Common Home Buyer Questions
What can I afford?
One of the first questions home buyers consider is how much money can they afford to spend on a new home. The answer of course is that it depends. Everyone's income and financial obligations are different. Minimally, you can use a Home Affordability Calculator to get a ballpark idea of what you can spend.
Unless you are paying cash, you will need to get a mortgage. Ideally, you should talk to a lender before you start looking at houses so you know what price range to consider. An added benefit of finding a lender is that they can provide you with a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter can speed up the offer process and give you an advantage as a buyer in negotiations.
Can I buy a home while I sell my current one?
The short answer is yes, but it can be tricky. What if you sell your current home before you find a new one? What if you find the perfect new home, but yours is still not sold? Your realtor® can help with contingency clauses, post-occupancy clauses, etc. Communication with your agent is key.
do i have to use a realtor®?
No, you do not have to use a real estate agent, but you should. Realtors® adhere to a strict code of ethics based on protection of the public. You can expect honest and ethical treatment from a realtor® as you navigate the home buying process with its dozens of forms, reports and technical documents. Nobody knows the real estate market better than we do.
how much does it cost to use a realtor®?
In most cases, buyers do not have to pay anything to use the services of a realtor®. Generally, the sellers pay their realtor® a fee and that realtor® pays the buyer's agent a fee for bringing the buyer and facilitating the process.
How many homes should i look at before making an offer?
Every home search is different. The first house you look at may be the one you buy or you may look at 50 different houses over several months before you decide. That said, homes are moving quickly in the current market. There is a lot of truth to the adage "if you sleep on it, you may not be sleeping in it."
How quickly can i close?
Generally, you can close on your new home in 45 days or less if you are buying with a mortgage. If you are a cash buyer, you can close even quicker (10 days is not unreasonable) if the sellers are prepared to move quickly.