Home Buyer Introduction HOME BUYER: Episode 00001

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11 Worst Home Buyer Mistakes
Are you gearing up to buy your first place, move-up, second/vacation home? Shopping for a home is exciting, exhausting and a little bit scary. In the end, your aim is to end up with a home you love at a price you can afford. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, many people make mistakes that prevent them from achieving this simple dream. Arm yourself with these tips to get the most out of your purchase and avoid making 11 of the most costly mistakes that could put a hold on that sold sign.

Should I Use A Real Estate Agent For A New Home Purchase
I am often asked, “should I use a Realtor® when purchasing a new home from a builder”?

The short answer is an absolute Yes! In many states, home builders encourage real estate agents to show and sell their new homes! However, the Realtor® must be with you on your first visit to the site.
Why do you need a real estate agent for a new home purchase?
Because the site salesperson is representing the builder, not you! This disclosure is in the sales contact which you will be required to sign, acknowledging that you have no representation. Most home builders have pledged themselves to a ‘Single Price Policy’, which means that their published prices shall be the same whether sold by the builder or a Realtor®. You will not pay more when you use your own Realtor® to represent you.

Additionally, the Realtor® will represent you and their primary responsibility is to protect you and your interests.

Should I Buy A New Home vs A Resale Home
When you are ready to start house hunting, you may want to consider new home construction so as to broaden your options.

“There will be many opinions as to whether a new home or a resale home is better. Let’s look at a comparison.

Why Would A Realtor® Fire Their Buyer Client
You wonder how the buyer would handle the situation if the roles were reversed.
The buyer client(s) can also fire the Realtor®. If the Realtor® does not submit properties that meet the pre-determined criteria that a buyer has outlined. The criteria could change after the first few showings but if the criteria continually changes or the client(s) just cannot come to agreement then it’s time to hear those words

YOU’RE FIRED

How Much Money Will I Have To Come Up With To Buy A Home
Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money – the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house.

How To Protect Yourself: Credit Repair Scams
Credit Problems? NO problem …”
“We can erase your bad credit! 100% guaranteed.”
“We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file, FOREVER!”
“Create a new credit identity – Legally!”
Do yourself a favor and save some money, too. Don’t believe these statements. Credit repair companies typically charge from $50 and up, but often do little or nothing for you before vanishing.

6 Don’ts After You Apply For A Mortgage
I learned a long time ago that “common sense is NOT common practice“. This is especially the case during the emotional time that surrounds buying a home, when people tend to do some non-commonsensical things. Here are a few that I’ve seen over the years that have delayed (and even killed) deals:

What Kinds Of Questions Should I Ask Before Buying a Home
Question: What Kind of Questions Should I Ask Before Buying a Home?
Answer: Most first-time home buyers jump into buying their first home because they’ve fallen heads over heels in love with the house, so you are wise to think about asking questions before signing on the dotted line. Here are 3 main issues that home buyers should address upfront:

• Offering price
• Condition of home
• Location of home

With the advent of Zillow.com and other online information centers, some of the data you would like to know can be found on the web, but much of that information is incorrect. For example, Zillow can’t accurately compute value on homes in neighborhoods where the size and configuration is nonconforming. But it can give you a general idea of value.

9 Negotiation Tips To Get The Best Deal
Set your priorities early Knowing what’s really important early on is critical to getting a great deal. Ultimately, the bar for whether your negotiation is successful is determined by what the home and contract terms are worth to you.

Earnest Money Deposits
When you make an offer to purchase Florida real estate, you, as the buyer, will include an “earnest money” deposit. This deposit shows the seller that you’re serious about the offer to purchase their Florida property.

The amount of earnest money varies based on the type of property being purchased and local market conditions. A typical deposit might be 5-10% of the amount you offer in the purchase contract. The final amount is negotiable and will depend on such things as how long it will take you to close and the number and types of contingencies included in the contract. Your Realtor® will help you determine an appropriate amount of earnest money to include with your offer to purchase.

Forget Low Ball Offers
When the market begins an upturn, like it’s doing now in most places, it’s easy to think that the biggest challenges for buyers are soon to be a thing of the past. Loan guidelines are a bit looser, it’s less likely that a property will decline in value after closing, and rates are still quite low. But experienced agents know that in an ascending market, it can be tough to get appraisal comps to keep pace.

And in the same vein, it can be even more challenging to get buyers’ mindsets to keep up with the heat of the market.

