What is Earnest Money? How Much Should I Set Aside?

Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money

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How Do I Determine the Initial Offer?

Listen to your real estate agent’s advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home’s condition, how long it’s been on the market, financing terms, and the seller’s situation. By the time

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How Do I Make an Offer?

Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information: Complete legal description of the property Amount of earnest money Down payment and financing details Proposed move-in date Price you are offering Proposed closing date Length of time the offer is valid Details

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Do I Need to Be There for the Inspection?

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time

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How Many Homes Should I Consider Before Choosing One?

There isn’t a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you’re looking for.

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What Should I Look for When Walking Through a Home?

In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists, you may want to consider the following: Is there enough room for both the present and the future? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Is the home structurally sound? Do the mechanical systems and appliances work? Is

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How Does the Lender Decide the Maximum Loal Amount that Can Afford?

The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history,

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How Does Purchasing a Home Compare with Renting?

The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without

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How Do I Know if I’m Ready to Buy a Home?

You can find out by asking yourself some questions: Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable? Do I have a good record of paying my bills? Do I

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