What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?

 

As you’ll see in this video, many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues.

Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance like paint, roof, heating and AC, appliances and carpet?

Also ask about the house and neighborhood focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller’s or real estate agent’s answers are clear and complete.

Like the video says, ask questions until you understand all of the information they’ve given.

Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive. The HUD Home Scorecard can help you develop your question list and keep a record for each potential home.

How Can I Find Out Information About My Credit History?

 

Watch this video and take a few notes! There are three major credit reporting companies:

  • Equifax – www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111
  • Experian – www.experian.com 1-888-397-3742
  • Trans Union – www.transunion.com 1-800-916-8800

Obtaining your credit history is as easy as calling and requesting one. Once you receive the report, it’s important to verify its accuracy.

How Are Pre-Qualifying And Pre-Approval Different?

 

Watch this video and it’ll make sense.

Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow. You can be ‘pre-qualified’ over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of the amount you may have available to spend on a house.

Pre-approval is a lender’s actual commitment to lend to you. It involves assembling financial records and going through a preliminary approval process. Pre-approval gives you a definite idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are serious about buying.

What Is A Credit Bureau Score And How Do Lenders Use Them?

 

As we show you in this video, a credit bureau score, or “credit score” is a number based upon your credit history that represents the possibility that you will be unable to repay a loan.

Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan.

The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a favorable loan.

Know your score and ensure that lenders have current information about it.

How Do Lenders Decide The Maximum Loan Amount That Buyers Can Afford?

 

As you’ll see in the video, the lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses.

Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support.

According to the FHA, monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, should total no more than 41% of income.
Lenders also consider cash available for down payment and closing costs credit history and the rest of your financial picture when determining your maximum loan amount.

How Does Purchasing A Home Compare With Renting?

 

Like the guy in the video says, the two don’t really compare at all.

The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity take advantage of tax benefits and protect yourself against rent increases.Also, you may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity increasing YOUR net worth.
Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home they are worth it.

How Do I Begin The Process Of Buying A Home?

 

Remember these pointers from the video: start by thinking about your situation.

  • Are you ready to buy a home?
  • How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment?
  • How much space do you need?
  • What areas of town do you like?

After you answer these questions, make a “To Do” list and start doing casual research. Talk to friends and family, drive through neighborhoods, and look in the “Homes” section of the newspaper, or online.

How Is A Home Marketed?

 

As you’ll see in the video, every home and market is a unique situation. Good marketing plans are specific to both. But every plan will include: Preparation Pricing and Marketing Activities.

Preparation takes time – typically, months. Homes must be in “show” condition all repairs and upgrades complete and all photos and video completed before the home goes on the market.

Pricing, likewise, should be planned in advance. Your broker will advise on both the best price and the best TERMS things like closing costs and seller credits to balance sales speed with sales price. Once the home is on the market it will quickly be entered in the MLS and will show up in Internet searches by agents and buyers.

Your broker will advise other marketing activities including advertising, signage, showing and open house events so make the best of your situation. Their aim is to get negotiable offers, and then take the offer you accept through the closing process.

How Do I Set The Price On My House?

 

While this video simplifies things to help you remember: your aim is to get the best price AND terms in your market during the period you’re selling.

Market conditions interest rates and competition all matter.

The price you want, and the price a buyer will pay are framed by those complex conditions So pricing isn’t completely predictable.

Other factors include:

  • How your home compares to other homes for the same buyers
  • The inventory of homes and the level of buyer demand

Your needs also affect negotiations – for example, if you must sell quickly – but the final price will be determined by the market not by your needs.

Buyers look at the same comparables and market conditions and they want to pay as little as possible while meeting their needs.

Remember that the price isn’t the entire deal – repairs, closing, points, appliances and other factors can all change the value you finally receive. Listen to your broker, stay informed, be patient if you can and make your best reasonable, unemotional decisions.

How Do I Make A Home Ready To Sell?

 

As we show you in this video, start several months before the property is made available. Look through the eyes of a buyer

  • What needs to be cleaned?
  • Repainted?
  • Repaired?
  • Or tossed?

Ask yourself – or a friend If you were buying this house what would you want to see?

The goal is to show a home that looks good makes the most of its assets like space and location and attracts as many buyers and as much demand as possible.

Allow yourself enough lead time – not just a day or two – to make the most of the sale. And get help from a real estate agent – early.