The Armstrong Team's Blog
For homebuyers, a home inspection is paramount. This inspection enables you to look closely at a house and identify any problem areas. It also may force you to rethink your decision to buy a house, particularly if you discover a wide range of problems during the inspection.
Ultimately, it pays to consider your options following a home inspection. In fact, if you take an in-depth approach to potential home repairs, you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete these repairs before you finalize a purchase agreement.
Before you ask a seller to perform home repairs, there are several questions that you should consider, and these are:
1. How much will it cost to complete assorted home repairs?
A damaged roof is much more expensive to repair than a defective light fixture. Fortunately, if you assess the costs of potential home repairs, you can differentiate major home repairs from minor ones and plan accordingly.
If a home requires thousands of dollars in repairs, it may be worthwhile to ask a seller to complete these repairs. Otherwise, you'll be responsible for allocating the necessary time and resources to perform costly home repairs after you finalize your house purchase.
On the other hand, minor home repairs may be easy to handle on your own. If you feel comfortable completing minor home repairs, you may want to avoid submitting a request to a seller to perform these repairs. Because if you ask a seller to complete myriad minor home repairs, he or she may walk away from a potential home sale.
2. Are there any required repairs that must be completed right away?
Required repairs, i.e. repairs that will address hazardous conditions in a house, sometimes will need to be completed following a home inspection. These repairs include water penetration issues and local code safety violations.
If required repairs go unaddressed, your lender is unlikely to provide you with the financing that you need to acquire a house. Thus, you should request a seller complete these repairs as soon as possible.
3. Is it worth my time to ask a seller to complete home repairs?
There is no right or wrong answer to the aforementioned question, as every homebuyer and home seller is different. If you are uncomfortable with a house following an inspection, you should examine the inspection report and determine the best course of action. And if you feel that asking a seller to perform home repairs is essential, it is important to do just that.
Lastly, if you need assistance throughout the homebuying journey, it helps to work with an expert real estate agent. This housing market professional usually will attend a home inspection and help you assess a house. Plus, an expert real estate agent is happy to provide recommendations and suggestions to ensure you can make an informed home purchase.
Take the guesswork out of evaluating a house following an inspection – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can determine whether to ask a seller to complete home repairs after an inspection.
Ready to buy a house? It pays to be proactive, especially if you hope to streamline the process of acquiring a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.
A superb house is likely to stir up interest from large groups of homebuyers. Fortunately, with a proactive approach, you can stay ahead of the homebuying competition and boost your chances of securing a wonderful house.
Ultimately, there are several best practices for proactive homebuyers, and these practices include:
1. Search for Homes Early and Often
The early bird catches the wom. Much in the same vein, a proactive homebuyer is better equipped than others to achieve his or her desired results.
Keep a close eye on the housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you monitor home listings in your city or town, you can quickly identify potential properties that you may want to buy.
In addition, evaluate housing market trends and patterns. With this housing market data in hand, you can differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Meet with several banks and lenders in your area. By doing so, you can explore a variety of mortgage options and select one that complements your finances.
There is no shortage of mortgage options at your disposal. For example, many homebuyers prefer a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which guarantees they will pay the same amount each month for the life of a mortgage. On the other hand, some homebuyers choose a 15-year adjustable-rate mortgage, which features lower upfront payments that gradually increase over time.
If you're uncertain about which mortgage option to select, there is no need to worry. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals who can help you make an informed decision.
Perhaps best of all, meeting with mortgage professionals guarantees you can receive expert responses to your concerns and questions. These mortgage professionals will devote the necessary time and resources to assist you and make it simple for you to select a great mortgage.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you want to enter the housing market, there is no reason to wait. In fact, if you contact a real estate agent today, you can immediately launch a successful homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is dedicated to your homebuying success. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals, ensuring you can start the homebuying journey on the right foot. Then, this housing market professional can help you narrow your search for your dream residence.
In most instances, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new residences as they become available and help you submit home offers. This housing market professional also provides a one-of-a-kind homebuying resource. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Don't wait to kick off a homebuying journey. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a proactive homebuyer.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you might be wondering what all of the expenses you can expect to have when it comes time to close on your home.
Ideally, you’ll want to understand all of the closing costs months in advance so that you can plan accordingly. However, even if you’re close to purchasing your first home, it’s still useful to get to know closing costs better.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover the closing costs that are typically the buyer’s responsibility.
Buyer’s closing costs
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to closing costs for buyers. The bad news is that buyers are typically on the hook for the majority of the closing costs associated with a real estate transaction. The good news, however, is that many of these fees will be grouped together as part of your mortgage, meaning you won’t have to devote much time or thought to them individually.
That being said, to ensure that you know where your money is going, here’s a breakdown of the main closing costs that you’ll likely be responsible for as a buyer:
1. Attorney fees
Real estate attorneys research the ownership of the home, ensuring that the seller actually has the right to sell you the property. Though this is usually a formality, it is an important one.
Attorneys can either charge a flat fee or hourly rate.
2. Origination fees
The origination fee is paid upfront to the lender. It’s the fee that they charge for processing your mortgage application and getting you approved as a borrower.
3. Prepaid interest
Many buyers pay their first month’s interest in advance. This is the amount of interest that will accrue from the time you purchase the home until your first mortgage payment is due (a month later).
