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How much home can I afford?

If you went to buy a car wouldn't you want or need to know which car you can afford and then look at those?

Knowing how much you can afford is the best place to start. If you are not paying cash for a home(most people do not), then you need to figure out who you want to use as a local lender and what they will charge. There are lots of different programs out there but some programs are only for our general area. A local lender will have access to roughly all national programs. A local lender will have ready access to programs that are specific to your city as opposed to a national lender who may not know about those. It never hurts to shop and with the new federal guidelines about lending disclosure you should be able to compare apples to apples (lender fees to lender fees). Once you actually get with your Alfa Realty agent you can also check with them as to what mortgage companies their other buyers have had good dealings with in the past (realtors like dealing with professional prompt loan officers/originators that do a good job and make their clients happy!).

Your lender may be able to give you a general idea of purchase price amount  you can afford based on answers to questions about your income, your debt, etc. The lender is usually paid their fees when you close on a home. Remember, you need to be very upfront with your lender… as he/she can only give you approximate information without having actual documents and pulling your credit report. Eventually, you will need to supply that information to them in a formal application( some lenders charge for this).

Remember that the numbers that they give you for the purchase price of the house takes into account your ability to repay the debt based on the information you have given them.  Contact us for a list of lenders that may be able to help you in the buying process.

How will I know if it is a good deal?

If we could predict the future we would all be millionaires, no billionaires, right?  At some point when you find a home, get your agent to pull the market comparison numbers on it.  With today’s economy there are houses that are selling for below market value and some that are selling for the asking price.  Sometimes, below market value means there are repairs that are needed.  Certain types of financing will not work if the repairs include, for instance, roof replacement, rotted wood, etc. and the seller is unable or not interested at the list price to repair it.  You need to figure out which kind of house is the one that works with your financial and/or repair ability.  The agent can tell you how the house sits price-wise in the market and show you what similar houses have sold for.  Ultimately, it is your decision once you have your information.

What is the difference between Offer and Contract?

So your Alfa Realty real estate agent has shown you several houses for sale in the price range you indicated and with the amenities that you requested.  With his/her help you have now narrowed down the list to one single house.  You and your Alfa Realty agent will sit down with a contract form to create your offer to the owner of the house you desire to purchase.  Only a part of the document is the purchase price. You will decide what to “offer” for the house in question with information from your agent.  There are many prewritten paragraphs to the contract that are there to protect different parties to the agreement.  Your agent can explain how/if the paragraphs affect you and add some stipulations of your own if needed.    Once your offer is submitted to the owner, you will then negotiate, through your agent, on the final actual sales price and details.  The owner will then sign your offer and it becomes a contract. Email us for a blank copy of a contract, we will be glad to go over it with you.

I want to sell my house—what’s the first step?

Most people think that the first step to putting their house on the market is putting the sign in the yard, right?  Prepare your home for the buyer’s eyes.  Take care of rotten wood and flaking paint, neutralize colors so that the buyer can visualize himself in the house (bright vibrant colors are great but a very personal taste), take care of yard issues,—these are just a few of the items your Alfa Realty agent can discuss with you before trying to sell your home. Remember, what would be the biggest turn off to you when you looked at a prospective home to purchase?  Whether it is a home for sale in East Montgomery or in the Garden District, the basic preparation is the same.  Most buyers have a home inspection if they write an offer on a home. A smart seller can take care of repair items before it becomes an issue and a negotiating factor.

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