Working with home buyers is something that I truly enjoy. Whether it’s first time home buyers or buying that luxury home you always wanted, to see the joy on the faces of people I help, is extremely rewarding.
The process of buying a home is always stressful for the buyer since it is the largest purchase most people make. With that, there are many questions from buyers that I am asked along the way. Below are questions from buyers that I am often asked as well as my answers. However, if you have follow up questions to these, please feel free to give me a call!
Where is the best place for me to buy?
This depends on many factors and really this is one of the questions from buyers that requires many questions back to you. Do you have children? How old are they? What schools are important to you? Where do you work? Do you travel a lot and need to be close to an airport? What is your price range? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you want a single story or two story? Do you want a pool, large backyard, small backyard, or no backyard? Do you want a townhome / condo, or single family home? Do you like modern or traditional style homes? Do you want the protection of a home owner’s association? This is one of the questions from buyers that I really have to put back on to you.
As you call see, there are so many questions that need to be asked in order to find the best place for you to purchase your next home.
What are the steps to buying a home?
Since purchasing a home is not something people do on a daily basis, this is one of the best questions from buyers that I hear. In fact, I’ve created a whole other blog that you can read here just to provide more information.
How long has this house been on the market and why is that important?
This is always a great question! When I am searching for the perfect home for you, my MLS access will tell me exactly how long a home has been on the market, whether it was taken off the market and re-listed, and if the property has had a price change. If I see a property that has been on the market for too long (too long depends on the kind of market we are in) that tells me 1 of 2 things. 1. It’s overpriced. If a property is overpriced it will just sit there. Buyers may look at the property and make reasonable offers but this will just upset the seller thinking they are being low-balled. 2. There is something wrong with the property. If the property has been on the market for too long, a lot of times potential buyers have found issues with that property and they do not want to deal with it. This however could potentially be a good investment property where the sellers could be willing to sell at a discounted price.
How much should I offer?
No matter who I am working with, this is always one of the top questions from buyers that I receive. If we are in a hot seller’s market there usually is not a whole lot of room for negotiation. If we are in a hot buyer’s market, you will have more flexibility in your offers. It really comes down to simple economics. I will help you with this process when we are ready to make an offer. It is easy for me to pull comparisons from the surrounding area and get a good idea of what that home should be bought for.
What fees do I have to pay when I buy a new home?
Interestingly enough, this is one of the questions from buyers that sometimes is not asked. When you make an offer on a home, you will be required to put up an Earnest Money Deposit or Good Faith Deposit. This allows you to have exclusive rights to be able to do due diligence on the property for a certain period of time. This deposit usually is credited towards the purchase price of the home. Also, in Texas there is an Option Fee. This is non-refundable but acts as “consideration” (a legal term) for a contract to be enforceable. If the transactions goes to closing, most often this deposit is also credited back to you.
When financing a home, the lender will charge an origination fee which is around 1% of the sales price. One of the questions from buyers on the origination fee is, is that negotiable? It depends on the lender but it never hurts to ask. The lender will also charge you an interest rate on the money you are borrowing. You will want to look at the APR as that is the actual amount of interest you will be charged.
In Texas, closing on a property is usually done by a title company and they charge fees too. They will charge for their services as well as provide insurance on the title. I’ve always found this acceptable because you want to ensure you actually have title to that property.
Other fees that will be required are: homeowner’s insurance (you can shop around for this – ask your auto insurance company to bundle), mortgage insurance (unless you put 20% or more as a down payment), appraisal fee, home inspection fee, and your prorated portion of property taxes. These fees usually give rise to more questions from buyers so please ask me!
With this being one of the questions from buyers that is sometimes not asked, it is one that needs to be understood. At closing, the HUD Statement will outline all of the fees you end up paying. To learn more about these fees and escrow accounts, you can read here.
How long does it take to close?
This is one of the questions from buyers that I am asked 100% of the time. Quite honestly, the number 1 factor of this depends on you and your lender. Typically you can estimate 30 days from the time your offer is accepted until the day you get your keys. However this will really depend on how quick you get the required paperwork to your lender.
Most of the time questions from buyers bring up more questions. I’m here to help and will use my experience and expertise to help you find the perfect home!