you never forget how to do it
That is because buying a house has changed drastically over the past few years based on the various pressure points of the economy. Does that mean you should sit on the sidelines of the housing market and be a chronic renter or lifelong basement dweller? Nope, it simply means you have to be savvy about the new normal in real estate.
Do Ask, Do Tell
Don’t be afraid to ask homeowners in the community you have fantasies about that do not have “for sale” yard signs to sell to you. Many homeowners dashed their hopes of moving during “The Great Recession” due to such drastic property depreciation and have not been brought up to speed that their property values may have rebounded. You can rekindle their hope to sell by simply checking with your local, trusted REALTOR(r) on homes in your affordability range that were previously up for sell but had expired or were withdrawn from the market without a peep.
Instead of asking for the entire home to be cosmetically renovated as if you were being featured on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, many times the better route for you AND the seller is to ask for an allowance.
For instance, you may hate the shag carpet look, no worries. You can ask for a new carpet allowance that can either be given to you at closing or placed in an escrow account, depending on the prerogative of your lender if you are not a cash buyer. This is a win for you because you can choose what you like within the budgeted amount and this can be a win for the seller in that they do not have to oversee a housing project for which they may not have high-quality vendors or time.
Show Their Card & You Save
Know that the listing and agent are legit! How often do you hand over thousands of dollars without verifying the person is who they claim to be? Hopefully your answer is, “none” so do not let your next real estate transaction be the outlier.
The easiest way is to get the listing agent’s license number (some agents may carry a card with their license number), google the real estate commission for your state (like in Georgia it is GREC), and then confirm that the person is an active real estate license holder in good standing. You may discover that the person has an inactive, suspended, or no license, meaning there is something fishy going on that you should avoid.
If the home is listed without an agent, search your local government’s public tax records to see who the owner of record is and if that matches up with who you have been connecting.
Finance with Finesse
If you are seeking financing, remember that all lenders are NOT created equal despite what may be advertised or touted by some. The federal government has made several changes to disclosure documents that must be given to you from the lender for closing so make sure you interview several lenders and hire one that has a proven track record of closing on time and has a plan of action in place for these governmental regulations.
Also, if you are going the lending route, make sure your chosen lender discloses to you early on the APR (annual percentage rate) not just the interest rate of your loan. The APR is what you really pay as it speaks to the total costs of the loan so do not ignore this.
Despite all of the regulatory changes, I still hear too often of buyers that apply for financing but are not told the APR until they have already started spending money with the lender (like for a credit report and an appraisal on the home). Accordingly, be sure to make, “What’s my APR?” one of the first few questions you ask.
The Process Gets Better with Time
Ask for a longer contingency period whether you are buying cash or financing the home purchase. For those financing, the recent governmental changes to lending disclosures will surely create a learning curve and potentially some hiccups for even the most prepared and professional lenders so give yourself some additional wiggle room. If you are paying cash, you may find you need more time to prepare your funds or inspect the home, so let time be on your side.
Know that your closing date can change especially if you are financing now that there are changes to the lending process that can delay….read complete article here:
Posted on July 10, 2015 at 11:15 am by Ralph Schiavone