What to Expect When Buying a House: The rent is too high and the rates are too good...decisions, decisions

by seacoast_ashley 6. August 2015 15:32

 

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After selling our home for a move across the state, my husband and I wondered if now was the right time to buy a home? We had to move quickly, due to a job start date as well as a super-quick sale of our home. Upon arriving in our new town we set up camp in a rental with our three children and started researching.

The very first thing that we did, upon the advice of various realtors and lenders, was to make sure that our finances were in good order. No matter our choice to buy or rent, we needed to be able to understand where our debts stood and how much we could afford. By ensuring that our credit scores were good and that all open accounts were in good standing we were able to move forward.

The decision to buy was made pretty quickly. Our family was going to stay in the same home for the duration of elementary school (at least) for three children, so we knew this will be a 5-10 year move. Mortgage interest rates were at historic lows. And possibly the biggest factor for us was that rent would be just as expensive as mortgage payments and in most cases even more because of the size of our family! Buying was a no-brainer for us.

https://youtu.be/lm2NtyM2i2Q

http://bit.ly/1OC1OaX

After making the first of what would end up being hundreds of decisions, the first person that we contacted was our long term mortgage broker. We had worked with him on all of our previous loans, and it felt comfortable going back to him for guidance. Our broker was able to speak with us about income, assets, debts, etc. He then gave us a general idea of what we could afford and a loan pre-approval letter in the event that we found something we wanted to put an offer on.

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With pre-approval in hand we began casually driving around neighborhoods looking for the perfect spot. We scoured the Internet for neighborhood reviews, school reviews, etc. We joined forums for our new town. We reached out to anyone from our past that now lived in our new city. I’m pretty sure that at some college somewhere I have earned a doctorate in all things “new city.”

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The research could have been a full-time job and without local knowledge of the area we were swimming in a sea of confusion! This is where a relocation specialist came in very handy! A relocation specialist was able to answer some of our questions and then refer us to a local realtor.

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/relocate/

Our realtor was able to assist us in narrowing our search. The market is hot in our new city, and we needed to focus to be able to play the real estate game! We chose three areas to focus on. I drove those areas in the morning, afternoon, and night to get a feel for the traffic, neighborhood activity, and the kinds of people that would become our neighbors.

All of the above steps were imperative in our quest for the perfect home. After completing the steps above we were confident walking into each showing that if we loved the house we could quickly make our offers. The future was coming and coming fast! Check back to see what happened when we found our dream home!

How did you make the decision to buy or rent? What were the big factors in choosing where to look? Who was imperative to you starting your search?

Join the conversation on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

What is the No. 1 Tip for Home Buyers?

by seacoast_ashley 20. August 2014 05:33

What is the No. 1 Tip for Home Buyers? Our very own Wilmington agent, Jessica Edwards shares her advice via Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC!

http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/1-tip-home-buyers/

 

 

 

What is Included in the Closing Costs?

by seacoast_ashley 2. February 2014 05:34

When you obtain a mortgage, you need to pay fees - charged by lenders and third parties – related to the purchase of the home. These fees are called closing costs and are included on top of the cost of the home and down payment.

Closing Costs - House Calculator

Here is a list of common closings costs:

  • Credit Report Processing Fee
  • Loan Origination Fee (for processing loan paperwork)
  • Costs of Inspections (Termite, Home, etc.)
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Survey Fee
  • Property Taxes
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
  • Prepaid Interest
  • Prepaid Insurance
  • Discount Points
  • Title Insurance
  • Title Search
  • Escrow Deposit
  • Notary Fee
  • Courier Fee
  • Wire Fee
  • Underwriting Fees
  • Government Recording Fees

Closing costs typically run about 2-4% of the purchase price. So, if you purchase a home for $300,000, closing costs will run between $6,000-$12,000.

Within 3 days of applying for a loan, lenders are required by law to give borrowers a Good Faith Estimate (GFE). The GFE will list all of your closing costs, but these may change by the time of closing. Legally, they are allowed to change by 10%, so it’s important you take that into account when budgeting your purchase.

Before you sign the papers on your home, you will receive a HUD form that lists all of the fees to be paid. If the closing costs are higher than you expected and can afford, you can walk away from the deal. But, be warned, you will likely lose money, especially your earnest money.

If you are concerned about paying extra out of pocket for the closing costs, there are mortgage programs that do not require you to pay them. In this case, the lender will either raise the interest rate or fold the costs into the total purchase price of the home. Make sure you discuss this with your mortgage consultant.

If you have any questions about closing costs, ask your Sea Coast agent or mortgage consultant. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

Meghan Riley

What is Earnest Money?

by seacoast_ashley 26. January 2014 07:31

Writing Earnest Money CheckWhen a home is under contract, it’s removed from the market. This is good for the buyer, because it gives them time to do their inspections and due diligence without the threat of another buyer snatching the home out from under them. However, it can hurt how well a home sells by preventing other buyers from seeing it; therefore, a frivolous buyer can be a waste of time and money for a seller. When you sign a contract to buy a home, you make a deposit on that home. This is called an “earnest money deposit”, because it shows you are earnest or serious about buying the home. Many sellers won’t accept an offer without a deposit.

Depending on demand and the price of the home, earnest money can be up to 3% of the contract price. In Southeastern North Carolina, $1,000 to $2,000 is quite common, but your real estate agent will advise you on the most appropriate amount. Once the due diligence period is over, the earnest money is applied to your down payment and closing costs.

When you make an offer on a home, the earnest money is included in the contract, but the check is not deposited until the offer is accepted. The listing brokerage or closing attorney holds the money in their escrow account until the due diligence period is over or the buyer terminates their offer according to the guidelines outlined in the contract. If the buyer does not follow these guidelines and the contract falls through, the seller will receive the earnest money; however, if the buyer follows the guidelines and terminates the contract, the earnest money is returned to them.

Have questions about the earnest money check? Ask your Sea Coast agent. Don’t have an agent, find one today.

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