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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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Buying

Considering a Lake Martin home or waterfront lot? Let us be your Lake Martin Realtors!
Begin your search for a Lake Martin Property right now via our Lake Martin MLS Search (please make this a link to the search lake martin real estate page)! Save your favorites, request a showing and more. Or, if you prefer, we can set up a custom search for you in the MLS that will email you everything available and new listings that match your criteria. If you’d like us to set up a custom MLS search for you, simply contact us and tell us what you are looking for in your future Lake Martin property.

Below you will see tips for buyers that may assist you by offering suggestions and / or answering basic questions you have about the process of purchasing a Lake Martin property. These are “tips” that may or may not apply to your personal situation, you should always seek the advice of a professional as you go through the process of purchasing Lake Martin real estate.

Relax…let the Haynie Team work for you!

Click To Read Any of The Following:

Tips on Buying in a Tight Market
10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership
10 Things to Take the Trauma Out of Homebuying
Common Closing Costs for Buyers
10 Things a Lender Needs From You
10 Questions To Ask your lender
What Your Home Inspections Should Cover
10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector
Hidden Home Defects To Watch
What Not to Overlook on a Final Walk-through

Tips on Buying in a Tight Market

Increase your chances of getting your dream house instead of losing it to another buyer, with these easy steps.

1. Get prequalified for a mortgage. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and make your offer more desirable to the seller.

2. Stay in close touch with your real estate sales associate to find out first about new listings that come on the market. And be ready to go see a house as soon as it goes on the market.

3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look at Internet sites, newspaper ads, and drive by the neighborhood frequently. Maybe you’ll see a brand-new “for sale” sign before anyone else.

4. Be ready to make a decision. Spend lots of time in advance deciding what you must have so you won’t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.

5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don’t try to go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.

6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. Or talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

7. Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy. Just because there’s competition doesn’t mean you should just buy anything. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.

 

10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership

1. Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

2. Develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have. Then prioritize the features on your list.

3. Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in. Consider items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

4. Determine if you have enough saved to cover your downpayment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees average between 2 percent and 7 percent of the home price.

5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report.

6. Determine how large a mortgage you can qualify for. Also explore different loans options and decide what’s best for you.

7. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan.

8. Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or downpayment-assistance programs.

9. Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable.

10. Find an experienced REALTOR who can help you through the process.

 

10 Things to Take the Trauma Out of Homebuying

1. Find a real estate professional who’s simpatico. Homebuying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the practitioner you choose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, any more than there’s a right time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes don’t usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas will make it much harder to make a decision.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go.

5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself—room size, kitchen—that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc., that have a big impact on what it’s like to live in your new home.

7. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-homebuying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be some costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.

 

Common Closing Costs for Buyers

The lender must disclose a good faith estimate of all settlement costs. A check to cover your closing costs will probably have to be a cashier’s check. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for:

  • Downpayment
  • Loan origination fees
  • Points, or loan discount fees, you pay to receive a lower interest rate
  • Appraisal fee
  • Credit report
  • Private mortgage insurance premium
  • Insurance escrow for homeowners insurance, if being paid as part of the mortgage
  • Property tax escrow, if being paid as part of the mortgage. Lenders keep funds for taxes and insurance in escrow accounts as they are paid with the mortgage, then pay the insurance or taxes for you.
  • Deed recording fees
  • Title insurance policy premiums
  • Survey
  • Inspection fees—building inspection, termites, etc.
  • Notary fees
  • Prorations for your share of costs, such as utility bills and property taxes

A Note About Prorations: Because such costs are usually paid on either a monthly or yearly basis, you might have to pay a bill for services used by the sellers before they moved. Proration is a way for the sellers to pay you back or for you to pay them for bills they may have paid in advance. For example, the gas company usually sends a bill each month for the gas used during the previous month. But assume you buy the home on the 6th of the month. You would owe the gas company for only the days from the 6th to the end for the month. The seller would owe for the first five days. The bill would be prorated for the number of days in the month, and then each person would be responsible for the days of his or her ownership.
For More Information Please Contact Us Direct

 

10 Things a Lender Needs From You

1. W-2 forms or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed for the last two or three years for every person signing the loan.