It’s not at all bizarre for a buyer to have to lose one, two or ten properties while the market “educates” them that when supply and demand shift, the low-balls of yesteryear just won’t cut it. Here are a few points to help the buyer experience less trauma and lose fewer dream homes before they stop low-balling sellers and seriously get into the game.

Appraisals
Facts About Residential Real Estate Appraisals
In Bankrate’s annual closing costs survey, the average appraisal cost around $400 in 2011. Buyers sometimes pay for the appraisal when it takes place and other times the fee is included in the closing costs paid on settlement day, the day the actual closing takes place.
Appraisals are an Important Part of Your Home Buying Transaction

A real estate appraisal helps to establish a property’s market value–the likely sales price it would bring if offered in an open and competitive real estate market.

Your lender will require an appraisal when you ask to use a home or other real estate as security for a loan, because it wants to make sure that the property will sell for at least the amount of money it is lending.

Home Inspections
Do You Need A Home Inspection?
Before you buy a home, one of the things you should do is to have the home checked out by a professional home inspector. Buying a home is expensive enough as it is – why would you choose to fork over approximately $400 if you’re not required to. We’ll delve into what a home inspection can reveal and why you shouldn’t forgo this optional procedure.

The Home Inspection Contingency Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain time frame. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract.

Mortgage Settlement Costs, Origination Fees, Title Insurance etc
The mortgage settlement process–sometimes called mortgage closing–can be confusing. A settlement may involve several interested parties and a variety of documents and fees. This guide helps you understand the steps involved in the settlement process. Although the focus here is on settlements for home purchases, much of the guidance will also apply if you refinance a mortgage.

Settlement costs can be high, so it pays to shop around for settlement services and negotiate with the home seller, your mortgage lender, and your real estate attorney or settlement agent. The less you pay in settlement costs, the more funds you will have to get started in your new home.

How Can I Save On My Homeowners Insurance
Having the right insurance coverage on your home is smart. Paying too much for it is not. Use these tips to reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance.

12 Ways To Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs
It’ll take some time, but could save you a good sum of money. Ask your friends, check the Yellow Pages or contact your state insurance department. (Phone numbers and Web sites are listed here.) National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) has information to help you choose an insurer in your state, including complaints. States often make information available on typical rates charged by major insurers and many states provide the frequency of consumer complaints by company.

5 Cost-Savings Tips For Moving Time
You Don’t Have to Pay Full Freight. A cross-country move for a three-bedroom home can cost as much as $8,000. Figure $6,000 for the actual move (movers charge about $100 per 100 pounds, and the average room adds up to 1,000 pounds), $1,700 for the packing and $250 for the insurance. Movers are busiest on the last ten days of the month, so a move mid month should get you a better price and better service. If you can wait to move off-season, between October and April, you could save 10%. Get several written estimates with rates per hour (for a local move) or per pound (for an interstate move). Bids should cover every room in your house and should be done in person

Things To Buy After Buying A Home – Home Start Up Budget
Many first-time home buyers, after weeks of waiting for mortgage approval and then signing piles and piles of documents that nobody reads — because if you don’t sign, you don’t get the loan — might think a major hurdle has passed when closing finally happens. However, that stuff is only the calm before the storm.

So, with keys in your hot little hands, you open the front door to your marvelous new home. This is where you ask, “But where are the window coverings?” Ordinarily, that’s when you discover that you still have a lot of shopping to do.

Cash Reserves
Now that you are a homeowner, it is more important than ever that you establish a six month emergency cash reserve to cover basic living expenses. This will allow you to weather any unexpected storms including home repairs, unemployment, and medical bills. At the very least, the emergency cash reserve should be sufficient to cover up to six months of the following:

• Mortgage payment
• Insurance costs
• Utility bills
• Groceries
• Fixed payments (car payments, student loan payments, etc.)
• Minimum payment on credit cards.

10 Need To Do Just Before Signing The Closing Documents
After purchasing your home you will think now I am done, not so, there are items you need to take care of before you walk through the front door of your new home.
Here are some items you need to take care of.

It May Be Possible To Reduce Property Taxes
You can reduce property taxes for free, so don’t fall for companies that charge for this service. When you arrived home and see a wonderful letter from a nice company offering to save you thousands of dollars on your property tax. Since property values have cratered, they tell you that you could apply to have your property tax reduced, saving you big bucks.
The company would go through the trouble of filling out the documents and acting as your advocate with the authorities in your area. All they want in exchange for this wonderful service was $179.

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