Common Orlando Home Buyer Questions
Common Orlando Home Buyer Questions
At Lineage Real Estate we are here to make the home process organized, efficient, and with the least amount of stress possible. Even for people who aren’t first-time home buyers, it’s easy to get so caught up in the process that you make some mistakes. We’ve compiled a list of common Orlando home buyer questions. If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out Common Orlando Home Buyer Mistakes also.
Should I buy a house or continue to rent?
While owning a home is still considered one of the American dreams, it’s not always a good idea for everyone. If you’re financially stable and you plan to remain in an area for at least 5 years, it’s probably best to buy a house. You’ll build equity, and there are some nice tax breaks that come with home ownership. On the other hand, if you have just moved into a new area, or you know that you might move out of the area within 2-3 years, it’s more financially responsible to rent a home or apartment.
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Should I get preapproved for a mortgage?
Yes. Absolutely, yes. Getting preapproved for a mortgage gives you a couple of advantages over other home buyers. One, you’ll know how much your max purchase price of a house can be, so you’ll know which homes are within your budget. Two, sellers often prefer to work with buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage, because they know they won’t have to worry about difficulties with financing.
What homes can I afford?
Again, this is one reason that getting preapproved for a mortgage is helpful, as it lets you know a price range for house hunting. In addition, look at your finances closely and figure out how much you can afford to spend monthly on housing expenses. This monthly number is likely considerably less than the maximum mortgage for which you’ve been approved, so it’s always a good idea to look at houses that are well under your preapproved amount.
Do I need a real estate agent?
While it’s certainly possible to buy a house without Ryan Ditmar and Lineage Real Estate, it’s always a good idea to have your own agent. By hiring Lineage Real Estate, you have someone representing your interest, not just the interests of the sellers, and you have someone to help you understand the aspects of buying a home, such as closing costs and home inspections. Buyers sometimes shy away from using their own agents because they don’t want to pay agent fees, but in most cases, the seller’s agent is the one who pays the fees of the buyer’s agent, not the buyer.
How much of a down payment do I need?
The typical down payment for a house is 20%, but that’s simply out of reach for some buyers, so there are many special home buyer programs and loans that allow buyers to put down less money. It’s possible to buy a house with a down payment as low as 1-5% of the purchase price.
Are there special home buyer programs?
Yes! There are a number of special programs for buyers, including first-time buyer programs, special loans programs for veterans, and special loans through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, some states offer special programs for particular residents, such as teachers or first responders.
Can I buy a house while trying to sell my current house?
Yes, but it can be more complicated, and it can definitely be more stressful financially. No homeowner wants to be responsible for two mortgage payments each month. This is one of those situations that requires the advice of both a real estate agent and your bank or credit union that holds your mortgage.
What’s a short sale?
Not all houses on the market are offered for sale by the owners. Sometimes, banks are directly involved in the sale of houses. A short sale is one of these situations, where the owner owes more on the mortgage than the house’s fair market value, so the bank agrees to the sale of the house at the lesser price and will release the owner from the mortgage. However, in cases such as this, the bank is often the deciding factor in whether an offer is accepted, so it can take longer to close the deal.
What’s a foreclosure?
This is another special situation, one where the owner was unable to pay the mortgage payments, so the bank has repossessed the house and will sell it. As with a short sale, these special situations can take longer than the usual process for closing on a house.
How many homes should I see?
The obvious answer is as many houses as you want to see. There is no right or wrong answer for this. One person might find her dream home after just seeing a few houses, while another may look at twenty houses and still not be happy with any of them. It should be noted that if you’ve looked at dozens of houses and still haven’t found the right one, maybe you’re not really ready to buy a house at this point in your life.
How do I get a fair price?
This is why it’s useful to have your own agent, who will protect your financial interests. Your agent can research comparable properties to see how much they’ve sold for, and can help guide you through the process of reaching an agreeable price for a house. Your agent will be familiar with the neighborhoods, schools, and how much houses are selling for in that area.
Should I get a home inspection?
Yes! A home inspection can provide invaluable information on the condition of a house, and can give warnings about potential problems. You can use this information to decide how to proceed with buying or not buying the house, since most purchase offers are contingent on the results of the home inspection.
Can I back out if I change my mind?
Yes, but be aware that there can be financial consequences to backing out of the deal, and the longer you wait before backing out, the more expensive it may be. At the very least, you will likely lose any earnest money that you’ve put down as a sign of your interest in the property.