Finding and purchasing a home that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are experts in the area, and once we learn what it is that you’re looking for, finding your dream home is simple.
Before you start looking for a home you should ask yourself a few questions:
Searching for your dream home can be a time-consuming experience. Working with our professional team will make the process much more efficient!
You've found your dream home, the seller has accepted your offer, your loan has been approved and you're eager to move into your new home. But before you get the key, there's one more step--the closing.
Also called the settlement, the closing is the process of passing ownership of property from seller to buyer. And it can be bewildering. As a buyer, you will sign what seems like endless piles of documents and will have to present a sizeable check for the down payment and various closing costs. It's the fees associated with the closing that many times remains a mystery to many buyers who may simply hand over thousands of dollars without really knowing what they are paying for.
As a responsible buyer, you should be familiar with these costs that are both mortgage-related and government imposed. Although many of the fees may vary by locality, here are some common fees:
Meanings & Definitions
This fee pays for the appraisal of the property. You may already have paid this fee at the beginning of your loan application process.
This fee covers the cost of the credit report requested by the lender. This too may already have been paid when you applied for your loan.
Credit Report Fee
This fee covers the lender's loan-processing costs. The fee is typically one percent of the total mortgage.
Loan Origination Fee
You will pay this one-time charge if you have chosen to pay points to lower your interest rate. Each point you purchase equals one percent of the total loan.
These fees generally include costs for the title search, title examination, title insurance, document preparation and other miscellaneous title fees.
Title Insurance Fees
If you buy a home with a low down payment, a lender usually requires that you pay a fee for mortgage insurance. This fee protects the lender against loss due to foreclosure. Once a new owner has 20 percent equity in their home, however, he or she can normally apply to eliminate this insurance.
This fee covers the interest payment from the date you purchases the home to the date of your first mortgage payment. Generally, if you buy a home early in the month, the prepaid interest fee will be substantially higher than if you buy it towards the end of the month.
prepaid interest fee
In locations where escrow accounts are common, a mortgage lender will usually start an account that holds funds for future annual property taxes and home insurance. At least one year advance plus two months worth of homeowner's insurance premium will be collected. In addition, taxes equal approximately to two months in excess of the number of months that have elapsed in the year are paid at closing. (If six months have passed, eight months of taxes will be collected.)
This expense is charged by most states for recording the purchase documents and transferring ownership of the property.
Recording Fees and transfer taxes
Make sure you consult a real estate professional in your area to find out which fees--and how much--you will be expected to pay during the closing of you prospective home. Keep in mind that you can negotiate these costs with the seller during the offering stage. In some instances, the seller might even agree to pay all of the settlement costs.
If you are a first-time home buyer, use the guide below for helpful hints and tips and learn how to avoid common mistakes when buying your first home in Lake Norman, NC.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended. Please contact me directly to discuss any of these matters in further detail.
Before the offer to purchase is created, it is very important that you have been at least pre-qualified or better yet pre-approved by a lender.
This is one of the best negotiating tools a buyer can have. It shows the seller that you are financially able to purchase the home. After you have found the right home, it is time to prepare the offer.
When you are buying a home, there are many problems that the seller is obligated to disclose. For example, in most states, it is illegal to withhold information about major physical defects on the property, but these disclosures don't always paint the entire picture of the home. Here are six questions you may want to ask that can offer additional insight about the prospective home before you make a final decision.
1) Why is the seller selling the house? This question may help you evaluate the "real value" of the property. Is there something about the house the seller does not like? If so, you may be able to adjust the purchase offer accordingly.
2) How much did the seller pay for the home? This question can, in some instances, help the buyer negotiate a better deal-maybe even get the seller to carry part of the loan. However, it is important to remember that the purchase price is influenced by several factors, like the current market value and any improvements the seller may have made to the home. The original purchase price might not have anything to do with the current value of the house.
3) What does the seller like most and least about the property? By asking the seller what he or she likes most and least about the property, you might get some interesting information. In a few cases, what a seller likes the most about a home might actually be something the buyer is looking to avoid. For example, if the seller describes his house as being in a "happening community," the buyer might consider this a negative factor because the area may be too noisy or busy for his or her taste.
4) Has the seller had any problems with the home in the past? It is also a good idea to ask the seller if he or she has had any problems with the home while living there. Has the seller had problems with a leakage from the upstairs bedroom in the past? If so, even if the leak has been corrected, the floor and walls around the bathroom might have been damaged. You should also check that these items were repaired properly.
5) Are there any nuisances or problem neighbors? Use this answer to find out about any noisy neighbors, barking dogs, heavy airplane traffic or even planned changes to the community, such as a planned street widening. This may give you insight on why the seller is really moving.
6) How are the public schools in the area? Because the value of a community is usually greatly influenced by the public schools in the area, finding out the buyer's perception can give you some insight about the quality of the area's schools.
Knowing all you can about a prospective home, not only helps you decide if it's the home of your dreams, but what offer to make as well. Your real estate professional can help you get your key questions answered and give you advice on how to evaluate your findings.
We did a ton of due diligence, interviewing 6 different realtors prior to selecting Renee Ollis with EXP Realty to sell our home(...)In the end, Renee was able to negotiate a contract for our home at $10K over asking even though we were beginning to see the market normalize in our neighborhood. If we are ever in the market to sell another home, Renee has earned our confidence to represent us in that venture.
-Bill and Shannon
I presented Renee with a specific type of house in mind and Renee came through perfectly! She went above and beyond is an understatement. She is professional and attentive. Everything went smoothly; I could not have been happier with my experience with Renee.
Renee is a different kind of agent. She is incredibly helpful and guided me through the process of buying my first home. She knew all the little details to ask and was great at negotiating on my behalf. She had good knowledge of the area and was able to quickly understand the type of home I was looking for. I especially appreciated how on top of everything she was, even getting my lender to complete actions quicker!
What my husband and I wanted to do is not easy – from Florida, where we live and are stuck because of Covid, to buy 10 acres of land near Charlotte for a retirement home and three horses while not seeing the land in person(...)Even before we signed a contract, Renee took the time to understand our needs and answer all our questions so that when it came time to make a decision to buy, we had no concerns about buying land long distance.
From the very first text all the way through closing, Renee was unbelievable. She is responsive and communicates with you through every step, she will negotiate for you, and always have your best interests in mind. Home buying isn't always a fun process, but Renee made it one of the best buying experiences we've had.
I’ve dealt with tons of Realtors and she is by far the Best! Going the extra mile on every aspect of the sale of my home. Explaining the process, helping me prepare and providing recommendations of vendors and a task list to ensure my home was market ready. Marketing my home along with strong negotiation efforts to help me maximize my property’s value.
Renee was an absolute blessing to us as we searched for a home! Being long time homeowners, but only having bought one home, we were inexperienced buyers. Renee guided, mentored, and helped us prepare mentally for so many things that you either forget or simply have never thought about when buying a home. Her experience was invaluable in navigating us through all the phases of buying a home, her knowledge of the LKN area was impeccable in helping us make such an important decision.