What Should Buyers Be Reviewing On The Property Disclosure Form?
The property disclosure is an important document that sellers provide to potential buyers. With the property disclosure the sellers are listing out details about the condition of a home. Most states have laws governing the use of the property disclosure form as a means to help inform buyers about the house they wish to buy. Generally homeowners are required to disclose known (or should have known) conditions about the home they are trying to sell. Buyers should carefully review the disclosures because even if the home that looks great on the internet it may be one they wish to avoid if there are major issues disclosed about the home. This article looks about what buyers should know about the property disclosure form.
Use The Disclosure Form As A Screening Tool
Before a home buyer goes to visit a home they should be asking their real estate agent for a copy of the property disclosure form. The property disclosure form is often uploaded into the local MLS along with other disclosure documents to which their real estate agents have access to. Buyers should review the disclosure form for any condition they may consider to be a deal breaker before they visit the home. If the property disclosure forms mentions mold, foundation issues, bad roof, water leaks or something else many buyers may not want to view those homes as some of those conditions can prevent the buyer from...
Do I Have To Give Earnest Money When Buying A Home?
When buying real estate often times the buyer is expected to give some earnest money as part of the transaction. Earnest money is usually paid up front when the offer is accepted and is held in a trust account with the listing broker, the buyer’s agent broker or with the title company. The earnest money stays in a trust account until the real estate transaction is closed or when both parties agree to terminate the transaction and there is agreement as to where the money should go to. While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended and this article will explore more about earnest money works in a real estate transaction.
Should You Give Earnest Money When Making An Offer?
Earnest money is in essence a good faith deposit that a home buyer or investment real estate buyer is giving that shows they have true interest in purchasing certain property. While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended since it can show the level of interest a buyer has. It is in essence a down payment put towards the purchase of a home. Earnest money can be refundable depending on the terms of the real estate purchase contract. If the real estate purchase contract conditions the purchase on a home inspection, appraisal and/or the buyer being able to get a loan to purchase the property then the language of most standard contracts state if those conditions cannot be met the earnest money should be returned to the buyer.
In some commercial real estate transactions sellers will sometimes require some or all of the earnest money to become “hard” or non-refundable due to the time...
What Kind Of Paperwork Does One Need For A Mortgage Pre-Approval?
The first step when buying a home, buying investment real estate or buying real estate for business purposes should be getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approval letter lets buyers know they have the ability to get a loan to buy real estate. Additionally it lets buyers know how much real estate they can afford and usually what the payment terms will be. By having one’s paperwork in order prior to starting the pre-approval process the buyer can ensure a pre-approval process that runs smoothly and is done quickly enough so they can start with the actual shopping for real estate.
Real Estate Buyer Who Are W2 Wage Earners
For those who work for an employer who provides them a W2 form at the end of the year the W2 form will be something lenders will want to see as part of the pre-approval process. Generally lenders are looking for a copy of the last two to three years of W2 forms provided from an employer. If a buyer works multiple jobs then make sure the W2s from each employer is presented as the income from those forms will be used to determine the buyers overall income. The more income a buyer can show the higher their pre-approval can be. The W2 also shows the stable income flow of the buyer which will help in making the determination to approve for a mortgage or not.
Lenders will also be looking for the last two pay stubs from the buyer’s job. The pay stubs show how much the buyers pay currently is and also details the deductions...
Can A Buyer Walk Away From A Contract To Purchase A Home?
After an offer has been accepted on a home a buyer has some options for walking away from the contract and even getting their earnest money back. Usually those times to walk away and get the earnest money back apply during the contingency periods written into the contract. A buyer can walk away though at any time from the contract up until the actual signing of all documents at closing. Walking away from a purchase contract though could result in the buyers losing their earnest money and worse being sued if there were no contract contingency clauses upon which they based their decision to cancel the contract. This article explores some of the different ways buyers can walk away from a contract to purchase a home and the consequences for doing so.
Walking Away During The Inspection Contingency
One of the typical contingencies included in a real estate purchase contract is the inspection contingency. In the inspection contingency the buyer is given the right to inspect the property in order to determine the quality of the house. During the inspection period the buyer can cancel the purchase for pretty much any reason. For example a single electrical outlet is bad or even a door squeaks, the buyer can cancel the deal and get their earnest money back as spelled out in the contract. The buyer must cancel within the time frames specified in the contract if they are using the inspection contingency. Depending on the market that could be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks after...
