Hey everybody, Tiffany Denison here – Buyer’s Specialist with The Stiller Group! Here are a few of the most common questions asked by First-Time Homebuyers – if I missed yours call The Stiller Group today so we can help you get you questions answered!
1. “Why should I buy, instead of renting?” Buying a home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever!! But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. Too, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you’ll enjoy having something that’s all YOURS- a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are!
2. “Can I become a homeowner, even if I don’t have good credit and don’t have much of a down payment?” Of course! Anyone can own a home, but you have to put your mind to it. If you don’t know what your credit score is or if you know it needs work, contact a lender or a bank ASAP! Even if your credit isn’t the best, lenders can help you by repairing your credit and getting you into “home buying range.” And there are still great loan programs out there that require little or nothing down – there is one for you! DON’T WAIT – this info is key! Do it now so you can buy your dream home for the future!
3. “Should I use a Real Estate Agent? How do I find one?” Well if you are here, you have found your agents! 🙂 Using a real estate agent to purchase a new home is a no-brainer – DO IT! This is our full time job and as your agents, The Stiller Group will take responsibility for those mind-boggling details you don’t want to mess with. From knowing the neighborhood details to what schools are available in certain areas, we know it all. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, The Stiller Group can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, we can point out ways to structure your deal to save YOU money! We will go through the entire process with you to explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don’t have to us ANYTHING! The payment comes from the home seller – not from the buyer.
4. “So what will my mortgage cover?” Most loans have 4 parts: PRINCIPAL: the repayment of the amount you actually borrowed; INTEREST: payment to the lender for the money you’ve borrowed; HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE: a monthly amount to insure the property against loss from fire, smoke, theft, and other hazards required by most lenders; and PROPERTY TAXES: the annual city/county taxes assessed on your property, divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year. Most loans are for 30 years, although 15 year loans are available, too. During the life of the loan, you’ll pay far more in interest than you will in principal – sometimes two or three times more! Because of the way loans are structured, in the first years you’ll be paying mostly interest in your monthly payments. In the final years, you’ll be paying mostly principal. TIP: make an extra mortgage payment per year – this can take years off your loan!
5. “When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?” Leave it us for the best advice. Several things you should consider: 1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? 2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You will want to get a professional home inspection after making your offer to be sure you know what you are buying – we can help you arrange one. 3) How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for awhile, ask us why? Maybe there are significant reasons, and the seller may be willing to negotiate because of them. 4) How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make, and have your pre-approval letter IN HAND when making the offer! (Pre-approved buyers are better off getting an offer accepted than non pre-approved buyers.) 5) How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house!
That’s all for today! If I missed your questions, call, email or text us so we can get together and get all of your questions answered! The Stiller Group would LOVE to sell you your dream home in 2014!