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Owning vs Renting ... What Do You Need To Know To Be A Homeowner?

  • Friday, June 06, 2014 11:57:00 AM



    §  Obtain a Pre-Approval Letter from a mortgage lender

    §  Determine your down payment and closing costs

    §  Determine your NEW monthly payment.  Start making that payment NOW into a savings account to make sure you can handle your future new payment.

    §  Prioritize your wish list (what is the most important item you want your new home to have at the top and work your way down.)

    §  Work with a professional Real Estate Agent.  Your Buyer’s Agent will work with you to locate properties, negotiate the offer, and walk you through the buying process.

    §  View properties and make decision.

    §  Find the best property and write an Offer to Purchase.

    * With the offer include an earnest deposit check (usually $500 – $1,000)

    * Include in the offer contingencies to protect you.  i.e.-"Subject to obtaining financing and a satisfactory Home Inspection”.

    §  Negotiate the offer and terms (ie: closing date)

    §  Once the seller accepts the offer within 10 days of an accepted offer :

    * Conduct a Home Inspection with a professional home inspector at your expense (approx $300-$600).  You attend the inspection which usually takes up to 3 hours.

    * Apply for a Mortgage – Lender will request appraisal and title search and verify application information.

    * Reviewed the Purchase and Sale with your attorney.

    §  After the home inspection, you may want to renegotiate (keep in mind this is the biggest reason why transactions fall apart)

    §  Sign Purchase and Sale with deposit (usually 3-5% of the sales price) within 10-14 days after the accepted offer.

    §  A week prior to the closing, the Lender will provide a Mortgage Commitment Letter.  It may still contain stipulations before the lender will fund the loan.

    §  Purchase 1 year of homeowner insurance (aka Insurance Binder).  The binder will need to be paid for upfront.  Ballpark cost – approx. $900.

    §  Do a final walk-through the day before or the morning of the closing to make sure the house is in the same shape as it was when you put the offer in.

    §  Several days prior to the closing, set up utilities for the date of closing.

    §  Closing – deed gets recorded ("go on record”) at the Registry of Deeds, you receive the keys and take possession. Closings usually take at least 1 hour.

    *** Just a heads up – at some point in the home buying process, there will be an "snag”, something that happens that was not expected.  Take a deep breath and it will get worked out. ***


    Tags: Buy , Sell , List , Home , House , Homes , Houses , Real Estate , Upper Cape
    Comments: 0

  • Friday, January 03, 2014 11:39:00 AM

    Hello Everyone,
    Lately we've received quite a few emails asking about the mortgage programs. First let me say thanks for bringing up such good questions. Hope the following helps answer some of the easier questions, and of course, you will have to consult with your mortgage lender for a complete list of available mortgage programs. I thought I would post it here for everyone to read. You can always ask one of our real estate experts for more assistance, they will be happy to help you become a home owner!

    How much down payment will I need?
    The minimum down payment required depends on the mortgage program you select. Usually at least 3% is required. If you put down less than 20% on your monthly payment may be subject to Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). If you are concerned about having enough money to purchase a home you may want to consider our options for rolling your closing costs into either your interest rate or your loan amount. You will still need to come up with money for your down payment but this will help reduce the amount of additional money that you will need to bring to close.

    When should I start shopping for a mortgage and how do I know what I can afford?
    The best time to look for a mortgage is before you look for a house. This way you'll know exactly the amount of money you can borrow. You can use the calculators on this site to help you determine these numbers as well as your estimated monthly payments.
    Get approved for a mortgage before shopping for a home and you'll maximize your negotiating power. It's free and will take only a matter of minutes to get a decision, and there's no obligation until you want to reserve your funds.

    Do I need to sell my existing home before I apply for a new mortgage loan?
    Absolutely not! You can apply for a new mortgage loan before you sell your current home. However, depending on your income and debt levels, you may need to sell your current home before you can close on your new home.

    Why is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) different from the interest rate?

    The annual percentage rate is intended to reflect the total cost of your mortgage loan. To calculate the APR, lenders consider the interest rate on your mortgage loan, the term of the loan, and other loan fees such as closing costs, points, etc. Your monthly payment is calculated based on the mortgage note rate, not the APR. The APR will be higher than your interest rate, especially if you are paying any points.

    Don't just look at the mortgage interest rate

    Take a close look at all the terms of the mortgage program. Check with several lenders, either directly or through a mortgage broker. You also can do some comparison shopping yourself on the Web.

    Below are 10 key questions to ask the mortgage lender or broker. You can use the information gathered as a basis for comparing loans. In the end, you'll see which loan adds up to the best deal for your circumstances.

    1. How long will it take to process my mortgage loan application?
    Usually it takes about 45 to 60 days, although it can take as few as 30 days and as long as 90 days for some transactions. The actual time depends on how quickly the lender can get an appraisal of the property, a credit report and verification of employment and bank accounts.

    2. What documents do I have to provide?
    You will need to provide proof of income and assets in order to get a mortgage loan. Different lenders may require more or less of these documents.

    3. What are the qualifying guidelines for the particular loan?
    The qualifying guidelines can relate to your income, employment, assets and liabilities, and credit history. Remember some first-time home buyer programs and government-sponsored loans have easier qualifying guidelines.

    It's a good idea to know what type of mortgage you want, such as fixed or adjustable rate, when you start loan shopping. For more, see the section on ARMs can be tempting, but uncertain.

    4. What is the minimum down payment?
    Depending on the amount of the down payment, you can get different interest rates, loan terms, and avoid private mortgage insurance. Some loans require the standard 20 percent down payment; others are special low down payment programs

    5. What is the annual percentage rate of the mortgage interest?
    To effectively compare different lenders' programs, ask for the annual percentage rate, or APR, of the mortgage interest, which is generally higher than the initial quoted rate because it includes all lenders' fees.

    6. What are the points or origination fees on the loan, if any?
    Points are prepaid mortgage interest, and you may have to pay points at closing in order to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage loan.

    7. Can I lock in the interest rate?
    The interest rate of the mortgage you're applying for may go up or down before you close on the home. That's why it may be wise to lock in the rate for a specified period of time, rather than let the rate float until the closing. Be sure to ask the lender if there is any fee for locking in the rate and whether you also can lock in points. To keep up with the daily changes in rates, check out's nationwide survey of mortgage rates.

    8. What is the 'good faith estimate' of closing costs?
    Mortgages come with a list of fees. Ask for a list of estimated closing costs before applying for the loan. Also, remember that some fees must be paid upfront such as the credit report, property appraisal and loan application fee.

    Find out if you can get a refund of the loan application fee if you change your mind. Some lenders may only refund the fee if they turn down your application.

    9. Is there a prepayment penalty on the loan?
    The prepayment question is for all loan shoppers. Find out the duration of any penalty period and how the fee would be calculated. Some penalties are 1 percent of the loan amount: others are more complicated. Knowing how much the prepayment penalty would be is important if you think you will sell the home before the mortgage is paid off, which most homeowners do.

    10. What can delay the approval of my loan?
    If you provide the lender with complete, accurate information, everything should go smoothly. However, there could be a delay if the lender discovers credit problems, which is why it is critical to get your credit in order.

    Notify your lender if your personal or financial status changes between the time you submit an application and the time the loan is funded. If you change jobs, get an increase or decrease in salary, incur additional debt or change your marital status, you must let the lender know.

    Hope this is helpful - Call Us If You Would Like Assistance 508-759-2121

    Tags: house , home , mortgage , lenders , financing , buying , purchasing , loans , points , closing , debt , funding
    Comments: 0

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