Tips for First Time Homebuyers: Things to Know When Looking for a House
After finding the ideal home, it is time to make an offer and get a home inspection. There are some things to keep in mind during this process. It is tough to determine what is a fair offer, and it is also highly recommended to get a home inspection before closing on a property.
Making the Offer
Generally, sellers may or may not accept offers that are more than 20% lower than their asking price depending on the market. Currently with the first time homebuyer tax rebate stimulus in play, many sellers are receiving offers that match or exceed their asking price. Don’t get carried away and make an offer that is higher than the perceived value of the house. The bank providing the mortgage will perform an appraisal on the house and if the offer is higher than the amount provided by the appraiser, the bank will only base their loan on the lesser of the two prices.
When the seller accepts the proposed offer, a purchase of sales agreement has to be signed by both buyer and seller. READ THIS DOCUMENT CAREFULLY! One of the partners at www.bestlondonsolicitors.co.uk said there might be a space on the contract saying that the full downpayment is due at the signing of the agreement. Some sellers may be lenient and allow for part of the downpayment to be made at the signing and the rest to be made at a later time.
Occasionally, the seller will sign an agreement with a buyer and then received another offer afterward. If they receive a cash offer, they will do whatever they can to nullify the first offer and there’s nothing that the buyer can do. So the only suggestions are not to be too attached to a property and not to become discouraged. Remember, there are plenty of houses on the market.
Inspections and Things to Look Out For
After the offer has been accepted, it is time for an inspection. Some inspectors are very good and will walk the buyer through the house and point out things that should be addressed in the near future.
Some things to look for include:
-The use of wood beams in landscaping to make borders for gardens. Get rid of these as soon as possible. Wood attracts insects.
-In the basement, check the walls for water stains that may indicate previous flooding.
-Make sure the water boiler does not have signs of rusting around the pipes indicating that it will need to be replaced soon. Also look on the floor surrounding the unit to check for signs of leakage.
-Some heating systems have a removable panel that hides the unit’s serial number. Remove that panel and look for rusting which is a sign that the boiler has a crack. Check for leakage in the area surrounding the unit.
-Look for water stains on the ceiling that may indicate previous or present roof damage.
-Look for puckering of roofing shingles outside which might suggest that the roof has reached the end of its lifespan and should be replaced.
Keeping everything in mind can become overwhelming. A good idea is to write down any questions on which an inspector might be able to offer advice. Remember that if any other questions arise, the buyer’s real estate agent will be very helpful in answering the questions or helping to find the answer.