Becoming a homeowner is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. Education is the key to making a wise, confident decision during the home buying process. Maintaining and protecting your new home provides you with a sense of stability, and helps strengthens neighborhoods and communities. Your credit is important in the homeownership process as well.
All sorts of organizations provide mortgage loans, from your local bank or credit union to government agencies and nonprofit community development corporations. Before you sign on the dotted line, do your research on different rates and terms, and have the very best mortgage for your personal financial situation. The best loan doesn’t always mean the lowest interest rate.
Where to Look: The first step is narrowing things down to a manageable list of loan options. Start with the bank or financial institution where you currently keep a checking or savings account.Get referrals from friends, family, or community organizations. In particular, make sure to seek out any special programs with down payment assistance that might be available for first time or low to middle income homebuyers. This will be especially useful if you find yourself having trouble qualifying for loans with traditional lending sources.
Your real estate agent is the backbone of your home buying team. From beginning to end, it’s a real estate agent helping you to select, negotiate, legally purchase, and finance your new home. Who do you choose? Here are a few quick tips.
Home inspection generally takes place after an offer has been accepted and the buyer and seller have signed a contract, within a certain number of days, but before the closing of the sale that makes you the owner. The appointment is arranged solely between the professional inspector and the buyer as soon as possible after your offer has been accepted by the seller. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and structural components.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development Federal Housing Administration (HUD) has prepared 10 important questions for buyers to use as a guide when looking for and working with a home inspector. If you buy a FHA property, check out getting a home inspection. It is the responsibility of the buyer to pay for the inspection on the day it is conducted. A few days later, you will receive a detailed written report from the inspector. The inspection and any subsequent negotiations must occur within the time period specified in the purchase agreement or the sale will move forward without the benefit of negotiation.
What If…? What if something serious is discovered? Problems discovered during the home inspection process that were unknown before an offer was made and accepted, may affect your desire to go through with the purchase. Your purchase agreement should state that the sale is contingent on the home passing inspection. The buyer and seller have the right to negotiate the cost of any needed repairs or to cancel the contract based on the outcome of the inspection report within the time specified in the purchase agreement. Most likely, the inspection report will include a few less serious issues, and the seller may agree to a set amount of liability in making the repairs.
Making sure you purchase the right insurance to protect your home may seem as complicated as it is vital. Here’s a quick rundown of what types of insurance are out there, what levels of coverage they include, and the factors influencing how much you pay.
Choose one of our in-person or online educational opportunities. You can increase your skills and successfully purchase a home.