HOME PURCHASING BASICS
Home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it’s important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details. With the assistance of The Young Team and loan officer, it should be an efficient, pleasant, and rewarding experience.
COUNT ON YOUR REAL ESTATE AGENT TO:
- Preview available homes to weed out those that are overpriced, or undesirable in some other way. Present the homes that suit your needs as you’ve defined them.
- Help you determine the difference between a “good buy” and a property which, because of its nature (neighborhood, market appeal, etc.), might have to be discounted if you decide to sell in the future.
- Negotiate the best deal for you. With a Pre-Qualification letter from the lender in hand, we will be able to demonstrate that you are a qualified and capable borrower. This will strongly influence the seller, and may make the difference between the seller accepting your offer or someone else’s.
COUNT ON YOUR MORTGAGE BROKER AND LOAN OFFICER TO:
- Assist you in selecting the best loan to meet your personal situation and goals. (This single decision can save you thousands of dollars throughout the years).
- Keep you informed of your loan status throughout the entire process.
- Keep The Young Team informed of your loan progress (Note: your personal information is always kept confidential between you and us; only deal points and progress are shared).
- Get the appropriate loan for you at the best rates and fees. This will save you significant money “up front” and throughout the years to come.
COUNT ON YOURSELF TO:
- Keep The Young Team informed of any questions or concerns as they develop. Keep the process moving by providing documentation and decisions as soon as reasonably possible. By doing so, many of the details are taken care of early in the process so you can comfortably concentrate on any last-minute details or events that require your attention.
- Enjoy purchasing your home, but do remain objective throughout — to make the business decisions that are best for you.
- Make sure you are pre-approved as early as possible. This will put the power of financing behind you so you can concentrate
Whether your home is newly built or has seen generations of people pass through its doors, it is important to ensure that your home is designed to save energy and money for you and your family. New construction homes are designed to have energy-efficient standards, but if you live in an older home, it can be more of a challenge to turn your aging dwelling into the model of energy-efficient living. Regardless of whether your home is old or new, there are several things you can do to make sure it is as energy efficient as possible.
Find a way to conserve energy in every room of your house by using these energy saving tips. By simply making a few changes to your home and daily routine, you can significantly cut down costs on your energy bill.
The HVAC system in your basement accounts for nearly one half of the energy used in your home, so make sure you are getting the most out of your unit. Heating and cooling failure is typically characterized by neglect of your system or dirt build-up. Changing your system’s filter once every month should help combat any inefficiencies. Replacing a non-performing HVAC with an Energy Star certified system also helps reduce your energy bill.
Using your living room ceiling fan reduces energy costs while keeping the comfort of your home. On hot days, turning your thermostat up a few degrees and keeping your fan running can help you save on air conditioning costs. Using low wattage CFLs in your ceiling light fixture also keeps the room cooler and leads to even greater energy savings.
A programmable thermostat regulates your house’s temperature, eliminating the need to manually adjust the temperature when leaving the house or going to bed. A programmable thermostat with four settings could help save up to $180 on your yearly energy costs. Some think keeping your house cool at all times is more beneficial for your energy bill, allowing your house to not use as much energy to turn the air conditioner back on, however it’s more efficient to heat and cool your home according to need.
Install an Energy Star ventilation fan to control moisture in your bathroom. These fans prevent moisture problems by ensuring the fan duct leads outside. Run the fan during your bath or shower, including 15 minutes afterwards for proper ventilation and energy efficiency. On average, Energy Star fans use 60 percent less energy than standard models.
Your kitchen appliances should all be Energy Star certified, but most importantly your fridge, oven, and microwave. Cleaning out your refrigerator regularly helps lower energy consumption by ensuring proper air circulation. Try not to open the fridge door for unnecessary reasons due to the temperature dropping by 2-5 degrees. For every 30 seconds the door remains open, it can take up to 30 minutes to restore the fridge to its original temperature.
Ensure vent connectors and registers in your bedrooms are well sealed to the floors, walls, and ceilings. These common places often have disconnected ducts and leakage. Making sure furniture and rugs are kept away from vents also helps improve airflow. Install heat resistant reflectors between radiators and walls to reflect heat back into the room instead of onto walls.