4. Home inspection
Inspections are one of the closing costs that can save you a ton of money in the long run if they find anything during their visit to the home. Inspectors should be licensed in your state, and you should choose your own inspector based on ratings and reviews (not at the recommendation of someone who is incentivized to sell you the home such).
5. Escrow deposits
Escrow deposits are typically shared between the buyer and seller and it is the fee that escrow agents charge for their services. You can think of an escrow as a neutral third party that keeps your money safe while purchasing a home.
6. Recording fees
All real estate purchases have to be recorded by the local government. Typically, this is performed by the county or town hall. Recording fees are charged whenever a real estate transaction occurs.
7. Underwriting fees
Mortgages are all about determining risk. A lender wants to know whether they will see a return on their investment by lending to you. To do so, they research your credit and income history. The fee the charge for this work is called the underwriting fee.
If you discover a house that you want to buy, it generally is a good idea to submit a competitive offer. That way, you can move one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
However, the hours after you submit a home offer can be stressful, particularly for a buyer who fails to plan accordingly. Lucky for you, we're here to help you stay calm, cool and collected as you wait to receive a seller's response to your offer.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to handle a seller's response to your homebuying proposal.
1. Plan for the Worst-Case Scenario
Even the worst-case scenario is not the end of the world for a buyer who is awaiting a seller's response to a home offer. In fact, if a seller rejects your proposal, you can always reenter the housing market and continue your pursuit of your dream home.
As you await a seller's response to your home offer, you should not stop searching for available houses. Because if you continue your home search, you'll have no trouble moving forward in the homebuying journey if a seller rejects your home offer.
2. Consider All of Your Options
If you submit a home offer and a seller says "Yes," what should you do next? Consider how you'll proceed if a seller accepts your proposal, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
On the other hand, it helps to prepare for a potential counter-offer from a home seller as well. If you are open to negotiating with a seller, you may be able to find common ground with him or her and finalize a home purchase.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent knows all about the stress that is commonly associated with submitting a homebuying proposal. He or she can help you minimize this stress and ensure you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the homebuying journey.
Typically, a real estate agent will work with you to submit a homebuying proposal. This housing market professional then will keep you up to date as you await a seller's response to your offer. And if you have any concerns or questions during this time, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
A real estate agent will make it simple to streamline the homebuying journey too. For instance, if a home seller accepts your offer, a real estate agent will be ready to help you move forward with a property inspection and appraisal. Conversely, if a home seller rejects your proposal, a real estate agent will be prepared to work with you to help you discover another house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
The waiting period after you submit an offer on a house may prove to be a challenging time. Fortunately, if you plan ahead for this period, you can maintain your confidence and continue to move forward in the homebuying journey.
Buying a home that works for both seniors and young children can be complicated, if not impossible. When searching for a new home, it’s important to keep in mind the special requirements for every member of your family both now, and as they continue to age.
Parents or other older relatives may need assistance getting upstairs or in and out of a tub. Even if they are fine now, aging is a tricky thing and mobility issues can crop up at any time. Planning for them now can save you money and stress in the future.
At the other end of the spectrum, child-proofing a home is important for small children or new infants, so keep an eye out for sharp edges and remember you’ll have to bring strollers, high-chairs, car seats and more so plan for easy-to-open doors. Don’t forget that as your kids get older, their needs will change as well: plan for privacy and personal space where you can to save on upgrading your home in the future.
For the best home search, make sure to let your real estate agent know who all will be living with you. He or she can assist in finding homes with the features you need and can provide advice about what things are feasible to change yourself, and what will make a house cost more than your budget in the long run.
Some important features to look for include:
- Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
- Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? We can help! Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.
- Wide Doorways: A door without a turning requirement (and those that open wider than a right angle) need to be at least 32 inches wide to ensure that wheelchairs and walkers will fit. Right angle doorways or those that require turning to enter or exit should be at least 36 inches wide.
- Wide Hallways: For comfortable use by strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs, look for hallways that are at least 42 inches wide. That much space gives you the option of installing handrails on one or both sides. Handrails can help both small children learning to walk, and elderly people with mobility issues.
That’s the easy part. The hardest room for both the very young and the elderly is the bathroom. It’s a good idea to ensure that your home has a minimum of 2 full bathrooms to allow you to accommodate the needs of all members of your family. Seniors need ADA toilets (also called comfort height) and grab bars, while your small child would need an extra-tall stool to use the taller toilet. Large showers with floor level entrances, seats and grab bars are best for the elderly, but its often easier to wash your kids in a tub, especially when they’re young. With two bathrooms, you can satisfy the needs of everyone in the family.
Last, but not least, pay attention to faucets, handles, and knobs. Rounded ones can be difficult for both the old and young members of your family. Look for a single handle, lever and touchless options for the best results all around. Don’t forget to test cabinets and drawers for weight or friction pull closers since those are more difficult than soft close or magnetic options. It’s okay if the home doesn’t come pre-fitted with the knobs, handles, etc. you want, a quick trip to your local hardware store will solve it.
Need help affording a home that meets all your needs? What if you just want to upgrade your existing home? Government agencies offer financial grants and assistance to retrofit your home for the elderly. Check with your agent to see what you might qualify for.
Ready to find the forever home for your entire family? Talk to your agent about the best way to search for your new home.