Is Home Ownership Right For You?
Making the right choice in purchasing real estate begins with research and preparation. Before you ever set foot in a house for sale, it is wise to understand what home ownership is all about. For example, how much can you borrow? Will a lender allow you to borrow an amount such that you are “house poor” after you move in? And what are the tax savings that home ownership will provide? Click here for additional information.
In Arizona, the Arizona Association of Realtors form demonstrating that a buyer has been prequalified is the Loan Status Report, LSR . The LSR is completed by the loan officer after receiving information and documentation from the buyer which that allows the loan officer to make a decision regarding the buyers’ ability to qualify for a loan. A thorough prequalification will include submitting a loan application, discussing income, debt, assets and a review of the buyers’ credit report. By going through the prequalification/pre-approval process, you will have an idea of how much the lender is willing to finance. At the same time, you'll have a better understanding of the different types of loans and the respective interest rates.
Do you want to know more about financing strategies, choosing a lender, applying for and selecting a loan?
Two things to ask for from the lender
Deciding on the appropriate lender can be confusing process. Once you find the lowest interest rate, you may think the search has ended. However, will you be paying additional and excessive underwriting, process, loan and documentation fees in exchange for that low rate? Two things to ask for from your lender are: 1.) A Good Faith Estimate, 2.) An Amortization Schedule. A Good Faith Estimate will disclose the interest rate plus all the fees that the lender will charge. A Good Faith Estimate will allow you to make an informed comparision of different lenders and loan programs. (Good Faith Estimate sample form) The second thing to ask for is an amortization schedule. As loan programs become more specialized and creative, the days of only choosing between a 15 and 30 year fixed rate are long gone. An amortization schedule will show you your monthly payment and how is it applied towards the principal and interest payments along with the remaining loan balance. If a lender has problems providing this, find someone who can.
Article: Ten things to ask your lender.
How much can I afford? - Part II
The prequalification process will involve a review of debt to income ratios, credit history, etc. It may not take into consideration any savings plans, tithes to your church or synagogue, or regular charity contributions, or that annual Alaskan Cruise that is part of your lifestyle!
Therefore, it is extremely important to have your Realtor help you identify what the monthly payment will be for a particular house. This can be done since the MLS will disclose previous year taxes and any HOA dues. With a good estimate of the hazard insurance and the loan type and interest rate, your realtor should be able to assist you in calculating the approximate monthly payment. It is always helpful to discuss your desired range for your monthly house payment and not rely solely on the prequalification amount.
In 2002 the Arizona Department of Real Estate developed the Buyer Advisory to assist buyers in their due diligence when purchasing real estate in
Arizona. The Buyer's Advisory is divided into three sections: (1) common documents a buyer should review; (2) physical conditions in the property the buyer should investigate; and (3) conditions affecting the surrounding area that the buyer should investigate. The advisory will review issues and areas of concern that a buyer will want to investigate during the due diligence period of the contract.
Buyers' Bill of Rights
In January 2008, the Arizona Home Buyers' and Renters' Bill of Rights was released as a resource for all real estate consumers by helping to provide important material facts about property in Arizona.
New Home Construction
Over the last year, The Phoenix valley has consistently had over 500 new home subdivisions under construction by approximately 90 new home builders. To compare the many new home builders, check out the JD Power ratings for new home builders in Arizona. New Home Builder Rankings. A couple of things to remember when purchasing a new home: *The interest rate will not be known until 30 - 60 days before you close escrow. * Backyard landscaping and window coverings are NOT included. *Make sure and understand what is included in the base price. It is not everything you see in the model! *Budget at least 10% of the base price for upgrades. *Any earnest money that is deposited is refundable until the final Public Report is delivered to the buyer. *Remember, that the cordial, pleasant sales person has a fiduciary responsibility to the builder.
Purchasing a Home? Read this! The Arizona Dept. of Real Estate maintains this website that addresses issues such as Airport Disclosures, Arizona Sex Offender Infosite, a real estate checklist for anyone purchasing real estate in Arizona, flood control maps, expansive soil, freeway construction, and and environmental concerns.
New home builders in financial difficulty - If you're buying a new home, make sure the builder is not on this list!
6 Top Benefits of Owning Your Own Home
Basements in Arizona - Get the facts!
Questions Families Should Ask Before Buying
Family real estate specialist Elena Thurston, an associate with Keller Williams Realty in Phoenix, tells buyers that while gourmet kitchens are nice, picking a home that meets the whole family’s needs is more important.
Here are the questions she urges her clients to ask about the homes they are considering.
- Is there neighborhood pool or a covered tot lot? Are there walking trails or other safe places to exercise?
- Is the backyard safe for pets and children?
- Is there adequate storage in the garage for lawn care and play equipment?
- Whose bedroom is over the garage? Will you be able to open the garage without waking up the baby?
- Does the garage open into the kitchen for ease with groceries or do you have to trek through the entire house?
- How invasive are the homeowner association’s rules? Will the association allow you to put up a basketball hoop or install a swing set? Where can you park extra cars?
- How far away are the grocery store, post office, bank, park, gas station, and schools?
- Where are the washer and dryer located? Will operating them during naptime or evening hours disturb sleepers?
- Does the area have good Internet access?
- What is the ratio of adults to children and how many older children are there vs. younger ones?
— REALTOR® Magazine Online
Thank you for visiting my website. As a real estate agent in Gilbert that serves the Phoenix area, ReMax 2000 is one of the largest and fastest growing Phoenix real estate brokers in the valley. Please call me if you were not able to find information that you were looking for.