“Questions that Buyers frequently ask us.”
A. The answer to this question is squarely with you. Do you need the equity that's built up in your present home to complete the purchase of your new home? If so, you either need to sell first or consider a bridge loan or house sale contingency. We strongly suggest that you engage a real estate agent with whom you can enter a trusting relationship. Then discuss the question with him or her, touching on every aspect of what it may mean for your particular situation.
A. Generally you should view a number of homes so you can become familiar with what you can expect to get for your money. When you find a home you really like, it's a good idea to go back and look at it at a different time of day. This will give you greater insight into what it will be like living in the home full time.
A. The first step in the plan for potential Home Buyers is a credit check. It's best to keep an eye on your credit reports so you can spot any mistakes and dispute them. Also, avoid running up high credit card bills in the months prior to buying a home. These two things will help you in the next phase of your game plan, pre-approval on a mortgage. Your Hartman & Associates' Agent will be able to help you with this portion of the plan. Pre-approval includes analyzing your income, assets and present debt to estimate how much house you can afford. This means the lender has committed to loaning you the money subject to the house you choose to buy. Being pre-approved for a loan will make you attractive to Sellers because the contract won't be tied up with financial issues. After you know how much you can spend, you are in the homestretch. This is the time for you to become familiar with neighborhoods and the features of the home. Educate yourself by visiting har.com and hartmanassociates.com and viewing the inventory of listings. This is also the time for you to decide what you want and need in a home. A solid game plan needs a good coach. A Hartman & Associates Agent can help you through all steps of the plan, prepare you for any unforeseen problems and eventually help you to buy the home of your dreams.
Q. Why do I need an agent to help me find a home with all of the technology and advertising available?
A. The internet and newspaper ads are a good place to start researching what the current housing market is like. You can also find information to help answer many of your financing questions. Once you have looked at what's available to you, it's time to get a professional involved. You might spend hours scanning newspaper ads and home magazines, driving through neighborhoods looking for “for sale” signs or phoning on individual listings, and still miss the opportunity to see some of the best homes available. A Hartman & Associates Agent will save you time, money and make a wealth of information resources available to you, so together you can find that special home.
A. First, put together a list of features and benefits you want in a home. Think of such things as pricing, location, size and amenities. If you can't get a home at the price you want with all the features you are looking for, figure out what features are most important to you and rank them in priority so you know what you're willing to give-and-take. Would you rather have a large kitchen and smaller bedrooms? Also consider your needs in the future. Maybe now is the time to buy a larger home rather than expanding a smaller home in the future. Your Agent can also help you compare the price of homes with the features you are looking for or suggest alternate uses of space.
Q. As a buyer, do I have the right to obtain past information about the property I am interested in purchasing?
A. Yes. Sellers are required to disclose all known defects associated with the property. With the help of your Agent, you can find out what has happened to the property in the past. You should make careful observations, examine the property and request or otherwise obtain any records important to you. These requests should be in writing. If you decide to put an offer on a home, it is important to have a professional inspection completed before closing.
A. Building a home often requires hours of research and decision-making. You must first decide what area you want to build in and which builder you want to work with. After these initial decisions, you still have many choices of floor plans, building materials and fixtures. Personalization and freedom of choice are some of the benefits of building a home, but they can also be very stressful. An Agent will guide you through the entire home building process and help you along the way should you need it. You'll still get to make the choices on your own, but your Agent will be there to help, keeping your best interests in mind. Also, buyer representation comes at no cost to you.
A. There are a number of factors that will affect the offer you make. Supply and demand, the condition of the home, how long the house has been on the market, and your personal circumstances with regard to how soon you need to close on a home all come into play when framing your offer. You might also weigh in the demand for the home and how much you really want it. If you “low ball,” some Sellers will react with a counter offer; others might dismiss your offer outright. In a Seller's market, you're likely to lose out by making a low bid. If multiple bids are anticipated, it's advisable to go with your “best offer.” Your Agent will advise you on ways to make your offer more attractive: for instance, a pre-approved mortgage and flexibility on the closing date can help make your offer stand out and ultimately close the sale. Your Hartman & Associates' Agent, a neighborhood specialist, will provide recent sales comparables to insure you are paying the right price for he house.
A. Basically, title insurance assures that you have clear title to the home you're purchasing. A title search is the primary component of “due diligence,” a process that will be started by your attorney, if you are using one, or by the title company you choose. The title search determines whether the seller actually owns the property and if there are any claims against it.
A. While only certain inspections are required by mortgage lenders, a comprehensive home inspection is considered a wise thing to do when purchasing a home. However, since it is not required, the Buyer must pay for it. It is also recommended at the time of inspection, you accompany the home inspector so that you can learn firsthand as much as possible about the home you are about to purchase - including such basics as where the main water shut-off is and electrical boxes are.
A. Few homes are perfect. Some problems may be a matter of simple cosmetics; others may be more serious and call for costly repairs. The good news, however, is that in most cases the seller and buyer are able to come to terms. You and the Seller may decide to compromise, both sharing the costs of the repairs, or the Seller may pay for any repairs. Or you may decide that the issue is not important enough to risk losing the home.
A. If the house doesn't appraise at the amount expected, other alternatives are typically found. A second appraisal may be sought, the buyer may be willing to put more money down, the Seller may adjust the price or offer other concessions, or the two sides may negotiate to split the difference between them.
Copyright © 2005 Hartman & Associates. All rights reserved