Checklist To Buying A Home

communication,seth jacobs,maine mortgage,southern maine realtor,craig candageIn honor of the Southern Maine Spring Market and all the new buyers, I thought it would be helpful to review a standard checklist on what to expect when purchasing a home in Maine. Depending on the location and type of property will determine the finer details of purchase.  For this article, I will present a general checklist for buying a single family home:

  1. Begin by understanding your finances – you will need to know what you can afford to pay monthly as well as determining how much money you will need for a down payment.  Prepare a monthly budget to put everything into perspective.  This budget should include EVERY expense each month.
  2. Choose your Realtor – you want to choose a Southern Maine Realtor you trust.  The cost to a buyer for their service is “FREE” and they will represent you and your best interest throughout the transaction.  In many cases, your Realtor can refer you to a mortgage broker as well as other vendors throughout the entire transaction, this becomes your “Team of Professionals” that will help you along the way to successfully purchase a home you feel comfortable with.  The Realtor acts as the “conductor” of the entire process from beginning to end just like in an orchestra.
  3. Get Pre-approved before you start looking for a home – understanding what you can afford before you step into a property will make the process more smooth and straightforward.
  4. Look for a home – after meeting with your Realtor, you now should have determined what your want, how much your willing to spend and where you want to look. Start house hunting!
  5. Make an offer – working closely with your Realtor, they will help you understand what the best strategy is to offer on the property based the most recent sales in the area.
  6. Under Contract – this is the most exciting moment for the buyer! Your Realtor will guide you through the all the timeframes that are important within your contract.
  7. Inspection of home – by now, you are anxiously wondering what condition the home you are about to purchase is REALLY in.  Your Realtor should be able to have a preferred vendor list ranging from home inspectors to air/water testing and everything in between when it comes time to inspect the home.
  8. Obtain Homeowners Insurance – it is best to get a few quotes from various companies to get the most affordable and best coverage for your new home. Your Realtor should have referrals for you.
  9. Pack and Move – If you plan to use a moving company, secure this early on in the process so you know how much you are going to pack and how much the company will pack and set the date.  The rates vary depending on how much you pack yourself.
  10. Final Walk Through – either 24 hours or an hour before the day of closing, walk through the home to make sure it is in the same condition it was when you last viewed it and all the repairs have been completed to your satisfaction, if applicable.
  11. Closing – Once the title company receives your loan documents, you will receive a HUD statement which reviews in detail your fees and then amount of money needed for closing.  In most cases the money need to close  must be in the form of a cashiers check, so make sure you allow time to go to the bank prior to going to the closing.  Your Realtor will arrange with the title company the day and time of closing where you will sign the loan documents.
  12. Congratulations, you are now a home owner – After signing the documents, you get your keys and move in!  If there is any personalization you want to make to the home, its best to do it prior to moving in if possible.
  13. ENJOY!

As I have said since the beginning, please call a local  Maine REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small.  We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It’s best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.

Craig Candage

Landing Real Estate

Mobile: 207-653-2483

craig@landinghomesmaine.com

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3 Terms Every Mortgage Holder Should Know

Getting a mortgage can be a very confusing process. There is a lot of paperwork to sign, documents to read and procedures to be followed. You’d think you were applying to go to Harvard or Yale, except they don’t require that much paperwork for you to be admitted!

Going into a mortgage knowing just a few facts will help you immensely in understanding what type of commitment you are getting into.

The first term you should understand is, amazingly, the word “term”. Term refers to the length of the mortgage you are taking out – or the amount of time you are making payments.

Many mortgages run the gauntlet of between ten and thirty years. The longer the mortgage, typically the lower your monthly payment will be (and the more interest the mortgage company makes). Generally speaking, you should go for the shortest term you can comfortable afford – you’ll save potentially tens of thousands (and in some cases potentially over a hundred thousand) dollars in interest by keeping the length of the mortgage as short as you can.

