Buying Your New Home
It is important to note that an inspection is not an appraisal. A property appraisal is a document that provides an estimate of a property’s market value. Lenders require appraisals on properties prior to loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers.

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector
As the homebuyer, it is your responsibility to carefully select a qualified licensed inspector and pay for the inspection. The following sources may help you find a home inspector:
  • State Regulatory Authorities: Some states require licensing of home inspectors.
  • Professional Organizations: Professional organizations may require home inspectors to pass tests and meet minimum qualifications before becoming a member.
  • Phonebook Yellow Pages: Look under “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service.”
  • Internet: Search for “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service.”
  • Your Real Estate Agent: Most real estate professionals have a list of home inspectors they recommend.

WITHDRAWING AN OFFER

Can you take back an offer? In most cases the answer is yes, right up until the moment it is accepted, or even in some cases, if you haven’t yet been notified of acceptance. If you do want to revoke your offer, be sure to do so only after consulting a lawyer who is experienced in real estate matters. You don’t want to lose your earnest money deposit or find yourself being sued for damages the seller may have suffered by relying on your actions.

ATTORNEYS

Purchasing a home is typically the single largest investment most people will make in their lifetime. This is one good reason to have an attorney review and explain all of the documents before the signing. The buyer’s real estate agent can recommend a good real estate attorney.

CLOSING
Settlement is a brief process where all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction is signed. Closing is typically held in an office setting, sometimes with both buyer and seller at the same table, sometimes with each party completing their papers separately.

Whatever the case, the result is that title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys, and the seller receives payment for the home. From the amount credited to the seller, the closing agent subtracts money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices.

What you need to do: One of the best parts of settlement is that buyers and sellers need to do very little. Before closing, buyers typically have a final opportunity to walk through the property to assure that its condition has not materially changed since the sale agreement was signed. At closing itself, all papers have been prepared by closing agents, title companies, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.

ALTERNATIVE BUYING OPPORTUNITIES

While alternative real estate buying options are limited to a small percentage of transactions, they can arise. Foreclosures, short sales and auctions sales are some of the types of listings you may encounter in the marketplace so be sure you understand the nature of these sales when deciding how to proceed. Always consult with your Realtor or an advisor if you’re in need of more information.

Foreclosure Properties
While foreclosures initially may appear to be an appealing homeownership option, it’s also essential to recognize that investing in foreclosure properties is not a simple process. This is a niche market with many subtle but important nuances, requiring considerable specialized knowledge, experience and contacts. If you decide to pursue a foreclosure purchase, you’ll want to work with an experienced Realtor who can educate you on the process. He or she can help you crunch the numbers, determine a logical purchase plan, avoid potential setbacks and assist you with all the unique processes and paperwork involved with foreclosures.

   
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