Get pre-approved for your
mortgage. Pre-approval means that you have actually made
application to a lender and have been approved, usually
subject to the appraisal of the property. A
pre-qualification is not as strong. Pre-qualification simply
means that you have spoken to a lender and you should be able
to qualify for a certain loan amount subject to verification
of the information that you have supplied. Pre-approval will
not only help you determine the appropriate price range for
you, but it will also make your offer more attractive to the
seller if you accompany the offer with a pre-approval letter.
In some cases, this can actually save you money as the seller
may be more motivated to negotiate with you as opposed to a
buyer who has not be pre-approved, or only pre-qualified.
When a seller receives an offer contingent upon the buyer
obtaining financing, their main concern is the buyer’s
qualifications. The seller does not want to have to put their
home back on the market after 30 or 40 days if the buyer
should not be able to obtain the financing specified in the
mortgage contingency. A letter Pre-approval will alleviate
some of the seller’s concerns.
Educate yourself on the
market by going to Sunday open houses. This is an easy way to
see a lot of properties in a short amount of time. You can
view the property as quickly or for as long as you like. It
is very important however, to tell the hosting agent that you
are working with me. Give the hosting agent my card, simply
tell him or her that you are working with me, or write my name
on the sign in sheet.
Because I am compensated
only in the event of a successful transaction I would greatly
appreciate your cooperation and loyalty. I can provide
information on any property available and would appreciate it
if you would make inquiries only through me. If you contact
an agent from another firm on a particular property, no matter
how insignificant it may seem to you, I may not be able to
represent you on that property. Again, when you attend open
houses, please tell the hosting agent that you are working
There is no fee to you, the
buyer, for my services. The commission is usually divided
four ways: between the seller’s agent and firm, and the
buyer’s agent and firm. The seller pays a commission to their
real estate company, who pays my company, who pays me. Though
I will represent you exclusively and I will be working in your
best interest, my fee will be paid indirectly by the seller.
Choosing a lender. Call two or three lenders and ask to be "pre-qualified." They will ask you a series of questions, and in a few minutes, they will give you an estimate of how much you can borrow. Ask questions about interest rates and mortgage products too.
Select one lender, and take the next step, which is to meet with the lender and make formal loan application to get "pre-approved." A pre-approved mortgage can be helpful when you are ready to make an offer on a home. Do not select the based entirely on the interest rate and product, as this could change by the time that you are ready to lock-in your rate and product. Generally, you are not able to lock-in to a rate and product until you have a signed sales contract and are within 60 days of closing. On the day that you’re ready to lock-in, you might want to call one or two other lenders to make sure that you are getting a competitive rate.
Click on 'Lenders' on the column to the left for contact information for my recommended lenders.
The Contractor’s Inspection.
A contractor’s inspection is a visual analysis of the building and its internal components to find potential problems. An inspection is different from an appraisal. An appraisal is used by a lender to determine the market value of the property. An inspection is an in depth look at the structure and mechanical components of the property. The inspection starts with the roof and goes through the entire home, covering plumbing, electrical and heating systems, checking for structural soundness.
The inspection should be done by a qualified contractor, builder, or professional home inspector who can spot potential problems that would not be apparent to the non-professional. The buyer hires the inspector. Remember that you are buying used housing and it is to be expected that some components show signs of daily wear.
If the inspector finds some problem areas, the contractor will usually be able to give you a rough estimate of the cost of repairs. The inspector can also advise you about the life expectancy of specific items so you can be prepared to cover replacement or repair costs, even though they may be months or years down the road. You should accompany the inspector in order to learn more about your new home.
Ask friends or family for inspector recommendations, or feel free to call and ask questions to any of the inspectors below. These are inspectors that past clients of mine have hired for their home inspections.
several inspectors by phone. Do you like the way they talk on
the phone? Do they handle your questions well? What services
do they offer that make them different from other inspectors?
What is the anticipated cost of an inspection for the type of
the inspector. Ask for the inspector’s credentials including
references, and then verify them.
what will be and what will not be included in the inspection.
you are present for the entire inspection and participate. The
purpose of a home inspection is to educate the homebuyer about
the property. What better way than to be there for the entire
inspection process? Do not bring children, the electrician or
friends who may distract your attention from the inspection
process. The inspection is a learning experience and by fully
participating, you will learn and remember more about the
property than by just reading the final report.
the inspector provides a written report, not just a verbal
walk-through. Home inspection reports come in basically three
styles: narrative, checklist and a combination. Some are
prepared on the spot and others are written and delivered
later. Because time is usually of the essence in a real
estate transaction, the one delivered on the spot is probably
the better choice.
the limits of the best home inspection. The most cautious
home inspector can still miss things. Although inspections
may indicate problems in a house, the inspection process is
not a guarantee that everything associated with the house will
continue to work well after the inspection. Homebuyers should
not expect the inspector’s report to serve as a guarantee that
the home’s components won’t fail or need repair at some point
in the future. Some problems are slow to develop and others
are hidden from view. That’s why it is prudent to select a
home inspector who is willing to answer your questions even
after you have moved in.