What To Know About Doctor Loans For Buying A House
While the mortgage programs for military veterans is common knowledge due to being sponsored by the federal government, less known about are doctor loan programs offered by many banks. Some loan programs are generally offered exclusively to doctors whereas others expand to include many others employed in the medical profession. Nurses, physician’s assistants, physical therapists and more may qualify for some of the programs depending on the lender. This article focuses on the doctor mortgage loan programs in particular and some of the information provided for this article is from Walt Wollet of Fifth Third Bank who is licensed to lend in 32 states and based in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Why A Mortgage Loan Just For Doctors?
Fresh out of school doctors may have a large amount of debt from student loans but due to their earning potential they represent a good client to the banks. So while the doctor’s assets and current income may not be that high at the start of their career they have the ability to earn quite a bit and build up their asset base quickly. Once employed as a doctor they are able to work for some time increasing their earnings as they go up. The risk for job loss for doctors is also very low due to high demand for those in the profession. That all adds up to a long-term customer banks would love to have and a reason to earn and keep their business.
What To Consider When Buying A House To Tear Down And Build New
In many older developed neighborhoods there is very little vacant land available for those wanting to build a new home. For some buying land with an old home and tearing down the old home so a new home can be built can make economic sense. Whether the neighborhood is preferred for it’s location, the great schools it is affiliated with or just the community charm, buying an old house so a new one can be built after tear down can be a great strategy. This article explores some of the considerations home buyers should take into account when buying a home to tear down for a new construction build.
Get A Team In Place Prior To Even Considering The Purchase
As there are many steps and considerations involved in buying a house to tear down for purposes of building a new home having your team in place from the start is important. Team members should include an architect (for fully custom builds, some builders already have architects on their team), a builder, a real estate agent, a mortgage lender and a real estate attorney. These team members will need to work together to make sure that the home and land that is being purchase will meet all the requirements so a new house can be built on it. Miss any of the critical considerations below then the entire plan will fail.
Important Things To Consider
For starters the new home buyer will need to verify if a permit is needed to tear down a home. Due to all the pieces of a home, tearing it down can have an environmental impact and local governments want to make sure hazardous items from a demolished...
Smart Things To Do After Buying A Home
Prior to closing on the purchase of a home the new homeowner to be should consider what types of services they will be needing for the home. For some of those services calls should be made prior to closing so as to make sure upon moving day the house has power, water and any other services needed to make sure everything goes smoothly. Most services that are acquired for a home are obtained by contacting the provider directly and letting them know the date the service needs to be turned on. This article explores what kind of service providers should be contacted by new homeowners and offers advice on avoiding getting overcharged through those claiming to be service brokers.
When To Request Services
As mentioned above for some services the service providers should be contacted before closing in order to make sure services like power, water, and internet are switched over to the new owners name in time for when they need to move in. With some companies a call should be made at least a couple of days before so that they have enough time to process the change in names of who will be paying for the bill. This is especially important for the electric, gas and water bill as many sellers will request the service be taken out of their name as soon as closing day in order to not spend any extra money than they have to. If the home being purchased has a sump pump the lack of power can cause water backup in the basement which will end up in a big mess for the new homeowners to take care of. The home sellers are not expected to maintain the power on...
What Happens When The Sellers Refuse To Move Out Of The Home
When buying a home the homebuyer goes in with the expectation that the homeowner is ready to sell and move to a new home, sometimes thought that may not always be the case. For whatever reason a homeowner may have second thoughts on leaving a home after the buyer has had all the inspections and appraisal done. What is a buyer to do in those situations? The answer depends on whether the seller is refusing to move before or after closing as to what actions a buyer can take and is explored further in this article.
Seller Refuses To Move Before Closing
Prior to closing the seller can outright tell their agent and the buyers that they changed their mind about selling their home and will refuse to close on the sale let alone move. The buyer’s options are limited in this case. Yes the homebuyer could sue to attempt to get the seller to sell their home but most courts rarely like to force people to sell their homes and instead are more likely to award damages to the buyer for actual losses (paying for inspections, appraisal, movers and more). Courts could also award punitive damages to the buyer in order to punish the seller for their lack of follow through on the contract. In the end though the buyer is without a house and must begin the process again of finding another home.
This is a situation that is hard for a homebuyer to avoid as there is no way to really tell if a home seller is really motivated to sell or is just listing the home on the market with no actual intent of really wanting to sell. For...
4 Helpful Tips For Buying Your Next House
Whether you are buying for the first time or buying a subsequent home there are some tips to follow in order to make sure the home purchase is a successful one. With a home being one of the largest purchases a person will make in their lifetime it makes sense to go in with full planning and an understanding of how the buying process works. Any time wasted on bad strategies are just that, time wasted that could have been saved by putting you into a home sooner. This article explores some of the strategies homebuyers should be using and ones that may only lead to frustration.
Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
While this is often talked about it bears repeating, shopping for a home without a mortgage pre-approval is a recipe for frustration. The mortgage pre-approval not only gives you an idea of how much home you can purchase it also can give you an idea of your monthly payments. A $200,000 dollar house does not mean you divide $200,000 by 360 months (12 monthly payments times 30 years mortgage) and that is your payment. Your ultimate mortgage payment not only depends on the house price, but also on the taxes and insurance you will be paying for the house. So when getting a pre-approval make sure to ask your lender about the monthly payments that include principal, taxes and insurance.
Since taxes and insurance can vary on the value of the home and the location those numbers are subject to change. As a result if you do find a home that you like be sure to ask your lender to calculate the monthly payments for you based on the taxes you will be paying for that house along with the estimated...
Tips For Buying A Foreclosure Home
Oftentimes buyers may hear that a particular home is a bank or government owned home which is also known as a foreclosed home. A foreclosed home is a home that the prior homeowner has stopped paying the mortgage on and the lender takes the homeowner to court in order to take possession of the home in to try and recover money that is owed to them. Foreclosed homes must go through a full foreclosure hearing in a court in order to make sure the debt is valid and the homeowner has legitimately stopped paying back on the mortgage. Once back in the possession of the mortgage lender they may or may not make some repairs if needed and will put the home on the market for a new buyer to purchase. For some mortgage loans that are backed by government mortgage programs (like FHA, VA, USDA) the government will ultimately take possession of the home and eventually sell it back on the open market.
If you are considering buying a home that has been foreclosed upon this article is article is for you as it will provide tips on how to make the best of buying a foreclosure home.
Where Do You Find Foreclosure Homes For Sale
Just as most homes are found on the Internet via the Multiple Listing System (MLS) many foreclosure homes make it to the MLS as well when being listed for sale. On occasion depending on the lender and the condition of the home sometimes homes make it to select auction sites in order to limit who can buy the home and as a result may not be found on the MLS. Foreclosure homes in very poor condition sometimes will be sold with cash offer only requirement since the condition will not meet appraisal standard for traditional mortgages.
Those who want to ultimately...
Tips For Choosing The Right Neighborhood
Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right house, as the right house in a neighborhood that does not work for you can lead to eventual dissatisfaction with the house. Neighborhoods encompass many different aspects so it pays to do your research fully and understand what a particular neighborhood may or may not offer. The perfect neighborhoods for a family with kids may not be the perfect neighborhood for an empty nest couple or a single person looking for a home. This articles looks at some of the things homebuyers should be considering in a neighborhood when shopping for a home.
The location of a neighborhood is key. Living in a great neighborhood fifty miles away from your workplace may leave you with little time to enjoy your neighborhood since you have to spend more time driving back and forth to work. So while there may be a great neighborhood fifty miles away that does not mean you should be considering it unless your employer offers benefits like working from home rather than having to come into the office every day. Long commute times can be stressful and result in many wasted hours that should instead be spent enjoying time with your family or enjoying your neighborhood.
The neighborhood location in terms of the community amenities and features are also something to consider. Being in a more rural area you are less likely to find recreation centers, shops, malls and other places to go to, but if you enjoy the peace and...
Smart Tips For Buying A Waterfront Home
Waterfront properties for some are highly desirable either for the ability to use a boat or some sort of other water recreation vehicle or for the great views. Waterfront views can add significantly to the price tag of a luxury home with a great view of a lake, river or ocean. While waterfront properties may offer excellent views and offer more value there are still some things to be aware of when considering the purchase of a waterfront home as this article explores.
New Construction vs. Existing Home
If you are building a new home with waterfront access the build method may be different when it comes to the foundation. Depending on the condition of the sub-surface where the house will ultimately rest upon different kinds of supports may be needed to ensure the house is stable after being built. Also depending on whether the water levels can come up to or beyond the house the house may need to be raised in order to limit its exposure to the water. In order to make sure the house is setup properly from the start homebuyers should make sure their builders are using qualified engineers to analyze the ground below where the house will be built in order to make sure the right type of foundation support is used.
If you are considering an existing waterfront home then in addition to having a regular home inspection it would be wise to have a structural engineer look over the home to make sure the foundation is strong and secure so that your investment does not go floating off into the water or get damaged due to a shifting foundation. Depending on when the home was built and whether there are any plans still available that show how the house was built, the structural engineer should...
