Step Six: Making an Offer

Making an Offer

When you have found a home you would like to make an offer on, it is important to consider several elements of the offer. Offers must be in writing and signed and dated by all buyers. It is important to realize that unless you are specifically working with a buyer’s agent, the sales agent is working for the seller. The seller’s agent is working to get the best price for the seller and will report your offer to the seller.

 

Your offer will include the following:

  • The price you are agreeing to pay for the property
  • An expiration date and time by which the seller must respond by (if the offer expires, it is not accepted)
  • Amount of deposit to bind the offer (normally $1,000.00 check)
  • Date of the Purchase & Sale Agreement (this is a more comprehensive legal document which spells out additional terms of the sale).
  • The deposit amount to be paid at the time of the Purchase & Sale Agreement and to be put into escrow until closing.
  • Closing date at which time you take ownership.
  • Any contingencies such as those regarding mortgage financing, home inspection, review of property or condominium documents and/or budget by buyer and/or buyer’s attorney.
  • Any desired changes or improvements to be made to the property prior to closing.
  • A list of any items to be included or excluded from the sale.

 

Knowing what to offer:

In addition to extensive knowledge of the current real estate market in general, as well as specific neighborhoods, we also have access to an enormous amount of information regarding recent sales of comparable properties in the neighborhood you are interested in, and can help you to determine the best price to offer on a particular property.

 

The seller may accept the offer as proposed, counter-offer with modified price, terms and/or conditions, or reject the offer outright and return your deposit. If the seller counter-offers, negotiations will continue until both buyer and seller come to agreeable terms. If agreeable terms are not met, the deposit will be returned.

 

Paperwork included in an offer consists of:

  • Offer To Purchase Real Estate
  • Offer to Purchase Contingency Addendum
  • Condominium Document Addendum
  • MA Mandatory License Consumer Relationship Disclosure
  • Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification
  • Home Inspectors Facts for Consumers

Step Five: Questions to consider when looking at a home

Questions to consider when looking at a home

  • How old are the building systems – heating/cooling, plumbing, and electrical? How old is the roof?
  • Have there been any recent sales on the block or adjacent blocks?
  • Check for any property easements.
  • Check for any Mechanic’s Liens from work performed by a contractor on the house.
  • Does property have a septic system? If “yes” request a copy of the most recent Title 5 Report
  • Check that the number of bedrooms and bathrooms matches with local zoning board.
  • Are there any developments planned in the vicinity of this home?
  • Do the taxes reflect the residential exemption?

Get started on your journey to home ownership today!

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

Step Four: Questions to consider when looking at a condominium or townhouse

Questions to consider when looking at a condominium or townhouse

  • What is the owner–occupancy rate?
  • Are there any special assessments pending or recent? (Special Assessments concern building improvements that are paid for collectively, such as system upgrades, building re-pointing, new roof, common area renovations, etc.).
  • How old are the building’s systems – heating/cooling, plumbing, and electrical? How old is the roof?
  • Who lives in the building?
  • Have there been any recent sales in this building? When?
  • Are there any developments planned in the vicinity of this building?
  • Is the condo association professionally managed or self-managed?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Are there any rental restrictions?
  • Do the taxes reflect the residential exemption?
  • What does the condo fee include?
  • Request a copy of the Master Deed, Declaration of Trust and Lead Paint Disclosure
  • How well-funded is the building’s condominium association?

Get started on your journey to home ownership today!

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

Step Three: Searching for a home

Searching for a home
Before starting your search you must determine what type of property you are seeking (condo, single-family, multi-family, etc.); the proper price range, location, square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, outdoor space, parking availability, and others “must haves”. All of theses will need to be decided on before your search begins.

 

Specific factors to consider in potential properties you may choose to evaluate:

  • Location (public transportation accessibility, local schools, community services, cultural activities, restaurants, parks and recreation, etc.)
  • Condition of the property (new construction, “fixer-upper, ” pre-construction)
  • Building type / architectural style (high-rise, brownstone, new construction, multi-family, large or smaller buildings.)
  • Desired features and amenities (fireplace, type of flooring, central air conditioning, outdoor space, in-unit laundry, elevator or walk-up, views, pet-friendly, concierge, health club, etc.)

 

Once you have answered these questions it is time to start the search for your new home. The main listing services in the Boston area is Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Other great tools for finding homes are Zillow and Trulia. All of theses are about equal, so I suggest you try all three and see what works the best for you.

 

If desired, daily listings can be emailed to you each morning, along with a listing of all open houses over the weekend that fit your criteria.

