Faqs

Buyer FAQ (9)

What is the first step in buying a home?

Before beginning your home search, make sure that you can afford the home and are in a position to buy. Talk to a mortgage broker or lender to determine what you can afford. The lender will ask you for information regarding your income, expenses and obligations to arrive at your maximum loan limit. Use the calculator on this page for a quick and immediate estimate. The next step if to find an experienced, professional real estate agent.

Why should I use a real estate agent?

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What are closing costs and how much are they?

Closing costs are costs that are incurred when you transfer the title of a house. Both the seller and buyer have their own set of closing costs. For the seller these fees can  include title recording and title insurance . For the buyer these fees can include an appraisal, credit report, title recording, title insurance, loan discount points, and prepaid items such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and HOA dues.

Typical closing costs can vary between 3% to 5% depending on where you live and your lender.

What are loan discount points?

Points are the fees that you pay on a new mortgage in order to receive a lower interest rate. They are optional and offer you the opportunity to lock in a lower rate. One point equals 1% of the mortgage amount. Points can be paid for with cash at the time of closing or they can be rolled into your mortgage and financed through the life of your loan.

How much money do I need to put down?

The amount of down payment that is required at the close of escrow depends on the type of financing you are using and your credit profile. FHA typically requires 3.5% while VA loans have programs for zero money down. Conventional loans have down payment requirements of 5-20%.  There are state and community sponsored programs that provide loans or grants for first time home buyers that go toward the your down payment.

Do I need to get an appraisal?

If you are getting a new mortgage on the house then yes you will need to have an appraisal done. The lender who is issuing your mortgage will want to know the market value of the house that you are buying and an appraisal is the tool that is used to determine market value. An appraisal usually costs between $300-$450 and many lenders will ask for this cost to be paid before the appraisal is completed.

Do I need to have the house inspected?

In most states having a home inspection done on the house is not a requirement however the lender may require that the house be inspected for termites. We do suggest to all our clients that they have a home inspection with a licensed inspector done so that they know the condition of the house they are buying. The last thing a new home buyer wants is an AC unit that dies two months after they’ve moved in or foundation crack that would have only be found by the inspector.

What is a home warranty and why do I need one?

A home warranty is an optional insurance plan taken out at the time of close of escrow that protects against unexpected repairs. The minimum time that a home warranty can be purchase for is at least 1 years but can be purchased for multiple years.

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is the cash that you put into escrow after the seller accepts your offer. Earnest money is usually a small amount of money is held at the title company in good faith throughout the life of the transaction. It helps to reassure the seller that you are intent on purchasing their home.

Seller FAQ (5)

Why should I use a real estate agent?

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What is the first step in selling my home?

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What are closing costs and how much are they?

Closing costs are costs that are incurred when you transfer the title of a house. Both the seller and buyer have their own set of closing costs. For the seller these fees can  include title recording and title insurance . For the buyer these fees can include an appraisal, credit report, title recording, title insurance, loan discount points, and prepaid items such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and HOA dues.

Typical closing costs can vary between 3% to 5% depending on where you live and your lender.

How do buyers find my property?

Here are some of the main methods by which buyers find your house for sale

  • Internet (zillow, realtor.com, homefinder, craigslit, backpage, trulia, oodle, yahoo homes)
  • MLS and syndication through the MLS (includes all sites listed above and many more)
  • Yard post and sign
  • Friends and Family
  • Traditional Advertising

 

What determines the value of my property?

Your property value is affected by many factors including condition of the house, location, market conditions, square footage, features, and upgrades. Pricing your home too low can leave money on the table that should be in your pocket; pricing your home too high can turn off buyers who see that it is out of their price range. Houses that sit on the market for a long time usually become “shopworn”, causing many buyers to believe something is wrong with the property. We can do a Comparative Market Analysis for you to give you an estimate of the market value of your home.