YOU'VE FOUND YOUR HOME - NOW WHAT?
Home Mortgage Resources - Don't be a victom of SCAM! Information on Home Buying, Financing, Refinancing.
NEED TO KNOW - MORTGAGE INFORMATION
The inspector does not evaluate whether or not you're getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks (and gives prices for repairs on): the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and ventilation, the HVAC system, water source and quality, the potential presence of pests, the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced.
It's a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since, once the deal is closed, you've bought the house "as is." Or, you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home. An inspection clause gives you an "out" on buying the house if serious problems are found, or gives you the ability to renegotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you purchase the house.
DO I NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?
It's not required, but it's a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you'd like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general maintenance questions.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY FAMILY FROM LEAD IN THE HOME?
If the house you're considering was built before 1978 and you have children under the age of seven, you will want to have an inspection for lead-based paint. It's important to know that lead flakes from paint can be present in both the home and in the soil surrounding the house. The problem can be fixed temporarily by repairing damaged paint surfaces or planting grass over effected soil. Hiring a lead abatement contractor to remove paint chips and seal damaged areas will fix the problem permanently.
ARE POWER LINES A HEALTH HAZARD?
There are no definitive research findings that indicate exposure to power Iines results in greater instances of disease or illness.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO BUY A HOME?
Laws vary by state. Some states require a lawyer to assist in several
aspects of the home buying process while other states do not, as long
as a qualified real estate professional is involved. Even if your state
doesn't require one, you may want to hire a lawyer to help with the complex
paperwork and legal contracts. A lawyer can review contracts, make you
aware of special considerations, and assist you with the closing process.
Your real estate agent may be able to recommend a lawyer. If not, shop
around. Find out what services are provided for what fee, and whether
the attorney is experienced at representing homebuyers.
Yes. A paid homeowner's insurance policy (or a paid receipt for one) is required at closing, so arrangements will have to be made prior to that day. Plus, involving the insurance agent early in the home buying process can save you money. Insurance agents are a great resource for information on home safety and they can give tips on how to keep insurance premiums low.
WHAT STEPS COULD I TAKE TO LOWER MY HOMEOWNER'S INSURANCE COSTS?
Be sure to shop around among several insurance companies. Also, consider the cost of insurance when you look at homes. Newer homes and homes constructed with materials like brick tend to have lower premiums. Think about avoiding areas prone to natural disasters, like flooding. Choose a home with a fire hydrant or a fire department nearby.
IS THE HOME LOCATED IN A FLOOD PLAIN?
Your real estate agent or lender can help you answer this question. If
you live in a flood plain, the lender will require that you have flood
insurance before lending any money to you. But if you live near a flood
plain, you may choose whether or not to get flood insurance coverage for
your home. Work with an insurance agent to construct a policy that fits
Always check to see if the house is in a low-lying area, in a high-risk area for natural disasters (like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.), or in a hazardous materials area. Be sure the house meets building codes. Also consider local zoning laws, which could affect remodeling or making an addition in the future. Your real estate agent should be able to help you with these questions.
HOW DO I MAKE AN OFFER?
Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information:
Complete legal description of the property
HOW DO I DETERMINE THE INITIAL OFFER?
Unless you have a buyer's agent, remember that the agent works for the
seller. Make a point of asking him or her to keep your discussions and
information confidential. Listen to your real estate agent's advice, but
follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer
should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home's
condition, how long it's been on the market, financing terms, and the
seller's situation. By the time you're ready to make an offer, you should
have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And,
be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying
a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can
agree on a price.
Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you must forfeit the entire amount.
WHAT ARE "HOME WARRANTIES," AND SHOULD I CONSIDER THEM?
Home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time (e.g., one year) against potentially costly problems, like unexpected repairs on appliances or home systems, which are not covered by homeowner's insurance. Warranties are becoming more popular because they offer protection during the time immediately following the purchase of a home, a time when many people find themselves cash-strapped.
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