Congratulations, you are on your way to owning your very own home! Follow these suggestions (and your realtor’s advice) so that closing will go as smooth as possible.

You have been asked to give a deposit check with your offer, make sure that there are sufficient funds in your account to cover this check which gets cashed upon acceptance of your offer. The deposit check may be held by an attorney or in the broker’s trust account and forms part of your total purchase price. Assuming the sale goes through, this money will be applied to the purchase price of the home. If for any reason the sale is not consummated, you may be entitled to receive all of your deposit back, less standard cancellation fees. In certain instances, the seller may be able to…

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Naturally, you want to get the best deal for the least amount of money. This holds true for mortgage rates as well.

A lower interest rate means a lower monthly mortgage payment, which can save you money in the long run. Also, it is easier to qualify for a lower payment than a higher one.

You basically have two routes to finding the best rate. The first is to do all the research on your own. The second is to use a mortgage broker.

Do-It-Yourself

With the advent of the Internet, much of this information is readily available online. Once you have educated yourself sufficiently about real estate loans, all it takes is the time and energy to sift through online resources to find the information you need.

Rates change quickly. That great rate you…

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Fortunately for buyers, there are a variety of mortgages to choose from. It is in your best interest to investigate each of them to determine which is the best for your situation. You probably won’t qualify for all of them. In fact, you may only qualify for one. But if you do qualify for more than one, you may save yourself money (and worry) in the long run if you do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Consider a fixed rate mortgage if either of the following describes you:

You plan on living in your new home for many years, and/or

You are not a risk-taker and prefer the stability of knowing how much your payment will be each month.

Since most home loans are for a period of 25 years, if you want a payment…

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Buying a home is one of the most important purchases most people will make. In order to make the right decision the first time, potential buyers need to be prepared. Consider the following before starting negotiations:

Be prepared. Research the housing market in the target area. Once you have information about the general area, focus on the particular property and seller. Look for answers to questions such as:

  • Why is the homeowner selling? (If they’re moving because they find the area undesirable, you might want to consider this issue.)
  • How long has the home been on the market? (If it has been on the market for a long time, perhaps there are negative facts about the property that you need to know.)
  • How much did the seller pay for the home…

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    • Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home.
    • Pre-Approval: While knowing how much you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range. With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the home you’re interested in is at or under the amount you are pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your…

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Ready to close the deal? Maybe not.

Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale. Hopefully, with negotiation, most of these have a workable solution. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But don’t panic. Another buyer might still be found who is willing to accept the house as is.

Imagine that your prospective buyers are a couple with young children. They envision your unused attic as the perfect playroom for the kids but, before closing the deal, they request an inspection to see if it’s safe and also if they will be able to install a skylight to provide natural light to the new space.

This inspection reveals that under the shingles that are in good condition is a roof that will only last another year or two. The…

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CMA is real estate shorthand for “Comparative Market Analysis”. A CMA is a report prepared by a real estate agent providing data comparing your property to similar properties in the marketplace.

The first thing an agent will need to do to provide you with a CMA is to inspect your property. Generally, this inspection won’t be overly detailed (she or he is not going to crawl under the house to examine the foundation), nor does the house need to be totally cleaned up and ready for an open house. It should be in such a condition that the agent will be able to make an accurate assessment of its condition and worth. If you plan to make changes before selling, inform the agent at this time.

The next step is for the agent to obtain data on comparable…

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June and Fred Smith were diligent about getting their home ready for sale. They ordered a pre-sale termite inspection report. The report revealed that their large rear deck was dry-rot infested, so they replaced it before putting their home on the market.

The Smiths also called a reputable roofer to examine the roof and issue a report on its condition. The roofer felt that the roof was on its last legs and that it should be replaced. The Smith’s didn’t want buyers to be put off by a bad roof, so they had the roof replaced and the exterior painted before they marketed the home.

The Smith’s home was attractive, well-maintained and priced right for the market. It received multiple offers the first week it was listed for sale.

But the buyers’…

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Most cities require that homeowners obtain a building permit before making modifications to their residence. Which modifications require a permit vary by city. Also, some cities are more vigilant than others in enforcing permit laws.

In order for the homeowner to receive a permit, the homeowner or his/her designee are required to file plans and pay fees to the city. In addition, the improvements are given a value. If they increase the value of the property, this may result in an increase in property taxes. Inspections are often required, and this means having to schedule and then wait for inspectors to approve the work to be done. This process can be time-consuming and inconvenient in the short run. It is for this reason that some homeowners skip the…

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