An assessment that determines if real estate is actually your best investmentFiguring out which neighborhood gives you the most bang for your buck...Deciding which shopping market is cooler to live next to? *help*Comparing a home to similar homes in the area to figure out its value
Comparing a home to similar homes in the area to figure out its value
When you find your *dream house,* having an expert do a comparative market analysis of similar homes in the area can help you decide how much $$ you should offer for it.
Pest-control inspection reports aren’t required by law, but experts usually recommend one and mortgage lenders might require this extra step (no one wants to find out they have a crazy expensive termite problem down the road). Buggies = grossies, so act accordingly.
Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance
PITI is a mortgage-payment breakdown, and it stands for principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. It usually reflects the total monthly amount you have to pay your lender as your mortgage payment.(so will be more than just the loan amount and interest). It usually has very little to do with the tango.
You have to make all repairs to the home before close of escrow if your offer is acceptedYou can’t back out of the purchase regardless of what you find during the house inspectionYou agree not to have the home inspected before making the offerAll of the above
You can’t back out of the purchase regardless of what you find during the house inspection
Many home-purchase agreements include an inspection contingency that allows buyers to back out of the purchase agreement if an inspection reveals something they’re not into. After the contingency is waived, if the buyer finds something in an inspection that they don’t like, they usually can’t cancel the purchase (IOW, if your dream house’s foundation is made of silly putty and spider eggs, you’re still committed…yikes!). No inspection contingency = accepting a large amount of risk in the purchase, so def talk to an expert before deciding to do this.
When a seller gets a bunch of offers on their home, it often means you’re in a seller’s market. Translation: Competing buyers are likely to push the offer prices of the home up much higher than the seller might otherwise have received. Knowing whether you’re in a seller’s or buyer’s market can be SUPER helpful for determining what to offer, so getting help from an expert who knows the market trends can definitely make this easier.
“Ah! So you’ve signed a purchase agreement with the seller, and your earnest money has been given to a third party? Hmm? Oh, no, I always talk like this.”“By Jove! You’ve made an offer and submitted it to lenders for review in order to obtain a preapproval letter! How terribly spiffing!”“The seller has obtained your down payment, and you’ve begun occupying your new home. Congratulations, my good man!”“Sorry, I don’t eat snails. Mom, can I go now?”
You’ve signed a purchase agreement with the seller, and your earnest money has been given to a third party
Being in escrow means your offer has been accepted by a seller, and your earnest money will be held until closing in an escrow account run by a third-party escrow company agreed upon by both the seller and buyer. Before closing, various steps will usually need to be completed like a bank appraisal, inspections, financing, and approval of disclosures. Being in escrow does NOT mean you start talking like a Dickens character, however.
Replacing the roofRepairing the sewer or septic tank systemRewiring the houseRepairing a cracked foundation
Repairing the sewer or septic tank system
Before you buy a fixer upper, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into, because some of this stuff can be pretty expensive. The average cost of repairing the sewer or septic system is $25,000–$50,000, replacing the roof is $10,000–$30,000, rewiring the house is $3,000–$20,000, and repairing a cracked foundation can often cost between $1,900–$6,300 (BTW, this can all cost even more… yikes). An expert can help you get the inspections and estimates you need to make an informed judgment before it’s too late, so you don’t bite off more than you can chew.
All images courtesy of iStock.