REAL ESTATE RELOCATION GUIDE: 7 STEPS TO A SEAMLESS MOVE
THE BUYING PROCESS
How to Find Your Perfect Home
Location, location, location. You must’ve heard that before. But that’s because, much of the time, that’s what real estate is all about. And never is it more true than when you’re buying a home. As a certified Real Estate Agent, I have the local knowledge, skills and experience to help you through the buying process. From property hunting and price negotiations to mortgage offers and legal paperwork, I’ll help you meet your goals, whatever they may be. Your dream home is waiting and I can’t wait to help you find it.
9 BUYER TRAPS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
1. Bidding Blind
What price should you offer when you bid on a home? Is the seller’s asking price too high, or does it represent a great deal. If you fail to research the market in order to understand what comparable homes are selling for, making your offer would be like bidding blind. Without this knowledge of market value, you could easily bid too much, or fail to make a competitive offer at all on an excellent value.
2. Buying the Wrong Home
What are you looking for in a home? A simple enough question, but the answer can be quite complex. More often than not, buyers have been swept up in the emotion and excitement of the buying process only to find themselves the owner of a home that is either too big or too small. Maybe they’re stuck with a longer than desired commute to work, or a dozen more fix-ups than they really want to deal with now that the excitement has died down. Take the time upfront to clearly define your wants and needs. Put it in writing and then use it as a yard stick with which to measure every home you look at.
3. Unclear Title
Make sure very early on in the negotiation that you will own your new home free and clear by having a title search completed. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, leases or the like.
4. Inaccurate Survey
As part of your offer to purchase, make sure you request an updated property survey which clearly marks your boundaries. If the survey is not current, you may find that there are structural changes that are not shown (e.g. additions to the house, a new swimming pool, a neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.). Be very clear on these issues.
5. Undisclosed Fix-ups
Don’t expect every seller to own up to every physical detail that will need to be attended to. Both you and the seller are out to maximize your investment. Ensure that you conduct a thorough inspection of the home early in the process. Consider hiring an independent inspector to objectively view the home inside and out, and make the final contract contingent upon this inspector’s report. This inspector should be able to give you a report of any item that needs to be fixed with associated, approximate cost.
6. Not Getting Mortgage Pre-approval
Pre-approval is fast, easy and free. When you have a pre-approved mortgage, you can shop for your home with a greater sense of freedom and security, knowing that the money will be there when you find the home of your dreams.
7. Contract Misses
If a seller fails to comply to the letter of the contract by neglecting to attend to some repair issues, or changing the spirit of the agreement in some way, this could delay the final closing and settlement. Agree ahead of time on a dollar amount for an escrow fund to cover items that the seller fails to follow through on. Prepare a list of agreed issues, walk through them, and check them off one by one.
8. Hidden Costs
Make sure you identify and uncover all costs – large and small – far enough ahead of time. When a transaction closes, you will sometimes find fees for this or that sneaking through after the “sub”-total fees such as loan disbursement charges, underwriting fees etc. Understand these in advance by having your lender project total charges for you in writing.
9. Rushing the Closing
Take your time during this critical part of the process, and insist on seeing all paperwork the day before you sign. Make sure this documentation perfectly reflects your understanding of the transaction, and that nothing has been added or subtracted. Is the interest rate right? Is everything covered? If you rush this process on the day of closing, you may run into a last minute snag that you can’t fix without compromising the terms of the deal, the financing, or even the sale itself.
TOP 10 REASONS
TO BUY A HOME
1. Quality of Life - Home ownership is part of a better quality of life for most buyers. The quality of our living situation directly impacts how we feel.
2. Avoid the Tax Man | Tax Deductions - Buying a home helps you avoid the tax man with tax deductions for both mortgage interest and property taxes. Property taxes and qualified interest are deductible on an individual's federal income tax return.
3. Spend Money to Make Money - With the right real estate consultant, home ownership and the potential for appreciation means that ultimately you have the opportunity to get a return on your investment.
4. Deferred Gain and Capital Gain Treatment - A homeowner can exclude up to $500,000 of capital gain tax if married and filing jointly or up to $250,000 if single or filing separately when you sell your home. The home must have been the taxpayer's principal resident for the previous two years.
5. Principal Accumulation - As a homeowner, a portion of each amortized mortgage payment typically goes to principal, which in the long run is an investment.
6. It’s The American Dream - Owning a home is THE American Dream. We work with many first time home-buyers; and it truly is a dream come true for them.
7. Independence - For many homeowners, one of the greatest freedoms is acquired through home ownership. They can get rid of their landlord and are no longer surrounded by neighbors in an apartment with thin walls. The freedom to do whatever they wish with their homes is a big incentive for many new homeowners.
8. Leverage - At the current interest rates, you can put your money to work somewhere else. These days you can still purchase a home for as little as 3.5% down.
9. Why rent when you can own? The real cost of renting at $700 per month with 6% rental increase per year means you will pay $110,719 over 10 years. Just think, you could almost pay off a home for that amount!
10. Because you get to work with us!