Proper attic ventilation keeps energy costs down by eliminating an attic fan. Instead of a fan, using natural airflow prolongs the life of roof shingles and prevents the build-up of ice dams in the winter. Weatherizing materials or pre-made attic cover helps insulate your attic. The recommended amount for most attics is 12-15 inches, depending on attic type. If the insulation is below the attic joists, then more should be installed in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
The weekend open house has been a staple in our business for decades for agents to attract Cleveland homebuyers to their homes. Meanwhile, buyers with all kinds of motivations stream in and out of these homes, from those just seeing what’s on the market to those who are actively ready to buy.
Open houses are incredible opportunities for homebuyers to check out homes they are curious about taking a look at without having the hassle of scheduling showings around a seller. As an active buyer in the housing market, you will also be able to speak with a local real estate agent to ask questions and get some knowledge about the home that could make or break your interest in coming back for a private showing.
When going through an open house, be sure to ask these eight questions:
1) ARE THERE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE HOUSE?
The first and most important question a homebuyer should determine if the home has any problems. Homeowners are required by law to disclose any problems they know of when selling their home. If you are serious about the property, you can ask for the residential property disclosures to obtain a list of any and all potential issues related to the home.
You can expedite this process at an open house because most agents will have this information at hand and be able to reveal any potential issues to you. Don’t worry about the agent lying; this will only hurt their reputation and affect their ability to sell the home. The Realtor sitting the home house is also looking for potential clients, so they will want to lay down a solid foundation for a possible future relationship.
2) HAVE ANY OFFERS BEEN SUBMITTED ON THE HOME?
Another question you are free to ask the agent is if any offers have made on the house since it came on the market. If an agent has received offers on the house, or if there is a pending offer coming up, they will share this with you because they’re hope it will motivate you to make an offer. Also ask if there have been multiple offers on the home. This is a good indicator to determine if the home’s demand on the market.
3) HAS THERE BEEN A PRICE REDUCTION?
If the price has changed from what it was originally listed for, this normally means the market wasn’t supporting the value of the home. The agent sitting the open house will want to tell you why there was a reduction. If not, it could mean the property was originally overpriced or something about the property that has turned off buyers.
Another common reason for a price change could be that the seller is extremely motivated to sell the house. Motivation could give you some flexibility and power to negotiate your offer when it comes time.
4) WHAT IS THE ON-MARKET TIME FOR THE HOME?
Another option that gives you some flexibility when submitting an offer is the amount of days the home has been on the market. Knowing how long the house has been listed for specifies a couple things for the homebuyer.
If the on-market time is only seven days and the agent has already received an offer, then you can assume the home is properly priced and in demand. If it’s been on the market for months, there may be something wrong with the price or the house itself. Sometimes accumulated market time could mean a prospective buyer’s contract could have fell through due to financing. If this is the case, you may be more comfortable with submitting an offer.
5) WHAT’S THE MOTIVATION FOR SELLING?
Sometimes an agent will reveal this information, or it can be kept confidential. A Realtor is typically willing to share the seller is relocating for a job or other personal reasons. If it’s because the seller doesn’t like the neighborhood, whether it’s due to a high crime rates, poor school district, or other community information, the agent will be more reluctant to share any details. When attending open houses in particular areas, you should already have knowledge of these statistics. Remember, it never hurts to ask.
6) WHAT UPDATES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE HOME?
This question is simply a matter of personal preference. Some buyers will care if there have been renovations and updates made to the home, while some are looking more for a home in its original condition. A list of updates with dates when things were done helps add value to the house and justify the price, so it’s important to know what has been improved. This can also give you an idea of what may need to be replaced within the first couple of years of home ownership.
7) WHAT IS THE AVERAGE UTILITY COST?
Depending on the house, utilities can get expensive, which means you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to afford them before you make an offer. This is especially true if you are a first-time homeowner, since you may not be accustomed to the higher utility costs of a house.
8) ARE THERE ANY LOCAL AMENITIES?
Ask the Realtor about any nearby freeways, dining, entertaining, grocery stores, banks, and gas stations. A good agent should be familiar with the neighborhood and will be able to tell you what’s close by.
An open house is an your chance to leisurely tour a home, taking in everything from the amenities to the neighborhood. Take advantage of the opportunity to speak to the seller’s agent and to ask about things such as the price of the house, the neighborhood, the motivations of the seller and more, especially if this house could be “the one.” This kind of information can help you figure out how in-demand the house is, what your negotiating power is and whether you feel comfortable making an offer.