Buying A Home As A Single Parent
Buying a home can be a challenging task that requires plenty of attention to detail and the ability to research homes, neighborhoods and schools. There are many different housing styles, different locations and more to consider when looking for a home. Add to that being a single parent and there is a lot more that one person has to handle on their own in order to make sure they get the right home that meets all of their family needs. This article explores some tips and ideas for the single parent to help make their home buying decision easier on them and their family.
Hire A Realtor
First and foremost hiring a Realtor will set you on the right track towards finding a home. The Realtor or real estate agent helps home buyers and sellers on a daily basis with their real estate needs. It is their job to know local markets and to help get homebuyers the information they need during all crucial stages of the home buying process.
Don’t get offended though when the real estate agent starts asking for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage. While you may have a price range in mind for a home or have an idea of what monthly payment you can afford, until you go through the pre-approval process you will not know if your assumptions are correct which could lead to a big disappointment if you find a home you like and find out it was out of your mortgage pre-approval range. A mortgage pre-approval is a deep dive into your credit and income history. You may have a great job but not a very long credit history which could hinder your getting a mortgage for the amount you can truly afford. Or there may be errors in your credit report that...
Common Expenses New Homeowners Need To Plan For After Buying A Home
Many first time homebuyers in the excitement of getting their first home may not be aware of some common expenses they can expect with the purchase of a home and could neglect to budget for that. Some of those expenses like closing costs are an absolute requirement that must be paid otherwise the homebuyer will not be able to close on their home and move into it. Other expenses may vary but do need to be considered by the homebuyer so that they have the money ready to do certain things when the time comes.
One major expense of purchasing a home, and that is usually due right up front upon the final transfer of a home, are closing costs. Closing costs represent the fees associated with getting a mortgage and registering the new house in the buyer’s name. If the buyer is using a low down payment or zero down payment mortgage they may be in for a surprise if they don’t have enough money to pay for closing costs. Even with a zero down payment mortgage (VA, USDA) the homebuyer may be required to bring a check to the closing table in order to pay for the closing costs. If the buyer cannot pay for the closing costs they cannot complete the sale for the home.
The money used to pay for closing costs also generally must come from income sources of the homebuyer and cannot come from credit cards or other forms of loans. Gifts of money from parents or other relatives can be used to pay closing costs but the lender will generally want to trace the source of the funds well before closing...
What Does It Mean That A Home Is Available For Short Sale And Should You Buy Such A Home?
Ever run across a home listed for sale and the words in the marketing remarks mention short sale? Often times there is no room to explain what a short sale is or what it involves so homebuyers may be left confused by the term and unsure if they should consider buying a short sale home or not. This article explores what a short sale home exactly is and discusses whether homebuyers should consider purchasing a home that is being sold as a short sale.
What Does Short Sale Mean With Regards To Selling A Home?
A short sale is the process whereby the mortgage lender agrees to allow the homeowner to sell their home for less than the amount that is owed on the mortgage. A mortgage lender does not have to agree to any sale of home unless they are getting paid in full everything owed to them. Mortgage lenders generally have a first position lien (generally the highest priority in rank unless taxes are involved) meaning they must be paid off first with the proceeds from any sale.
A homes value may be less than the amount of the mortgage due to factors such as a decline in the overall value in a neighborhood, the homeowner owing more than the home is worth (this is not as common as it was in the past when lenders allowed 125% mortgages but can happen with multiple loans like a regular mortgage and home equity loan), a condition issue with the home or the land, lack of upkeep or something else. Where the homeowner plans up making up the difference between a ...
Why Do Homes Return Back To The Market After Having Accepted An Offer
Once a homeowner has accepted an offer on their home there is still a process to undergo before the actual transfer of ownership takes place. There are a number of contingencies that must be met prior to closing where the actual ownership of the home is transferred to the buyers. Once an offer is accepted the status of the home in the Multiple Listing Service is usually changed to “Pending” to reflect that an offer has been accepted and closing is waiting on certain things to happen before it finally can close. This article explores some of the common reasons a home may fall out of pending status and come back to the market for sale.
One of the more common reason a home falls out of contract is due to inspection issues. A majority of homebuyers opt to have a home inspection performed after an offer is accepted. A home inspector will inspect a home to check for any major issues and provides a report to the buyers detailing the overall condition of the home. Some of the common major home inspection issues uncovered can cause a buyer to walk away from their purchase if they feel the cost of dealing with the issues are too high and/or they could not come to agreement with the seller to either have the seller make repairs or reduce the price.
In some situations like foundation or structural issues, roof in need of replacement, mold issues or more homebuyers may feel like the costs of dealing with such an issue...
