Q: What CAn i afford?
Your budget is determined by your gross income and financial obligations. Enter your details into the mortgage calculator for an approximate idea. Have an idea of your price range before you start shopping, so you don't open yourself up to the heartbreak of falling in love with a home out of your budget. A lender will go over the documentation you provide and help you decide on the best course of action for you. When you're pre-approved, they will provide you with a letter that lets sellers know your standing. Feel free to ask me for help choosing a lender. I work with them regularly, and will recommend who I know will work hard for you.
Q: WHY DO I NEED TO BE PRE-APPROVED?
When you shop without a pre-approval in a low-inventory market, you run the risk of losing out on a home completely: many sellers refuse to look at offers without pre-approved buyers, and the home may already be sold by the time you obtain a letter from your lender.
Q:Can I buy a home and sell my current one at the same time?
Absolutely, and many of my clients opt for this strategy. The way we accomplish this is by adding a contingency that makes all parties aware that escrow cannot close on your current home until you have a suitable replacement property.
Q: How many homes should I see before making an offer?
Sometimes, the first home you see is the perfect choice! (Which, as a realtor, is the goal in mind when I begin property searches.) It's not about the number of homes you see, it's about finding the right one for you. The average buyer sees ten properties before making an offer- but don't fret over not falling in love with the first ten, or force yourself to tour more properties after you know you've already found your new home. Everyone is different in this regard, and there's no wrong answer.
Q: What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?
Every situation is different, and includes many factors: the condition of the property, number of days on the market, seller motivation, etc. However, as a rule of thumb: the seller you are making an offer to is often represented by their own agent, who's job centers around pricing the listing appropriately. If a home you are interested in making an offer on is unreasonably priced, I will advise you of it immediately, and we can decide on an offer price that better suits the market.
Q: How do I know if the property is a good deal?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that an investment will appreciate. I will pull comparable properties in our price range, and as we get into the search process, you will start to develop a sense for what a home is worth. I have eighteen years of experience in this valley; I will guide you in the process, and I will always advise you to the best of my knowledge on which homes are the best value.
Q: How quickly can I close?
This depends greatly on what type of payment you will use for your home. Here's some quick information on average escrow length:
- CASH- 10 Days
- FHA/CONVENTIONAL -30 Days
- VA -45 Days
Q: Should I get a home inspection?
Absolutely. A home inspector's job is to provide you with a complete disclosure report on the home you're buying. Every deficiency is listed, from minor cosmetic issues, to things even the seller is not aware of. If there are any health or safety concerns, we can file a repair request during the predetermined period, but the seller is not required to comply. You are also allowed to renegotiate the offer price based on the results, or cancel altogether.
Q: When can I back out if I change my mind?
Contingencies act as umbrellas of protection for your earnest money deposit. (The 1-2% of the purchase price put down to secure the offer.) Here is a breakdown of the three basic contingencies, and how long they protect you, unless you decide to cancel:
- "Inspection Period Contingency" -17 days
- "Appraisal Contingency" -17 days(Must appraise at offer value, or be renegotiated/canceled.)
- "Loan Contingency" -21 days (Protects in case of catastrophic reasons for not being approved for your loan i.e. job loss.)
You can also add unique contingencies to fit your specific circumstances, such as making a sale contingent on finding a replacement property. I will help you draft contingencies to make sure you are protected for the allotted time periods.