2. Copies of one or more months of pay stubs from every person signing the loan.

3. Copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements for both checking and savings accounts.

4. Copies of personal tax forms for the last two to three years.

5. Copies of brokerage account statements for two to four months, as well as a list of any other major assets of value, e.g., a boat, RV, or stocks or bonds not held in a brokerage account.

6. Copies of your most recent 401(k) or other retirement account statement.

7. Documentation to verify additional income, such as child support, pension, etc.

8. Account numbers of all your credit cards and the amounts of any outstanding balances.

9. Lender, loan number, and amount owed on other installment loans—student loans, car loans, etc.

10. Addresses where you lived for the last five to seven years, with names of landlords, if appropriate.

 

10 Questions to Ask Your Lender

Be sure you find a loan that fits your needs with these comprehensive questions.

1. What are the most popular mortgage loans you offer?

2. Which type of mortgage plan do you think would be best for us? Why?

3. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?

4. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so how much will it cost and how long will it be required? NOTE: Private mortgage insurance usually is required if you make less than a 20 percent downpayment, but most lenders will let you discontinue the policy when you’ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.

5. Who will service the loan? Your bank or another company?

6. What escrow requirements do you have?

7. How long is your loan lock-in period (the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored)? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if they drop during this period?

8. How long will the loan approval process take?

9. How long will it take to close the loan?

10. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying the loan?

Used with permission from Real Estate Checklists & Systems (http://www.realestatechecklists.com).

 

What Your Home Inspection Should Cover

  • Siding: Look for dents or buckling
  • Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage
  • Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
  • Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate
  • Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping
  • Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
  • Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away
  • Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot
  • Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room
  • Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation
  • Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating
  • Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating; Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
  • Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism
  • Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell
  • Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof
  • Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family
  • Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains

 

10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

1. What are your qualifications? Are you a member of the American Association of Home Inspectors?

2. Do you have a current license? Inspectors are not required to be licensed in every state.

3. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year?

4. Do you have a list of past clients I can contact?

5. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance? May I have a copy of the policy?

6. Do you provide any guarantees of your work?

7. What specifically will the inspection cover?

8. What type of report will I receive after the inspection?

9. How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report?

10. How much will the inspection cost?

Portions adapted from Real Estate Checklists and Systems and used with permission (www.realestatechecklists.com).

 

Hidden Home Defects to Watch For

No home is flawless, but certain physical problems can be expensive. Watch for:

1. Water leaks. Look for stains on ceilings and near the baseboards, especially in basements or attics.

2. Shifting foundations. Look for large cracks along the home’s foundation.

3. Drainage. Look for standing water, either around the foundation of the home of in the yard.

4. Termites. Look for weakened or grooved wood, especially near ground level.

5. Worn roofs. Look for broken or missing copings and buckled shingles as well as water spots on ceilings.

6. Inadequate wiring. Look for antiquated fuse boxes, extension cords (indicating insufficient outlets), and outlets without a place to plug in the grounding prong.

7. Plumbing problems. Very low water pressure, banging in pipes.

 

What Not to Overlook on a Final Walk-through

Be sure that:

  • Repairs you’ve requested have been made. Obtain copies of paid bills and any related warranties.
  • All items that were included in the sale price—draperies, lighting fixtures—are still there.
  • Screens and storm windows are in place or stored.
  • All appliances are operating.
  • Intercom, doorbell, and alarm are operational.
  • Hot water heater is working.
  • HVAC is working.
  • No plants or shrubs have been removed from the yard.
  • Garage door opener and other remotes are available.
  • Instruction books and warranties on appliances and fixtures are there.
  • All personal items of the sellers and all debris have been removed.

 

Lake Martin Realty, a Russell Lands Company
2544 Willow Point Road, Alexander City AL 35010
Cell phone – (334) 312-0928
becky@homeonlakemartin.com
License# 86284

Above content is for information purposes only

Buyers and Sellers