Before we get into the FAQs, take this short quiz as a fun way to see how much you know about the home buying process!
What are the different types of mortgages?
There are 3 common mortgages:
Adjustable – An Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or ARM, is a type of mortgage in which the interest rate is adjusted up or down, in accordance with current interest rate levels. The interest rates are tied to an economic index outside of your banks control, such as the Treasury bill rate. Your monthly principal and interest payment will fluctuate with these rate changes. Initially payments will be less than with a fixed mortgage, making this type of mortgage attractive to short-term buyers. Note: Inquire on the “cap”, or maximum interest level your mortgage can reach, since it is possible for rates to raise significantly during the term of your mortgage.
Fixed – A fixed rate mortgage, on the other hand, uses both a fixed term (length of time) and fixed interest rate. At the start of the mortgage the rate and term are determined, and as a result the monthly amount for principal and interest payments remain constant for the duration of the mortgage. Fixed rate loans are more attractive to home buyers who plan on spending a long time in their home, or expect no major change in income.
Assumable – Sometimes homebuyers can find a loan which is “assumable.” With an assumable loan, the current sellers lender is willing to transfer the existing loan to you, either at the previous interest rate or the current interest rate. Assumable loans are attractive to buyers because they usually require less paper work and less time.
How much should I offer?
For ethical reasons, your agent can’t tell you how much to offer. But, your agent (hopefully me) will provide you with comparable sales, or “comps” so you can see the prices of similar, nearby homes that have sold recently. With that information, you’ll get a sense of the high-to-low price range for a particular property. I can tell you how long homes are staying on the market and the percentage of the asking price sellers are getting. That way you’ll know how hot the market is in the area you’re looking.
Are sellers flexible on the asking price?
This is a tricky subject. If you insult the seller with a lowball offer, you could lose your shot at the house. To avoid offending the homeowner, I would ask the seller’s agent how firm the seller is on the price. Keep in mind, not every seller will be willing to bargain, so if your strategy is to make lowball offers, you should plan to make offers on several properties.
How do I know if something is wrong with a property?
Sometimes, sellers really want to offload a property and fail to disclose upfront some of the problems it may have. As your agent, I can help you coordinate inspections and make sure all the disclosures are in place. That way any problems will rise to the surface.
How do I find out what schools are near a property?
As your agent, I will provide you with information on the schools. You can also check out Greatschools.org to see which schools are in your district and how they’re rated. As an example, here is a look at the schools for Capistrano Beach.
I’m always here to answer your questions! Send any and all my way.
The information contained herein has been obtained through sources deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Any information of special interest should be obtained through independent verification.