Buyer’s FAQs

FAQHow do I get started?

First, determine what you wish to achieve in buying a new home. Consider the factors that are most important to you, and prioritize. On a basic level, consider:

  1. Price
  2. Location (taking into consideration convenience to schools, shopping, commuting)
  3. Style
  4. # of BRs
  5. Total # of rooms and type (i.e. formal DR)

Then think of lot, views, garage, and new construction. You will no doubt see homes as well that offer features you didn’t even know you would love until you’ve seen them! Compare and keep score of the houses you see – perhaps create a chart, and/or keep your favorite sales sheets in a separate folder.

What about my mortgage?

First, you need to get an idea of approximately how much you can afford. Equally as important is determining what kind of a mortgage you should get. There are over 50 type of loans available; getting the right loan could lead to huge savings. For instance, if you are only going to be in a house for a few years before you move on, you do not need a 30-year mortgage with a higher fixed rate @ 6.065% – go for a 3-year fixed rate @ 5 1/8% instead. Make sure you have an idea of what your credit score is and clean it up if necessary. Be prepared to provide your life history to the bank as they will ask for everything anyway.

What does it mean to be “pre-approved”?

Being pre-approved is huge in your favor during the negotiating process. As the financing contingency is one of the two most important factors in a real estate contract, giving the seller some confidence that you are actually going to get a mortgage and consummate the transaction is very important. It is almost like a cash offer and usually translates into the seller being willing to sell at a lower price to you. Also, while being pre-qualified gives the seller some measure of comfort, a lender’s pre-approval letter is considerably stronger. To a seller, he won’t have to worry for 20-30 days while you go off seeking approval – a process that they have no control over.

Why do I need a home inspection?

Hey, this is the most important financial decision most people ever make. Inspections may cost up to 1% of the cost of your home. Still not a bad investment considering. Inspections give you an understanding of exactly of what you’re buying, giving you some peace of mind by eliminating surprises later on and helping you make a sound buying decision. You can have inspections or test on the following:

  • House
  • Septic
  • Wood destroying
  • Water
  • Well
  • Radon in air
  • Radon in water
  • EMF
  • UFFI
  • Lead

Quite a laundry list here, and you can have all performed or some, depending on your level of comfort and applicability. The home inspection reveals the need for repairs or replacements before you buy as well as tips for maintenance. A good home inspection also gives you invaluable details about your new home in addition to information about the condition of the property. You’ll learn where the main shutoff valves to the utilities are located, how the house operates, and much more! Buying a newly constructed home? Why not inspect those too? It’s still a good idea to get an independent evaluation of the builder’s techniques.

There are so many more questions to ask, and we will be happy to take the time to answer. Just call (203) 453-2145, any time!

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