It’s A Big Deal
Most people don’t buy more than two homes in their lifetime, so it’s not something they develop expertise in. There are ever-changing laws, ethical practices and practical considerations that you don’t want to learn on your own through trial and error or information off the Internet. It’s just not worth the risk.
Neighborhood Factors To Consider
Neighborhoods have characteristic personalities designed to best suit single people, growing families, two-career couples, or retirees. It is important that you scout the neighborhood in person. You live in more than your house. Talk to people who live there. Drive through the entire area at different times of the day, during the week and on weekends.
- Look carefully at how well other homes in the area are being maintained; are they painted, are the yards well cared for; are parked cars in good condition, etc.
- Look for things like access to major thoroughfares, highways, and shopping.
- Listen for noise created by commerce, roads, railways, public areas, schools, etc.
- Smell the air for adjacent commerce or agriculture.
- Check with local civic, police, fire, and school officials to find information about the area.
- Research things like soil and water.
- Look at traffic patterns around the area during different times of the day and drive from the area to work.
- Find out if the neighborhood is near parks, churches, recreation centers, shopping, theaters, restaurants, public transportation, schools, etc.
- Find out if the neighborhood belongs to a Homeowner’s Association.
Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval
Many buyers apply for a loan and obtain approval before they find the home they want to buy. Why? Pre-qualifying locks interest rates in for a set period of time. You will know in advance exactly what your payments will be on offers you choose to make. You won’t waste time considering homes you cannot afford. Pre-approval means you are like a cash buyer, and this may make your offer more competitive. You can select the best loan package without being under pressure. A seller may also choose to make concessions if they know that your financing is secured.
What is an Escrow Account?
An escrow account is a neutral depository held by your lender for funds that will be used to pay expenses incurred by the property, such as taxes, assessments, property insurance, or mortgage insurance premiums which fall due in the future. You will pay one-twelfth of the annual amount of these bills each month with your regular mortgage payment. When the bills fall due, the lender pays them from the special account. At closing, it may be necessary to pay enough into the account to cover these amounts for several months so that funds will be available to pay the bills as they fall due.
Contact me today if you are ready to start the search for your ideal home!