Making the decision to buy a house is one of the biggest commitments you’ll make whether you’re a first-time buyer, downsizing, upsizing, or relocating. But buying a home involves much more than picking a house you love and submitting a viable offer. Here are a handful of ideas to keep in mind when purchasing a property.
When you tour a home and decide it’s the right house for you, don’t be surprised if the house is missing a few details when you move in. Any item not permanently attached to the structure is considered personal property. For this reason, it’s important to clarify, define, and detail in the contract what you will or will not be getting in the home you buy. It is possible to ask the seller if you can include specific items in your purchase, such as the washer and dryer or the stove and refrigerator.
Unless otherwise specified, your house will not come with a home warranty.
When you purchase property, you not only own the structure and the land, but you also buy into a neighborhood, so examine the area carefully before you make your offer. If the community you select is in a homeowners’ association, you’ll also be responsible for HOA fees, and abiding by the bylaws, rules, and regulations.
Don’t forget about property tax because you’ll own that responsibility, too. Read More
Working with a qualified, professional agent is the best way to ensure you have a successful real estate transaction. Secure your funding before seeking out an agent. If you’re applying for a home mortgage loan, pre-approval is a necessary step.
Not just any agent will do. Look for qualified, professional real estate agents who specialize in the types of property you’re interested in buying, and in the areas in which you’d like to explore. Then interview those agents to find one with whom you’re compatible.
Your agent will help you locate potential houses that meet your criteria and arrange tours of those properties. He or she will help you submit your offer, negotiate terms, and review your contract. Read More
New construction homes have an element of intrigue because they’ve never been lived in before. Being the first occupants of a house is exciting. If you’re looking for a bargain buy, new construction probably isn’t it. Builders rarely negotiate a lower price, and it’s easy to inflate the price when you pick out some of the finishes and features. Unless the home you’re buying is pre-built on specs, you’ll be able to choose the flooring, cabinetry, and appliances. But each feature you upgrade also raises the cost.
You’ll still need to inspect newly constructed properties thoroughly; just because they’re new doesn’t mean the houses are free of fault. Test the faucets, sockets, and check the walls and ceiling for cracks. On the plus side, builders most often will make any repairs at no extra cost before you move into your home. Because the house is new, it needs time to settle. Expect the structure to shift in the first few years.
New communities may have amenities that are attractive, but may also have homeowners’ associations with fees, bylaws, and regulations. Investigate the HOA before you commit to your purchase. Read More
If you must sell your current house before buying your next, you do have options. Contingencies are inclusions in the real estate contract that state the completion of the transaction is only applicable if your current home sells. However, contingencies are sometimes off-putting to sellers who may opt to accept a competing offer that doesn’t have contingencies attached.
Another option for juxtaposed real estate transactions is to apply for a new mortgage on the house you’re buying, separate and apart from the mortgage you have on your current home. Although this can be intimidating and risky, it does provide the luxury of being able to move into your new house, so your current house is vacant for showings.
You may also choose to rent out your current house or consider a lease with an option to buy. Read More
Before you whip out a wad of cash to buy real estate, make sure you have a nest egg. You should have in reserve at least 3-6 months of expenses stashed away in the event of an emergency. The last thing you want to do is drain your savings and then face unexpected financial hurdles.
Understand that when paying cash, while you may be able to avoid lending fees and interest, you’ll still be required to submit an earnest money deposit and pay for an appraisal, inspection, title checks and transfers, administrative costs, real estate agent commissions, and other closing costs.
When you’re prepared the investment, buying a house with cash is a great way to save money and avoid monthly mortgage payments. But if you’re not prepared, you may find yourself strapped for cash when you need it most. Read More
There are different types of foreclosures, so do your homework before making an offer. Foreclosures may be short sales where the homeowner is in financial distress, bank owned repossessed houses, and government owned properties. Each type of foreclosure has a different set of terms and requirements.
Most foreclosures are sold as-is with no guarantees or warranties. Make the investment for inspections to reveal any potential problems. Read More
How to Buy For Sale by Owner
For sale by owner transactions come with risks. If the seller is trying to save a buck or two by eliminating agent fees, they may also either overprice their property or be rigid with negotiations.
Make sure your real estate agent is willing to work with a FSBO, as many aren’t. Without the expertise of real estate agents, the transaction may be subject to a variety of legal problems.
How Much are Closing Costs when Buying a House?
Closing costs range anywhere from one percent to eight percent of the property’s total value. Usually, the buyer assumes responsibility for closing costs. Closing costs entail fees for appraisal, inspection, title check and transfer, lending fees, administrative expenses, real estate agent commissions, and other charges associated with the processing of the transaction.
There are a plethora of details involved with purchasing real estate. It’s not as effortless as finding a house you adore and submitting an offer. Talk with your real estate agent and financial representatives about what options are available to you and best suited for your needs.
This information is provided courtesy of The Eastside Real Estate Team. Keep us in mind for all your real estate needs. Call us today at 425-200-4093.