Next, understand the interest rate on your mortgage and how it is calculated. The interest rate refers to the amount of interest charges you will pay for the money you are borrowing, expressed as a decimal – such as 5.2 for 5.2%. Is it fixed or adjustable? In other words, is it the same through the life of the loan or does it change at specified periods in time? Most home buyers should try and steer clear of adjustable rate mortgages even though they can look better up front. They can often reset to higher interest rates and come back to bite you if you aren’t ready for a jump in your monthly payments!

Finally, understand what closing costs are and how they are going to affect your purchase price. Often times, you are going to be responsible for coming up with these closing costs out of your own pocket. Closing costs consists of things such as appraisals done on the house, attorney fees, notary fee, deed fee – if there is a fee they can think of it usually falls under the term closing costs! Be a smart and savvy consumer, if you see a fee that you don’t understand or doesn’t seem right – speak up! Some mortgage lenders try to sneak in any fee they can think of to make a few extra dollars profit.

Understanding these three terms can help make you a more informed home buyer and help you find the mortgage that is right for you. As with any product, it is important to shop around for a mortgage when you are considering buying a house. Even a small change in the interest rate between two lenders can often to amount to thousands of dollars in savings.

Don’t be afraid to comparison shop – it’s your money after all!

First Time Home Buyer in Maine – No Money Down Mortgage

Because the allure of living with mom and dad forever or conversely renting into oblivion might not appeal to you all that much, when you hear a term like first time home buyer loans with zero down, you may be interested to find out just what that really is all about.

These NO MONEY DOWN Loans are made by mortgage lenders and guaranteed by USDA Rural Development to low and moderate income applicants to buy or build homes (30 year fixed interest rate) in rural areas of Maine. You can view the income requirements here.

The biggest challenge for most first-time home buyers is saving up enough money for a down payment. If you’re tired of living the life of a renter or living with friends or family but you can’t scrape together the sizable amount for closing costs, down payments, and other new homeowner costs, it may be worth it to find out about the first time home buyer loans with zero down offered by lenders like PRMI. Settling down and settling in to a new home can make all the difference for young families starting out.

If you want to learn more about whether or not your dream home can be purchased as a first time home buyer loans with zero down, reach out to your trusted Maine Mortgage Banker and see what they have to say.

Five Steps To Buying A Home in Maine

 

Five Steps To Buying A Home in Maine

1. How much can you afford?

Getting in touch with a lender is the best way find out what you qualify for. Your Maine loan officer will take your debt to income ratio, run your credit and give you what is known as a “prequalification letter”. Once you have been pre-qualified by your loan officer, you can begin to put in offers. The best lenders to use are located here in Maine.  If you are unsure what lender to contact, a real estate agent can help you.

 

2. The Home Shopping Prerequisite.

What city or area do you want to live in? What kind of home and amenities do you want? 2 story, tile flooring, fireplace, a pool, patio, fenced, rv access, ranch style, traditional, horse property? Before spending precious time looking at plenty of houses that do not match your needs, talk with your agent about all the amenities you may need in a house. They can help you go through your options and get a strategy to find a home you will love.

 

3. Look for homes for sale.

Look for homes that are available in the area, including Fannie Mae, HUD homes, Foreclosures, short sales, and more. Instead of choosing one as the way to go, try looking into all of your options and that will open your range of houses up. Some of the best home deals are HUD homes. Not all agents can show you these homes, so you are better off working with an agent who can.

 

4. Make the seller an offer.

This is one of the most exciting steps of the real state process, however, always make sure you are serious about buying the house you make an offer on because you are signing a legal contract. After signing the offer to purchase, you will write a check for the earnest money deposit of the property,  along with your prequalification letter.

 

5. Your offer gets accepted and escrow starts.

Your agent will set up appointment with the inspectors, other agents, and escrow to get everything done to make that house yours. Your total down payment will be submitted before the end of escrow, minus the deposit you already gave to your real estate agent in the form of a personal check or money order. Your down payment depends on what type of financing you get. There is FHA financing, which is 3.5% down, or conventional which is at least 5% down.  Maine is also a great state for the USDA RD loan. This is only available in rural areas of Maine (Most of Maine qualifies) and it provides 100% financing.

At the end of escrow, the house is yours.