When you buy a home you need to consider a variety of factors; the mortgage, title insurance, property insurance, neighborhoods, schools, market values, the condition of the home, inspections, and of course, closing costs. This can be a very overwhelming process, but I’m here to help. Here are a list of buyer resources to ease the process of buying your next home.
YES! It is an excellent time to purchase your next home. Due to increased cost of land development and home construction, prices are lower today than what they will be tomorrow. If you are looking to purchase a home, you may have an opportunity to purchase more home for the money if you act now.
For example, if home values increase 5% over the next year, a $100,000 house will be $105,000, a $300,000 home will be $315,000. It’s also a good time to sell. There are ample buyers to purchase homes that are priced correctly, staged appropriately, and properly marketed.Let me guide you through the home buying and home selling process.
A buyer’s agent is a licensed Realtor whose loyalty and fiduciary responsibility is to the buyer. A buyer’s agent can more fully advise buyers in all areas of the home buying process including proper handling of contract negotiations. As your buyer’s agent I will:
• Explain steps and costs in advance
• Conduct home searches for you
• Show you available homes
• Advise you about market conditions, pricing, and financing
• Represent you in negotiations with Sellers, Lenders, Appraisers, Inspectors, Insurers, etc.
• Manage your transaction – Mortgage, Insurances, Inspections, Repairs, Warranties, dozens of other details
• Accompany you at final inspection and closing
If you’re not a represented buyer, by law, a Realtor can’t advocate for you. Contact me and we will review Maryland’s Consumer Notice which explains the ways a real estate agent can represent you.
Yes. You can apply for either pre-qualification or a pre-approval. A pre-qualification is an informal opinion from a lender. A pre-approval is a more formal written approval for you stating that you qualify for up to a specific mortgage and interest rate. A pre-approval requires more data from you but offers the following benefits:
·Sellers will look at you as a stronger buyer. If the seller has more than one offer, this could help yours be more attractive.
·You have a definite picture of what you can reasonably afford. You won’t waste your time inspecting homes you can’t buy.
Most of us cannot afford two mortgage payments; we need to sell our current home before completing the purchase of our next home. In a marketplace where there is a good supply of homes for sale, it’s probably best to market your home successfully first. Then you enter the marketplace as a stronger buyer.
None the less, you may find your next home prior to marketing your current home. I can help you choose from several different options in this case so that you can still have your dream home and avoid a double payment situation.
In most cases, a property is purchased in its present condition! Many buyers are surprised to find that if a problem arises after settlement, the problem is theirs. As a buyer, you should consider hiring a home inspector who is trained to look for defects. The most common types of home inspections are general house inspection, wood destroying pest and organisms (termite) inspection, radon inspection, on-site septic inspection, and on-site water inspection.
When you are ready to make an offer on a home, I’ll explain the different types of inspections you may wish to have. I can recommend a home inspector if you’d like help finding someone.
Imagine one of these nightmares:
·An ex-spouse of the 3rd prior owner claims a continuing interest in your home because he/she did not sign off on the deed 10 years ago.
·A Lender to the 2nd prior owner asserts a claim that their loan was not paid off when the property was sold 6 years ago and they want their money.
A title insurance provider seeks to discover these “defects” by searching public records about the property. They also provide you with insurance – if they missed something, they step up to handle your defense and cover your costs. Also, your lender will require that you provide title insurance from a reputable company at settlement. I can recommend a title insurance provider for you.
Closing costs are fees and expenses paid in conjunction with the purchase of your home. The amount of your closing costs will depend on your transaction and your lender. If you obtain a mortgage, the lender will collect a credit and appraisal fee and may charge you loan origination fees and document preparation fees. Should you use a low down payment, the lender may require you to pay for mortgage insurance. Your lender will require title insurance. Title insurance is based upon the sales price of the home. Your settlement company will collect notary and recording fees. If you haven’t paid your homeowner’s insurance premium prior to the closing, this will be an expense at closing. Transfer taxes can range depending on the municipality in which you are purchasing. In most of South Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania, the transfer tax is 2% of the sale price.
Typically, the buyer pays half of this tax. Real estate taxes are typically pro-rated, reimbursing the seller for the taxes they have pre-paid. Depending upon the mortgage program, you may be required to start an escrow account with the lender for future taxes. In some cases, sellers have agreed to pay part or most of their buyer’s closing costs. I can help you understand these costs and can provide suggestions to reduce your closing costs. In addition to my suggestions, you will be receiving closing cost estimates when you submit your offer to buy and when you apply for your mortgage. This is all done so that you know what to expect at the closing.
The terms “real estate settlement” and “closing” mean the same. It is the meeting where the seller conveys the ownership of the property to the buyer. A settlement officer, either a title company representative or the buyer’s attorney, will conduct the closing. Many papers need to be reviewed, signed, notarized and witnessed. Among the documents you will be asked to sign is the mortgage, the mortgage note, other lender documents, buyer’s affidavit, utility cards, etc.
Once you’ve paid your down payment and closing costs and the seller has signed the deed, you will become the official owner of your new home. I’ll walk you through what to expect at settlement and answer any questions you may have.