The Pre-Qualification Process

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Pre-approval can be a very valuable step towards purchasing a home. Many home buyers get pre-qualified for a home loan early on, and then become pre-approved before beginning a serious home search. By completing your mortgage application prior to choosing a home, you can get a pre-approval letter stating how much home you can afford. Your pre-approval letter lets you know exactly how much you can spend, and it shows home sellers and real estate agents that you're serious about buying a home. This may give you leverage in the negotiation … [Read more...]

4 Tips for Buying a House in a Buyer’s Market

newhome

Now is a great time to buy a house. Prices are falling, and so are mortgage rates.  Millions of houses are for sale, and sellers are getting anxious. That's one way of looking at it.  Alternatively, you could say: This is a bad time to buy a house. Prices might be lower in a few months. Same with mortgage rates. With more than 4 million houses on the market nationally, and more being added daily, sellers are bound to become desperate. Why not wait them out? In many places, it's a buyer's market in real estate, with sellers outnumbering … [Read more...]

Why You Should Have a Home Inspection

inspection

Whether you're buying an older home or new construction in the South Bay, a home inspection is an absolute necessity. A home inspection will assess the building code conformity as well as all the systems and structural components that make up the building, such as: Structural elements, foundation, framing etc Plumbing systems Electrical systems Heating and Cooling systems Roofing Cosmetic condition, paint, siding, etc. General Environmental Issues. When you’ve decided upon the South Bay home you want to buy and you’re … [Read more...]

All About Down Payments

downpayment

An important aspect of getting a home loan is saving money for your down payment. You have many choices to make your home more affordable to you. Lenders used to require a down payment of at least 20% of the home's price. These days, however, many lenders offer flexible home loan programs allowing you to put very little down -- three percent or less of the home price. For some buyers it used to be possible to buy a home with no down payment at all, or to receive help from local down payment assistance programs. With the recent problems with … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved

loan

Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification - Information for First Time Home Buyers Is pre-approval a general endorsement by a bank? No, when you are pre-approved, it is for a specific loan program from a specific lender. Not all lenders offer all loan programs. You may need to get approved with a different lender or for a different loan program with the same lender, depending on your financing options at the time you buy a house. Check with the agent or broker who helped you gain loan pre-approval before you write an offer. If you think you will … [Read more...]

10 Home Buying Tips For First Time Home Buyers

first time home buyer

First-time home buyers often approach buying with trepidation. Questions can be answered and concerns addressed with just a little research and help from a qualified Realtor and a knowledgeable mortgage representative. Options are available that can help buyers with limited funds to enjoy the benefits of home ownership. I'll let you in on a little secret. I generally know which home a buyer is going to choose, and I suspect most other agents operate the same way. It's an intuition. But I make it a practice not to steer buyers, and I … [Read more...]

First Time Home Buyers Tips – How Much Home You Can Afford

Pending Home Sales

First-time buyers are often unsure about the financial aspects of buying a home, and you may have many questions swirling in your head. How much can I afford? Do I need a large down payment? Your home price range will be determined by your income, credit history, the cash you have for a down payment and closing costs, and your debt. How much you earn compared to how much you owe will likely determine how much the bank allows you to borrow. The financial rule of thumb is: your total monthly debt service, which will include your monthly … [Read more...]

20 Reasons Why All Real Estate Titles Should Be Insured

insurance

20 reasons to get title insurance: A fire destroys only the house and improvements. The ground is left. A defective title may take away not only the house but the land on which it stands. Title insurance protects you against such loss. A deed or a mortgage on the chain of title may be a forgery. A deed or a mortgage may have been signed by a person under age. A deed or a mortgage may have been made by an insane person or one otherwise not competent. A deed or a mortgage may have been made under a power of attorney after the death of … [Read more...]

The Different Types of Home Loans

loan

With tighter restrictions and lending guidelines, many of these loan programs are no longer available, or more difficult to obtain. Talk with a lender to find the right loan for you. Adjustable Rate Adjustable rate mortgages have an interest rate that is adjusted at certain intervals based on a specific index during the life of the loan. Balloon Payment Loan A fixed rate loan this is amortized over 30 years but becomes due and payable at the end of a certain term. May be extended or may roll-over into another type of … [Read more...]

What Happens To Your Transaction After Funding?

escrow

In the traditional real estate transaction, be it a sale or refinance of the subject property, it is the Escrow, the repository for all documents, agreements and funds, that should direct the transaction, pursuant to instructions from the parties to the transaction, buyer, seller, lender, etc. The Title Company takes their instruction from the Escrow Company at all times. The Escrow Company opens the initial title order, receives the Preliminary Report and advises the Title Company as to what items on the report are acceptable and which the … [Read more...]