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Monday, December 8, 2008

10 Steps to Owning Your Own Home Series - Make an Offer

REALTOR® groups, working with legal counsel, have developed forms that are appropriate for realty transactions in specific communities. Such documents include numerous sale conditions and their wording should be carefully reviewed to assure that they reflect the terms you want to offer. REALTORS® can explain the general contracting process in your community as well as his or her role.

While much attention is spent on offering prices, a proposal to buy includes both the price and terms. In some cases, terms can represent thousands of dollars in additional value for buyers -- or additional costs. Terms are extremely important and should be carefully reviewed.

How much?

You sometimes hear that the amount of your offer should be x percent below the seller's asking price or y percent less than you're really willing to pay. In practice, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for homes, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be in order.

How do you make an offer?

The process of making offers varies around the country. In a typical situation, you will complete an offer that the REALTOR® will present to the owner and the owner's representative. The owner, in turn, may accept the offer, reject it or make a counter-offer.

Because counter-offers are common (any change in an offer can be considered a "counter-offer"), it's important for buyers to remain in close contact with REALTORS® during the negotiation process so that any proposed changes can be quickly reviewed.

How many inspections?

A number of inspections are common in residential realty transactions. They include checks for termites, surveys to determine boundaries, appraisals to determine value for lenders, title reviews and structural inspections.

Structural inspections are particularly important. During these examinations, an inspector comes to the property to determine if there are material physical defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next few years. Such inspections for a single-family home often require two or three hours, and buyers should attend. This is an opportunity to examine the property's mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property than is possible with an informal walk-through.

Speak to CENTURY 21 Adams & Barnes REALTOR today. Contact our Monrovia office at 626.358.1858 or Glendora at 626.963.7621

Source: REALTOR.com w/Permission

Monday, December 1, 2008

10 Steps to Owning Your Own Home Series - Get Funding

Often the cost of real estate financing is routinely greater than the original purchase price of a home (after including interest and closing costs). Because financing is so important, buyers should have as much information as possible regarding mortgage options and costs.

Local REALTORS can provide mortgage information, discuss financing options and recommend loan sources.What kind of loan?There are thousands of loans available out there from a variety of lenders, but in general, the mortgage you choose will likely be determined by at least several key factors:
  • If you place less than 20 percent down, lenders will want the mortgage guaranteed by an outside third party such as the Veterans Administration (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or a private mortgage insurer (PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is required by lender to protect against any mortgage defaults). More than 2.5 million VA, FHA and PMI loans are generated each year.
  • How's your credit? The best rates and terms are only available to those with solid credit. To get the best loans, make a point of paying credit cards, installment payments, rent and mortgage bills in full and on time.
  • Are you a first-time buyer? It might seem that "first-time buyer" means someone who has never owned property before, but under most state programs, the term refers to those who have not owned property within the past three years. State-backed first-timer programs often feature smaller downpayments and below-market interest rates. For details, speak with your local REALTOR®.

How do you get a loan?

To obtain a loan you must complete a written loan application and provide supporting documentation. Specific documents include recent pay stubs, rental checks and tax returns for the past two or three years if you are self-employed. During the prequalification procedure, the loan officer will describe the type of paperwork required.

Where do you get a loan?

Mortgage financing can be obtained from mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and insurance companies.

Source: REALTOR.com w/Permission

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Monrovia, California, United States