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Buying a Homerew_key_team_logo_473_01

The Benefits of Working with The KEY Team

Whatever your reasons for buying, finding the right home, in the perfect neighborhood, and at a cost that is within your budget, is no small task. That's where we come in to the picture. 
 
As licensed, full-time, real estate professionals with specialized skills and significant amount of experience in the housing market we can help you accomplish your goals to buy real estate with less effort and time on your part, not too mention less stress!  

There are many benefits you receive from working with us and the best part is, as a buyer, it doesn't cost you a penny.  When we represent a buyer, like yourself, we earn our commission from the seller of the property you purchase and even though we are being paid by the seller we are always representing you throughout the entire transaction, from the negotiations, to the escrow process - we work side-by-side with you and guide you with our experience to make it a worthwhile experience.

Working as your agent... 

  • We know the local market and can quickly narrow down a few areas where you are likely to find your home at the price you want.
  • We can save you time by doing a lot of the legwork. By knowing your needs, we can eliminate homes that do not meet your criteria.
  • We will make appointments, preview homes with you and help you determine the pros and cons of each home.
  • We have access to our NWMLS listing database that provides access to thousands of homes for sale.
  • We can provide information and make appointments to see almost any property listed for sale. A home does not have to be listed by us in order to get detailed information or an appointment to view.
  • Once you find the home you want to buy, we will guide you through the negotiation, legalities and details of purchasing a home. 

Tips on Buying a Home

house__key_400Beginning the Process 

Organization is the key to finding the home you want while spending the least amount of time and energy.

Find out how much house you can afford.  Do this before you go house-hunting.  We can refer you to a 
mortgage professional who can help you determine how much of a down payment you can afford, along with a monthly payment you qualify for.

Make a list of everything you want in a home.  Is a master suite important?  How many bathrooms?  What about closet space?  Do you need a yard for the kids and pets to play in?  How about a fireplace or a bay window?  Do you prefer a rambler or 2-story house?  Are schools or access to transportation important?

Separate the essentials from the items you could do without and put them on the "A" list. Prioritize the rest of the items into a second and third list in order of importance.  We'll then go over the list so that we are very clear on what you want and need in your home.  Keep good notes as we look at homes.  After a while, it becomes difficult to remember which features belong to what home.  And, don't be shy about sharing with us your dislikes - this will only help us to better identify the RIGHT home for you.

When selecting a home, look beyond cosmetics.  Make sure the home is in good physical condition and that you understand the cost of repairs.  For more information on how to assess the home's condition, refer to the Home Inspection information on this website.

Look at additional homes, even if you love the first one you see.  Many times, it takes looking at several homes together before we help find the one that is really right for you.

As your agent, we'll check with you regularly, even if you haven't found a house that suits your needs.  Keeping in contact with you allows us to establish a good rapport, and helps us to learn how to help you effectively.  We'll continue to be on the lookout for homes that suit your needs.
 
 

Determining How Much You Can Afford 

Before you start looking at homes, it's a good idea to find a target price range that you can afford.  A mortgage lender will want to make sure you can qualify for the down payment, plus a monthly mortgage payment made up of: principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI).

Interest rates and your personal finances will influence the amount of house you can afford. For a quick estimate of a monthly mortgage payment for which you may qualify or to see what a how much of a home you might be able to afford, use our mortgage calculator section.  But remember, it's always good to talk to a lender before you start shopping for a home.  We can refer you to lenders suited to your specific financial needs.
 

The Importance of Home Inspections

When you're ready to complete a purchase and sale agreement on a home, your offer will generally be contingent on a professional inspection of the entire property, including improvements. The home inspector looks beyond the cosmetics to make sure that the home's general systems operate properly. The inspector will also look for large repairs that are needed and report on the condition of the home.


The standard home inspector's report will review the conditions of the home's heating and cooling system, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector will also look for cracks in cement walls, water stains that indicate leakage and any indication of wood rot.

A home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape.

As your agent, we are familiar with home inspection services and can provide you with a list of names from which to choose. Another good source for finding a home inspector is to ask a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has had a home inspection and can recommend a home inspector they were satisfied with.

Remember, no home is perfect. If problems are found, I will help you negotiate through the process.
 

What are Closing Costs, Points & Title Insurance?

 

What are Closing Costs?  Closing costs are charges paid to various entities during the real estate transaction. They can include escrow fees, document preparation fees, cost of an inspection and lender fees.

What is a Point?  A point is equal to one percent of the loan principal. Some lenders charge points, in addition to interest and fees, at closing.

What is Title Insurance?  Title insurance protects against loss from any defects in the legal title, liens against the property or other adverse claims. The lender usually requires title insurance and we have several preferred Title Companies we work with.

 

What are Settlement Costs?

During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a mutually agreed-upon date for closing is determined. "Closing" is when you and the seller sign all the paperwork and pay your share of the settlement fees, and the documents are recorded. Settlement obligations vary widely due to specific contract language, local laws and customs. Prior to closing, the closing agent (usually at an escrow office or sometimes, with an attorney) will complete a detailed settlement statement for both buyer and seller.  
 
The Buyer Will Receive
  •  Earnest money deposit
The Buyer Pays
  • One-half of escrow or escrow company for preparing the closing
  • Document preparation fees
  • Recording and notary fees
  • Title search and title insurance
  • Local transfer taxes
  • Repairs or inspections the buyer has agreed to pay for
  • Loan fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees