Buying a Home
As a buyer, you want your real estate transaction to go smoothly. That means finding the exact home you’re looking for and for the best possible price. You need an experienced professional agent on your side who will represent your interests in professional and ethical manner and who will negotiate a fair and reasonable purchase price. I will put my knowledge and experience to work to help you make your move to a new home a pleasant one.
Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing your dwelling place, and the place in which you will bring up your family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. I will provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, we’re only a phone call or email away! Here are some of the steps to follow for a smooth transaction.
Shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the equivalent of walking into a grocery store without a wallet. The first step for searching a home is to put your finances in order and determine what home price you can afford based on your savings, earnings and credit score. After you have reviewed your finances start shopping for the best interest rate for a home mortgage, which will be determined by your credit score. Once you have selected the financial institution, they will issue you a pre-approval letter stating the terms and amount that they are willing to lend to you. A preapproval is not a loan commitment, but it will help speed up the underwriting and loan approval process, as well as, facilitate your home search.
Once an offer has been accepted for a particular house, the next step is the Home Inspection. Inspections are designed to help you understand the overall condition of a property, potentially saving you considerable time with the purchase process and hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Some of the inspections, which may be required depending on the age of the home, or recommended by your real estate professional, are:
Standard Home Inspection
The areas, which may be covered, include lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Contract For Sale and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some cases homes can be sold “as-is” even though an inspection may take place.
Lead Paint Inspection
Painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.
Radon levels are detected and measured. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 15,000 – 22,000 deaths per year result from radon exposure, therefore they recommend that all homes be tested for radon. EPA recommends that homes containing 4.0 or more Pico Curies per liter be remedied. Radon presence is fairly common in New England and the solution is installing a Radon Remediation System, which is relatively inexpensive.
Lab analysis will determine if asbestos fibers are present and evaluate their condition. If friable or non-friable conditions exist, buyers should seek professional assistance.
A termite inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Inspection requirements vary by state.
The Home Inspector may recommend additional inspection for other issues, such as Septic Tank, Underground Storage Tanks, Private Well System, etc.
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