amount to offer to secure a winning bid.

Your CENTURY 21 Mike Bowman real estate professional can help you find out what other homes have sold for in the area, and how much money you might have to put into repairs or renovations. These considerations should be a factor along with the amount you're comfortable spending.

In addition to sale prices of other comparable homes, there are several ways you can come up with a winning bid. For example:

The condition of the house. Is the home in move-in condition, in need of paint and other cosmetic improvements, or a fixer-upper that needs real work?

The market. If you are in a buyer's market, where there are more homes for sale than there are people to buy them, prices are probably stable or falling. If you are in a seller's market where there are more buyers looking for homes than there are homes for sale prices are probably moving upward.

Your ceiling. If you have a credit preapproval, you know how much you can borrow for your home purchase. Of course, you may not be comfortable paying as much as you've been approved to borrow, so think carefully about your financial situation before making an offer.

Next, decide how much you are willing to pay for a home. Remember, the advertised price of a house is just a starting point it may take quite a bit of negotiating to arrive at a final cost.

Contact us today for a worry-free move

After Closing What's Next

Inspection

BCongratulations! You've made an offer, and reviewed all the documents the seller has provided regarding the condition of the home. But, one important step before you finalize your real estate offer could help you avoid costly home buying mistakes. Hire a professional home inspector to give the house a standard inspection that includes:

Room-by-room review

Exterior home components

Electrical systems

Foundation and structural components both interior and exterior

Heating/air conditioning systems

Plumbing systems

Attic/basement/crawl spaces

Once you have arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. You have the right to be there, and leading home inspection companies will encourage your presence. It helps you to better understand the findings in the report and will reduce post-closing surprises. Don't forget your list of questions and items of concern.

A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from foundation to roof, and takes two to three hours depending on the size and age of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items. A typical inspection can range from $300-$600

Insurance

Protecting your new home with insurance is a must. How well you do that depends on the details of your policy. And while you are not required by law to have homeowners' insurance, mortgage lenders require that you do.

A standard policy will suffice in most instances. It protects against several natural disasters and catastrophic events. However, it will not guard against earthquakes, floods, war and nuclear accidents. The policy can be expanded to include these disasters as well as coverage for such things as workers' compensation. In fact, the lender may require that you purchase flood or earthquake insurance if the house is in a flood zone or a region susceptible to earthquakes.

Timeline and Paperwork

Closing can also be referred to as settlement or escrow. Your agent will guide you through the closing process, since local/state laws vary. In general, ownership of the home is officially transferred from the seller at the closing meeting. Most of the people involved with the purchase of your home will attend your loan closing.

In advance, a title company is usually hired to conduct a search for any recorded documents that affect the deed to the property. Examples include easements, liens, tax assessments, covenants, conditions and restrictions, and homeowner association bylaws. The buyer and lender must approve the preliminary title report prior to closing.

Once the conditions of sale have been met and the preliminary title report has been approved, all parties will agree to sign closing documents. The preliminary title report then becomes the final title report, on which any applicable title insurance is based.

If everyone agrees that the papers are in order, the buyer submits payment to cover the closing. If the lender will be paying your annual property taxes and homeowners' insurance for you, a new escrow account (or reserve) is established at this point.

Finally (and here's the best part) you receive the keys to your new home!

Moving In Checklist

Download our handy checklist for a stress-free move.

Award-Winning #1 CENTURY 21 Office

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