Home Buying Tips
Buying a home can be an enormous undertaking. You can trust Horizon Realty to always keep your interests first and foremost. As qualified professionals, we will guide you through the entire home buying experience and assist you in being an educated buyer. With our services, you can avoid the pitfalls and we’ll be there to help every step of the way.It is highly rewarding to buy, own and maintain your own home. Whether this is your first home or you have experience with the home buying process, we can help. When you have the tools at your fingertips, you can be confident in your ability to search, finance your home, negotiate terms and be prepared at closing.
It is highly rewarding to buy, own and maintain your own home. Whether this is your first home or you have experience with the home buying process, Horizon Realty can help. When you have the tools at your fingertips, you can be confident in your ability to search, finance your home, negotiate terms and be prepared at closing.
Purchasing a new home can be overwhelming. Without the right resources and information, the buying process can be stressful and frustrating. With our services, you can avoid the pitfalls. We will be there to help every step of the way.
In today’s market it is important to be pre-qualified or pre-approved for the home loan. The most important part of financing is your knowledge of the options available. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your financing needs.
- How much mortgage can I afford?
- What down payment is needed?
- What is the difference between pre-qualification, pre-approval and approval?
- What interest rates are available?
- What is mortgage insurance and is it required?
- What type of documentation will I need?
- How do 15- vs. 30-year terms compare?
- What are points and do I pay them?
- What is the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage?
- What closing costs will I incur?
- What is being “locked-in?”
- How long will the mortgage process take?
- What is included in a mortgage payment?
- What would the payments be?
- When would the payment begin?
Finding the Right Home
Keep your eyes open and your notebook in hand as you walk through a potential home. Consider the following questions as a basis for determining your needs as a homeowner:
- How long has the home been on the market?
- Why is the home being sold?
- What is the asking price of the home?
- Has the price been lowered?
- Is the price comparable to other homes in the neighborhood?
- What is the down payment required?
- Is the house structurally sound?
- Is there room enough for the present and the future?
- Do you like the floor plan of the home?
- What condition is the yard in?
- What improvements must be made?
- Will the seller repair or replace any items that need repair or replacement?
- Think carefully about each house you see. Horizon Realty can point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.
Making an offer to buy a home entails many factors. You and your Horizon Realty agent, will discuss the following factors prior to putting the offer on the table:
- Amount of earnest money
- Down payment
- Price you are offering
- Details of financing
- Proposed move in date
- Proposed closing date
- Details of the sale
- How long the offer is valid
The seller will either accept the offer as presented, or make a counter offer and either you will agree to the terms in counter offer or you will submit another proposal. When all the parties involved have agreed upon the details, initialed any revisions, and signed the final agreement, then an offer becomes a contract.
Reviewing the Contract
Sales contracts may differ significantly yet all should clearly set forth the responsibilities and privileges of all the parties involved. It is a legally binding document that protects each party. Carefully review the terms of the contract. The sales contract should include the following:
- Legal description of the property and the exact street address
- Selling price of the property
- Amount of earnest money and who is holding it – Often it is held in an escrow account by a third neutral party.
- Amount due at settlement
- Specifics of the mortgage (amount, rate and terms)
- Title or Escrow company – Either a title company, escrow company, or attorney must be agreed upon by buyer and seller
- Details of the closing – when and where
- Home inspection – Recommended to ensure against structural and unknown defects
- Inclusions and exclusions – Examples would include washers, dryers, drapes, etc.
- Pest Inspection – Who is responsible if there is damage or an infestation
- Warranties – Get the description of any that are included with the house
- Repairs – Unless you are accepting as-is, state who is responsible for repairs, with a date for a walk-through inspection
- Date of possession – When you take possession of the property
- Acceptance date – Either an acceptance or counter offer must occur by a specified date
Processing the Sale
Once the contract is signed, Horizon Realty will continue to be your advocate and ensure that your best interests are served. Some of the details we will be available to handle are:
- Assist with scheduling all necessary pre-closing inspections
- Check finances are deposited according the contract specifications
- Keep you informed of any unseen problems that may arise and offer solutions
- Present a list of utility companies available for service
- Schedule and attend-the pre-closing walk through
- Prepare for and attend the closing