1. I'm /We're going to buy a home. How should I get started and how much money will we need?
First, you should start by getting in touch with a Mortgage Specialist. These Lenders are experts in the Residential Mortgage field and will meet you anywhere you like—in your home if you prefer. Like Realtors, many of these Professionals carry a pager and cell phone and are happy to meet most evenings as well. An Important Fact which is always True, (especially when the market is "Fast") is that the added advantage of being "Pre-Qualified" by a "Mortgage Specialist", can be the difference between getting the home you have fallen in love with, or losing it to a better prepared buyer. The second part of the question is easy: you will need 5% (Some Mortgages are available to qualified borrowers with 0% down) for a down payment and enough money to pay your Legal Fees, start/move your Utilities and the Tax Adjustment. It does not matter if you are not buying your first home—5% will do.
(Oct. 15, 2005).
2. Should we have a Home Inspection done?
Almost always YES! HOWEVER, be careful of TWO things. ONE : be sure your Inspector is qualified and thorough (of course) and will not miss important details you are paying him/her to catch. This will cost you money. TWO : be sure your Inspector is fair and is not personally biased! For example, if your Inspector has a bias against, "Old Houses" (some do) and you, like ourselves and many of our buyers, are passionately in love with the eldest homes on the market, you may be hearing negatives that belong in a different context entirely. Let’s make an automotive example: if you are say, a lover of 55, 56, & 57 Chevys, and you have an automotive Inspector give a great 57 you are considering, the once-over; mechanical problems, hidden body work/rust, are examples of some concerns that would influence your decision. A good Inspector would point these out. However, the fact that the car does not have Anti-lock Brakes or an Airbag are not valid concerns obviously, because the vintage of the car lacks these by definition. This may sound strange, but too many people really do want to buy a Heritage Home, but are scared off by input from others; Inspectors, or family, or friends—whomever, and often because of misunderstandings like these, that they later regret. Work with Knowledgeable Realtors, Good Lenders, Qualified Inspectors & Real Estate Lawyers, to be as well informed as possible. So, in context, do your Inspection, but know the type of criticisms, which spell trouble, from those conditions, that are likely common to every home on the block.
(Oct. 15, 2005).