 

To note our exclusive broker client relationship, we will ask you to sign a ”Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure.” This document certifies that our fiduciary responsibility lies with you the buyer and not with the seller. A blank copy of this form is included in the appendix accompanying this guide for your reference.

 

Get started on your journey to home ownership today!

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

 

 

 

Step Two: Who Should I get my mortgage from

Who should I get my mortgage from, a Bank/Credit Union or a Mortgage Broker?

Advantages of working with a Bank/Credit union include:

  • The ability to build on an existing credit relationship
  • The possibility of adding a mortgage to your existing banking profile
  • The ability to make electronic payments from existing accounts
  • Trustworthy and accountable lenders
  • Better rates in some cases

 

Disadvantages of working with Bank/Credit Union include:

  • Conservative loan programs
  • Lengthy and bureaucratic loan processes
  • Unlikely to disclose yield premium

 

Advantages of working with a mortgage broker include:

  • They do all the legwork for you, by comparing the wholesale rates of many banks and lenders
  • Wholesale rates are usually cheaper than retail rates
  • A mortgage broker can often finance difficult deals and they must disclose yield spread premiums

 

Disadvantages of using a mortgage broker include:

  • They may not have access to all banks, or all programs available from a specific bank.

 

In short, your experience can vary significantly based on who you choose to work with, as some banks and lenders may overcharge you and give you the run-around, while a mortgage broker may do an excellent job and secure a lower interest rate for you. Also, the reverse maybe true too. It really depends on your situation, and the specific bank or brokers you choose to work with, so be sure to shop around.

How much can I afford?

  • Your loan officer will give you a loan amount based on the loan program you qualify for and how much money you are putting down.
  • Additional home affordability calculators are listed below:

o   http://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/house-affordability/

o   http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/houseafford/houseafford.html

o   http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/new-house-calculator.aspx

o   http://www.mortgagecalculator.org/calculators/affordability-calculator.php


Additional Resources:

HUD booklet on “Looking for the best Mortgage:

http://www.hud.gov/buying/booklet.pdf.

 

HUD Good Faith Estimate (GFE) gives you an estimate of your settlement charges and loan terms, if approved for loan:

http://www.hud.gov/content/releases/goodfaithestimate.pdf

 

A good site about mortgage information:

http://www.mtgprofessor.com/default.htm

 

Get started on your journey to home ownership today!

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

Step One: How do I get started? What information will I need for home purchase?

How do I get started? What information will I need for home purchase?

Well in advance of your intended date of purchase, you should have already gathered the following necessary info:

  • Order a free copy of your credit report at:

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

  • Clear-up any derogatory accounts. Do not open any new credit accounts or make large purchases.
  • Be able to document twelve months of verifiable housing history.
  • Make sure your down payment funds have been in the bank for at least two months.
  • Be aware that if any of your down payment is a gift, additional paperwork maybe required depending on when the funds are deposited into your personal account.

 

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

The Home Buyer’s Guide: An Introduction

We can help you to negotiate your way through the complexities of the home-purchase process with as little stress and financial anxiety as possible, all by simply reviewing our the useful info you will find in our new online Home Buyer’s Guide.

Use it to eliminate and avoid many of the potential “bumps in the road” which home buyers often face, and be settled in your new home that much sooner.

Get started on your journey to home ownership today!

Cedric Adams
CDA Realty Group
For copy of Home Buyer’s Guide please fill-out form below:

Working with an Architect

A great article for understanding how to work with architects. Quick excerpt from site, “The architectural design process consists of five phases. As you begin working with an AIA architect, or consider hiring one, it’s helpful to know where you are in the process and where it will take you. An AIA architect will orient you during each phase, and work with you to get the most value from each stage of the process. It’s a time-tested method for establishing a close working relationship between you and your architect, and producing the very best buildings.

Read the full article here: http://howdesignworks.aia.org/fivephases.asp

 

The Ever-changing Real Estate Marketplace

As this article notes “future home value appreciations may be driven by market demand, rather than inventory shortages.” Citing a recent study, other emerging issues of interest to local buyers and sellers are also included here:

Read the full article here: http://www.realtor.com/news/dynamics-shift-in-housing-market/

How Much Paperwork to Buy a House

Wondering what documents you will need to create, complete, or file in order to purchase or sell your house? This article notes all the paperwork particulars in one easy to use use summary:

Read the full blog post: http://www.zillowblog.com/2013-07-05/how-much-paperwork-to-buy-a-house/