Digital Buyers Consult
Educate yourself on the homebuying process.
Buying your first home can seem scary and intimidating, but it isn’t if you have the right professionals to guide you step-by-step through this process. We’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Starting The Process
Determine Your Budget
Talk to a qualified and trusted lender. We recommend someone local who you can meet with face to face to go over your options. There are a lot of words that you’ll discuss, don’t be afraid to ask questions! PMI, PITI, credit score, debt to income ratio, down payment, FHA loans, seasoned funds, gift letter, pre-qualification and pre-approval, tax returns, etc. Be sure to go over down payments and other anticipated expenses such as closing costs so you can prepare for what checks you’ll need to be able to write. Make sure to ask for a generic pre-qual letter. We’ll get a property specific letter once your ready to put in an offer as well.
Once you’ve determined what you can realistically afford, the fun part begins! Shopping for houses! As your buyer’s agents, we will send you properties on the market that fit your criteria: not only budget, but many other factors such as, size, locations, amenities, conditions, etc.
Tour houses: we’ll be on a schedule in most cases in order for you to see as many properties as possible. So try to be mindful of the schedule we’re on and remember if other agents are present, they work for the seller. Questions are fine, but keep feedback and interest for when we’ve left the property.
Let's Shop Homes
Submitting an Offer
Once you’ve found the perfect property it’s time to put in an offer. Offers are placed by submitting a purchase and sale agreement with a prequalification letter, copy of a $1,000 check made out to the listing agency, along with signing the seller’s disclosure.
Things to think about when submitting an offer are price, closing costs credits, mortgage contingency, and closing timeline. All of these factors will make your offer stronger or weaker; we will discuss each to make sure your offer or subsequent counteroffer get accepted. Once we’ve come to an agreement, a new contract will be signed and give to your lender. And then the real hard work begins.
Now that you’re under contract, there are a few deadlines to keep in mind: 10 business days to conduct and conclude the home inspection. This includes negotiating any credits and repairs, so be ready to set up a home inspection right away. And be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on it. But it’s worth every penny if there are serious defects in the property. And you can walk away from the contract and get your deposit back at any point during this period.
Second deposit check will be due at some point in this beginning stage. Mortgage commitment. This is the date by which your lender commits to giving you the loan. Be prepared to turn over a lot of paperwork during this time: bank statements, check stubs, tax returns, etc. And be careful about making any large or unusual deposits or charges during this time. This includes applying for any other type of credit, even to buy furniture or appliances. Your credit will be run again just before the closing, so don’t make any changes that will affect it.
Working Towards Closing
Everyone is working toward three golden words: clear to close. Once we hear those words, we know the closing can be scheduled. In order to get to that step, you’ll need to pick an attorney to conduct the closing for you and prepare all of the documents you need to sign in collaboration with your lender. You will also need to get an insurance binder on the property, so speak to an insurance agent to ensure that is in place for the closing date.
Keep in mind, if you’re in a rental, giving your landlord notice, and at what point in the process this should be done so you don’t extra rent but aren’t left homeless if something falls through. The final step will be to get any final documentation to your lender so all of their conditions have been cleared.
The closing day is finally here! A few things to remember: Put the utilities into your name beginning on that day. We will schedule a final walk-thru of the property. You are here to make sure the property is in broom swept and clean condition, any repairs have been made (if you haven’t inspected those already), and that there is no damage since you last were in the home.
You’ll need to coordinate with the closing attorney if any funds are due, if so a bank or certified check is necessary. Bring your driver's license or other government-issued ID.
Finally, be prepared to sign a lot of documents, but when you’re done and the attorney has recorded the deed with the town hall, YOU ARE OFFICIALLY A HOMEOWNER!
Jessica Cameron is a devoted military spouse and mother of two who understands the importance of finding the right home for a family. She has moved eight times over seventeen years, giving her the experience to help any family, military or civilian, reduce the stress that comes with relocation. In order to make your transition as smooth as possible, Jessica uses the Fitzpatrick Team’s award-winning strategies called Listing Leverage (for sellers) and Digital Buyers Consult (for buyers).
Jessica is highly active in military spouse events. She has taken a lead role in multiple military spouse organizations across the country. Jessica has been a member of the Military Spouses’ Club Board of Directors, led city-wide charity auctions, and helped locally with social events at the United States Naval War College. If you find your time in Rhode Island coming to an end, Jessica is deeply integrated within military spouses’ networks around the world and ready to help reduce the stress of a home sale, while also helping to connect you with people who know the area wherever your life’s journey takes you.
Jessica has joined the Fitzpatrick Team RE/MAX in 2022, which closed out 2021 with 173 sales transactions totaling over $93 million in sales. Oh, and they also facilitated 146 rentals across the state of Rhode Island. This groundbreaking growth landed us the #1 Team in Newport County and the #1 RE/MAX Team in Rhode Island.
Jessica leads an active lifestyle and loves the outdoors….she is always up for a good hike. As a lifetime learner, Jessica is a graduate of Texas A&M University, US SAILING certified and takes every opportunity to immerse herself in the local community. #LiveWell is the FT’s wellness brand focusing on physical, emotional, financial, and communal support to the people of Newport County. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our community to come together and support each other in different aspects of our lives. Whether it’s a weekly running club to stay motivated, a city-wide trash clean-up, even sports sponsorships to keep our youth happy & healthy, the Fitzpatrick Team is here to act as a backbone and a helping hand.
A Military Guide to Renting
My name is Jessica Cameron and I am a Realtor with the Fitzpatrick Team at REMAX. I am a military spouse and rental specialist. I want to talk to you today about what the rental market is like here in Rhode Island, specifically the areas targeted by the military community: Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth and Jamestown.
Renting in Rhode Island is different than any other duty station we have experienced because the summer tourist season affects the rental market here throughout the entire year. I am hoping that the following information will help you understand the area and guide you in your rental search.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use a Realtor when searching for a rental?
As your Realtor I can help you navigate this confusing rental market, I can access several online portals to help refine your search, I can reach out to the listing agent on your behalf, set up showings, do video walk throughs, finalize lease details, and help with many other steps along the way. I find this very helpful for the military families that have limited time to search for homes and often need to rent sight unseen.
What does using a Realtor cost?
It is a free service to you as the renter.
Why is the rental market so different in the Newport area?
Because the summer tourist season affects the rental market here throughout the entire year.
What are the different types of rentals?
1. YEARLY & LONG TERM RENTALS
- This is a traditional lease, but in this area, they are the least common
- This lease can start at any time of the year (most frequently in the summer and early fall months)
- Usually unfurnished
2. WINTER & ACADEMIC RENTALS
- These leases start in August or September and end in May or June. They are very common.
- Usually fully furnished, so you may need to get the military to store you HHG
3. SUMMER & SHORT TERM RENTALS
- These leases start in June, July or August.
- They are for 30 days in Newport or weekly in places like Jamestown
- Fully furnished
- Most expensive rentals
*Summer rentals make it harder for Military families to find affordable housing in the summer months and may delay the move in date until the property is available for the winter.
When should I start my rental search?
As soon as you receive assignment news, please reach out so we can begin your search.
Do I need to fill out an application?
Yes, I will send you over a rental application to fill out. It costs $30 and can be used for any rental that you wish to apply to. You can also use it more than once.
What is due at the signing of a lease?
First months rent and a security deposit (usually equal to one month's rent).