April 9, 2022
When COVID-19 hit last 2020, first-time home-buying Millennials took advantage of record-low mortgage interest rates. This buying fever resulted in low inventory, high demand, and bidding wars come 2021. Forecasts predict that instead of dying down, spring buying will be at its hottest this 2022. Sadly, this is also a great scenario for people looking to take advantage of buyers.
This year, keep your guard up against opportunist sellers, realtors, and mortgage brokers if you are a hopeful homebuyer. Don’t give in to asking prices well over the current market value or over-the-top loans. Do your research and follow the following advice on how not to get ripped off when buying a house.
Making informed decisions is within your reach. You can get in touch with a housing counseling agency regarding the different facets of the home-buying process. Regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these agencies are usually impartial, nonprofit organizations. You may opt for one-on-one advice or attend a Homeownership Education course.
Homeownership education and counseling (HEC) can also help with postpurchase matters like mortgage delinquency, staying current on home loans, and avoiding foreclosure.
When you plan to buy a secondhand car, you have a mechanic check if it’s worth purchasing; the same logic applies with a home. Home inspectors not only uncover problems with the home but will also give you maintenance tips and safety checklists during the home inspection.
The home inspector’s report is a powerful negotiating tool. You can counter an initially high offer when the home inspector discovers defects and safety issues. It also enables you to walk away if you have a home inspection clause or inspection contingency in your purchase contract. Most banks and lenders won’t approve your loan without a proper home inspection.
Aside from approaching HUD-approved housing counselors and certified home inspectors, you may go directly to a real estate agent for homeownership guidance or to a local banker to walk you through the pre-approval screening.
However, be selective about your realtor. To avoid an unethical or dishonest realtor, you may ask relatives, friends, and neighbors to refer you to a trustworthy agent. See what to watch out for with real estate agents below.
Realtors have a fiduciary duty to represent your best interest and negotiate on your behalf to the best of their ability. Find another agent when they are not transparent and truthful regarding the current value of the home, the available offers from different buyers, the decision of the seller, and other factors that may pose a conflict of interest.
A realtor should also declare concerns like hazards, neighborhood nuisances, and deaths in the home in a state-issued property disclosure statement. A real estate lawyer can support you when you need to hold a real estate agent accountable for failure to accomplish disclosure duties.
A realtor can connect you with an independent home inspector. However, if you’re uncomfortable with their recommendation, you can choose another one to do the home inspection. A deceptive realtor may discourage a thorough inspection to facilitate a faster sale and earn commissions.
This unacceptable practice poses safety risks for you and will mean buying a home in unfair circumstances.
If you would not like to avail the services of a realtor or you’re looking into how to avoid real estate commission, you may find a property that is directly FSBO or For Sale By Owner.
Builders, banks, and mortgage companies all offer to finance you when building or buying a house. It is your responsibility to compare their rates and select the most reputable lender. When this task proves to be difficult, you may reach out to a mortgage broker.
How much does getting a mortgage broker cost? Who pays the mortgage broker? Be wary when the lender compensates your broker. You will still have to do a check and balance of their suggestions.
How do mortgage companies rip you off? The broker might convince you to take the most unnecessarily expensive loan of the lender. How much does a mortgage broker make? They could earn between 1% to 2% of your mortgage.
Don’t let anyone involved in the buying process pull you into overcommitting and getting a mortgage that’s more than you can handle. You risk wreaking havoc on your credit report and facing foreclosure.
When you buy a property, there are ways to evaluate the varied information presented to you. You can check the county auditor’s property website to compare home prices. You can ask the neighbors for anything unusual about the house. As for mortgage companies, you can look them up in the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s office.
Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.
Did your home appraisal come in lower than expected? Don't worry. Here are 4 steps you can take after a low appraisal to make the home sale still goes through.
Wondering if you just saw a realtor red flag? Here are 9 signs your might be working with a bad real estate agent (and tips for breaking up).
It’s not easy to settle on a particular location to call home; there are numerous variables to consider. You want a community that matches your current lifestyle as we…
A condo is an economical alternative to a detached house and a terrific option for first-time buyers looking for a place to raise a family.
The home-buying process might seem like it’s going swimmingly at times. Then you go to get your house inspected, and there’s a hitch. Professional home inspectors must…
Safe and happy residents are a direct result of their neighborhoods. Relaxing and watching your children play outdoors is much more attainable if you feel secure doing…
Many people’s ideal home has a large yard with a majestic tree. However, large trees need a lot of care and attention, something most people underestimate. When you ar…
Now that you’ve located your ideal home, you’re prepared to make an offer. Is there a prime day to finalize a home purchase? How about the worst day to close on a hous…
You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.