5 Important Home Buying Pitfalls To Be Aware Of
When buying a home there are a number of problem areas homebuyers can spot off right at the get go and know that the home may end up to be more trouble (or cost) than it is worth. By understanding these problem areas and either avoiding the home or making an offer according to the current condition homebuyers can save themselves some extra expense from having to fix certain issues. This article explores five common pitfall areas homebuyers may encounter and what the downsides of those problems can be.
Every home is built on some sort of foundation. Whether there is a basement underneath the home or a slab, the foundation is what holds a home up and holds it in place. The foundation in combination with the land around it dictates how the foundation will standup throughout time. Homes built into hillsides or areas with a lot of surface or sub-surface water flow are more prone to foundation issues.
Common foundation issues include settling, cracking, shifting and more. Most home foundations do settle minor amounts over time mainly due to the total weight of the home. As long as the settling is minor and even there should not be much cause for concern. Where the home settling is more than normal during a short period of time or happens unevenly then without costly repairs the structure of the house will begin to suffer. Shifting foundations where the basement walls are collapsing inward or outward can also subject a home to major damage. Until secured in place with additional supports those shifting walls can keep moving until the wall completely collapses. ...
Tips For Saving Up For A Down Payment On A Home
Many may dream of owning a home but feel like they could never come up with enough money to make the down payment and pay for closing costs. Saving up for a down payment on a home can seem like a huge task especially with the day to day bills and living expenses getting in the way. As the saying goes where there is a will there is a way and if you want to buy a home there are plenty of low down payment options available. With the right plan you can save enough money for a down payment and start to enjoy the benefits of homeownership.
How Much Down Payment Is Needed To Buy A Home
In some cases homes can be purchased with no money down. If you are a veteran or qualify for a Veteran’s Administration (VA) loan due to being in the armed services you can purchase a home without any down payment at all. Even if you are not a veteran you can purchase homes in certain rural areas using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mortgage loan that also provides for no money down loans. While the USDA mortgage does have certain income limits the VA loan does not. For the USDA mortgage the income limits are different based on the size of the household.
Other federally backed mortgages like the FHA loans allow for homes to be purchased with as little as 3.5% down. So on a $100,000 home 3.5% down means only having to come up with $3500 for the down payment. Even with the $3500 down requirement some buyers may be eligible for local grants from state and local governments...
Guide To The Home Inspection Process When Buying A Home
An important part of buying any home is the home inspection process. During the home inspection home buyers get an in depth look at the home and the condition of various parts of the home. Homebuyers will learn if certain aspects of the home are in need of repair and which parts of the home are working fine. Through the home inspection process homebuyers ultimately learn if the purchase they are about to make is a sound purchase or one that should be reconsidered. This article explores the home inspection and how it can impact the purchase of a home.
How To Choose A Home Inspector?
Just as important as the home inspection is, it is also important to pick a qualified home inspection professional. In many states home inspectors are required to be licensed and in order to get licensed have to at least pass a test if not also have met some educational requirement and/or home inspection training requirement. Working with a licensed home inspector is a great way to make sure an inspector has met some minimum requirements.
In the situation where a state currently has no licensing requirements to be a home inspector (Ohio for example currently does not require licensing for home inspectors) then it is best to look at the training the home inspector has received and for any certifications they may also have. The International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI for short) represents one of the largest home inspection certification organizations in the United States. InterNACHI is a voluntary organization that trains and certifies home inspectors. There is also the ...
What Is Earnest Money In A Real Estate Transaction?
Whether you are buying or selling a home chances are the question of earnest money will come up. Earnest money is not required as part of a real estate transaction. A contract to purchase a home requires and offer, acceptance (by both parties) and valuable consideration. The act of offering to buy a home with money (financed or cash) is the valuable consideration. Earnest money is part of the overall valuable consideration but on its own is not a requirement.
What Is Earnest Money?
The word earnest means “serious in intention, purpose, or effort;”. The earnest money part of an offer to purchase a home shows that the buyer is serious and willing to commit funds towards the home purchase. Generally there is no set amount that buyers should give as earnest money and customs may vary from state to state as to how much should be given. Some areas may suggest giving one percent of the total purchase price as earnest money whereas others may have a custom of giving a couple of thousand dollars or more based on the value of the home being purchased.
When an offer to purchase a home is written the homebuyer has the ability to specify the amount of earnest money to be provided as part of the offer. Generally the earnest money check will be collected and deposited right away upon acceptance of the offer. The earnest money can be deposited with either one of the real estate brokers who are party to the transaction and goes into their trust account. The earnest money can also be deposited with the closing/title company’s escrow account. Real estate brokers are...