Rich Montanaro - The First American Broker
I became a Realtor to help you meet your real estate goals. Whether it's selling your house or finding your new home, investing, or simply owning; I work to make your plan successful.
I grew up in Central Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University. I'm also a retired Army Veteran with 21 years of service. Specialties: VA Loans, USDA, FHA Loans, Conventional, Foreclosures. Buyer Specialist, Listing agent. Hobbies: Running, cooking, eating (not what I cooked), meeting new people, and anything near the water.
I opened up The American Real Estate Company to meet the changing demand in real estate and better serve the Central Iowa and Greater Des Moines Area. I want this company to be your only viable choice when it comes to buying and selling in Des Moines and surrounding suburbs and towns; Ames, Boone, and surrounding areas. We work within the parameters of your goals and plan, we aren't bound by corporate commission rates or unrealistic brokerage fees. Honesty, knowledge, hard work, and giving you the best service possible is this company's attributes.
1. Determine your budget and buying power: Before you start looking at homes, determine how much you can afford to spend. You can use online calculators to get an idea of what you can afford based on your income, expenses, and credit score. You can also combine this step with the next step below when you speak with a lender. If you need help choosing a lender don’t hesitate to reach out! We have partnered with a team of effective lenders with an array of products to suit everyone buying needs.
2. Lets get pre-approved for a mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you a more accurate idea of how much you can borrow and what your interest rate might be. This can also help you stand out to sellers when making an offer. Preapprovals are generally good for up to 120 days, this could be the most important purchase of you life, so don’t feel bad if we have to do another credit check in the case we don’t find your home withing that time period (we usually do). Even if you are not ready to buy, its always great to get a “checkup” on where you are in order to set yourself for success when we do find the perfect home.
3. Find a real estate agent: You have essentially already done this! A real estate agent can help you find properties that meet your criteria and guide you through the home buying process. Look for agents who have experience in the areas you are interested in. Many buyers are tricked into believing that Realtors will cost them money (our services are paid out of sale from the Sellers’ proceeds). Agents are crucial not just for finding your home, but to ensure you have the correct and necessary fail safes to protect you and your family’s interest. Your agent is trained as well as covered by special insurance to safeguard the purchase of your home.
4. Start house hunting: Once you have determined your budget and found an agent, you can start looking for homes that meet your needs and preferences. You can search online, attend open houses (invite your agent!), and drive through neighborhoods to see what's available. The search set up by your agent comes from the Multiple Listing Services, as soon as a home is listed by any agent in the area it will go straight to your email before it hits the 3rd party syndicates like Zillow or Realtor.com.
5. Make an offer: When you find a home you like, work with your agent to make an offer. This involves determining the offer price, any contingencies, and the closing date. We will discuss the plan of action, talk strategy and get your home for the best price possible.
6. Complete the inspection and appraisal: Once your offer is accepted, you will need to have the home inspected and appraised to ensure that it is in good condition and worth the amount you are paying. We will assist with setting up the inspection and reviewing the results as well as any repair request to the sellers.
7. Close the deal: After the inspection and appraisal, we work toward your close date. Your lender might have some items they will need throughout the process. We will get utilities switched over and schedule a final walkthrough of the home.
Remember, the home buying process can be complex and time-consuming, but having a plan and working with experienced professionals can make it smoother and less stressful.
Buying or selling? Contact me for any of your real estate needs! Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch shortly.