Buyer's Top 10 Questions

 

1.  Get Pre-Approved

By getting pre-approved you will achieve 3 things. First, you will find any problems with your credit and you can begin fixing them. Second, you will determine how much you can afford to borrow and that will determine a realistic price range for your housing search. Third, you will have a lot more leverage when you place an offer as the seller will see you as serious.

 

2.  Location, Location, Location

 

The location of your property will be key not only to your convenience while living in the home but also for your resale value. Below are some factors to consider when purchasing your home:
  • Type of home: single family, condo, town home, new construction, etc.
  • Quality of schools
  • Commute
  • Proximity to Local Transportation
  • Property Taxes
  • Proximity to services: recreation, pools, parks, playgrounds, etc.
  • Crime Rates
 

3.  Comparative Market Analysis

Ensure you get a comparative market analysis from your broker or do it yourself. This analysis will help you determine if the price you are offering by comparing the property to similar properties that have sold within the last one to two months within 1 mile of the property you are looking at. It will also help reveal any trends in home pricing in the neighborhood.

 

4.  Get it in writing

When you are negotiating with the seller be sure that you get all items you have agreed upon in writing. If the contract doesn’t reflect everything you have agreed to then DO NOT SIGN IT. Even if your state accepts verbal contracts, get it in writing. A signed document is much harder to dispute than a verbal agreement.

 

5.  Your Loan

Within 3 days of a broker or lender receiving your loan application they must provide you a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) that discloses the fees associated with the transaction. You will need your GFE with you when you are signing your documents. You should not be expected to pay any fees that are substantially different from the GFE.

Also be sure to get a written rate lock statement that defines your interest rate, loan program details, and the duration of your rate lock.



6.  Home Inspection

Regardless of whether your lender requires a home inspection you should always hire your own home inspector. They should be an engineer with experience in performing home surveys in the area you are buying. Their job is to work for you and find any problems with the home. These problems can be given to the seller and written into your contract as closing conditions or used to negotiate the final home sale price.

 

7.  Warranty

A home warranty will help protect you against costly repairs after you move in. The last thing you will need is to finish paying for your down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses only to have a costly repair. If the seller isn’t willing to provide the warranty your realtor should be able to assist you in obtaining one independently.



8.  Home Insurance

Don’t wait until you are closing to seek home insurance. As soon as your offer is accepted begin shopping for your home insurance to ensure that you will be able to obtain the best rate.

 

9.  Read docs before signing

Never sign any documents without thoroughly reading AND understanding them. Try to read them as soon as you receive them even if some of the details haven’t been determined yet. Even if the forms are standard you should still read understand them as their may be things you need to be aware of.

 


10.  Everything will take longer than you expect

Be prepared for delays. Closing dates can be delayed by the lender and you don’t want to be caught off guard. Ensure your landlord is prepared to give you additional time if you need it or you have a contingency plan if you can’t move into your home for an additional week or two.


 

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