Buying Guide

For generations people have been driven to own a piece of this great land. If you have made the decision to buy a home whether for the first of fifth time, our guide is designed to help you. Although, owning a home is still as enticing as ever, it needs to be right for you. You will need to understand that there are many advantages of home ownership but there are also drawbacks. You will also need to know who does what and who you need to help you. You may be able to do it without some people such as a real estate agent but you will absolutely need others such as a real estate attorney.

Financially, you need to be in a position to buy a home and get a mortgage. People generally are very out of touch with their financial health and buying a home forces them to understand where they are financially. Topics such as learning what your credit rating means and how this affects your ability to get a mortgage for your dream home purchase are covered in this guide. How much can I afford? How much are the closing costs going to be? How much down payment can I afford? These are other important questions that need to be answered up front when looking into buying a home. This guide is designed to help you come up with the answers or, at the very least, provoke needed thoughts.

Before You Buy
Congratulations, you’ve made the big decision to buy a home. Now What? There are many questions you will need to ask yourself before moving ahead. The biggest question is: where do I want to live?

All of us have different likes and dislikes. The needs of one person may be of little consequence to another person. If you are moving to a new community your questions may be different from somebody who is moving within the community. If you are single, your needs will be much different compare to a married couple with kids or the needs of a retired couple. As you see you really need to think about where you want to move and live.

Different types of Homes
There are many different types of residences ranging from single-family units to condos and co-ops. Go through this section thoroughly to understand the different types of homes and what will work for you. It is important at this stage to at least decide what type of residence you would like to live in so as to reduce the number of properties you will need to look at.

Finding a Dream Home
Drive in any neighborhood in the spring and summer months and you will most likely see “for sale” signs posted outside homes. This is generally not so in the fall and winter months. This is primarily because people like to move in the warmer weather and rarely around holidays unless absolutely necessary.

Agents, Brokers and Realtors
When you decide to purchase a new home you will need the help of many people from different disciplines. You may need a real estate attorney and an agent or a broker. In reality, you could do without them; however, it is best advised to engage the services of one. Unless you completely understand what is involved and required in the purchase of a new home, it is difficult to complete without one of these professionals.

Home Appraisal
A home appraisal is an independent valuation of a home to determine its market value.A home appraisal is generally organized by the lender and is usually paid for by the buyer. All loans require an independent appraisal. The reason the lender requires an appraisal is that you may think a home is worth more money than it really is. You make an offer based on that assumption but if the appraisal leads the lender to believe the home is overvalued, the lender may feel this is a risk and may not grant you a mortgage. Basically the lenders want to protect themselves by ensuring the property is worth its market value. The appraisal helps assure the buyer does not end up having negative equity on the home.

Seller’s Disclosure
The seller is bound by law to disclose certain information about the house. Most but not all states require disclosure. The seller is required to disclose any latent material defects. This essentially means that the seller must disclose whether the property has any hidden defects or problems that could adversely affect the value of the property.

The Closing
Once the offer is accepted and the seller has signed the offer-to-purchase contract, you are well on your way to owning the home.

The next major step to complete the transaction is what is known as the real estate business of the closing. The closing or settlement as it is also known is the final step in the transaction. From the time the offer is accepted to the closing date, there is much work to be done.

The following will need to be completed by closing:
* Obtain financing
* Home inspection
* Home appraisal
* Title search
* Home Insurance obtained
* Title Insurance obtained
* Final Walkthrough

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