Frequently Asked Questions
Our FAQ is a collection of questions and answers that we commonly are asked. Click or tap on a question to see the answer.
Should I talk with a bank before looking at homes?
The answer to this question is YES! Talking with a bank before looking at homes can help you understand exactly how much you can afford. There is no reason to look at homes that are listed for $200,000 if you can only afford up to $100,000.
If you’re a first-time home buyer, talking with a bank before looking at homes is strongly encouraged, as there are many first-time home buyer programs available.
Understanding exactly what costs are associated with buying a home is another important reason as many home buyers don’t understand the difference between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, which can be thoroughly explained by a mortgage professional.
Should I buy or continue to rent?
In this ever-changing housing market, the decision to rent or to buy can be as confusing as ever. Remote work, climbing mortgage rates, rent increases and changing lifestyles are all now factors to be considered when making this critical decision.
If you can see yourself being happy there for many years, the profit you make on the sale sometime down the road becomes less important.
Renting is a great option if you are unsure about the location, want more flexibility based on where you are in your life or simply do not have the time or money to invest in homeownership and all the upkeep it involves.
Can I find a rent-to-own property?
There are a few of them out there but below are some things to consider when doing a rent-to-own agreement.
- A rent-to-own agreement is a deal in which you commit to renting a property for a specific period of time, with the option of buying it before the lease runs out.
Rent-to-own agreements include a standard lease agreement and also an option to buy the property at a later time.
- Lease-option contracts give you the right to buy the home when the lease expires, while lease-purchase contracts require you to buy it.
- You pay rent throughout the lease, and in some cases, a percentage of the payment is applied to the purchase price.
- With some rent-to-own contracts, you may have to maintain the property and pay for repairs.
Do I really need a realtor when buying a home?
To be clear, there is no legal or other requirement for a REALTOR® or real estate agent to buy a house in most cases. The only exception is if you are bidding on a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) foreclosure property.
If you feel comfortable buying a house without an agent, there’s nothing stopping you. However, that does mean that you won’t have anyone on your side advising you through the home buying process.
So buying a house with an agent can save you lots of money, and buying a house without one may not cost you any additional money in many cases. We’ll explore that a bit more in the next section.
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