| 815-235-2111 | 815-616-5311 ask@choicerealtyfreeport.com

How to Make a Winning Offer

Once you have found the house you want, you need to make a written offer to buy it. There are many things to consider before you write the offer. You will need your pre-approval from your lender, an earnest money check( an amount of money you put down when making an offer to demonstrate your good faith, usually $1000 or more based on the price of the home) and a written offer to purchase that you will complete with the help of your Realtor. Obviously, the price you wish to offer is an important consideration but there are many other factors that may affect whether or not your offer is accepted. These other factors are called contingencies and they may sometimes be as important to the success of your offer as the price. If you are obtaining a mortgage to purchase the property then your Realtor will want to include a financing contingency. The bank will normally also require an appraisal of the property to be completed and therefore you will also need an appraisal contingency. If you are paying cash, you will need to decide if you wish to have an appraisal done, since it is not required. In the financing contingency, you will need to include the type of mortgage you are obtaining( conventional, FHA, VA, etc.) and the date by which you will be providing the seller with your final loan approval (typically 30 days or so). If you have already been pre-approved, the bank should have all the required documentation from you and will just need a copy of the final purchase contract and the...

The House Hunt

In my last column I discussed the first step in the home buying process: getting pre-approved with a lender. Once you have been pre-approved you will know what price range to focus your home search in and what type of loan you have been approved for. If you are getting a government backed loan product(FHA, VA or USDA Rural Development to name a few) your home search should be focused on properties that meet the criteria for that type of loan. Typically, foreclosure properties will not meet the standards that these loans require their properties to meet, so keep that in mind when doing your home search. Your lender can tell you what types of issues you need to stay away from but typically they are health & safety concerns. Peeling paint, broken windows, mold, un-safe wiring and in-operative furnaces are some examples of items that would affect your ability to obtain a mortgage on that property. Now that you have been pre-approved for a loan and know your price range, where do you start to find a home? According to the National Association of Realtors 90% of todayís homebuyers start their home search on the internet. With the popularity of such real estate websites as Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow, home buyers can search a specific price range and location and immediately see what is available for sale from the comfort of their living room. These websites are useful tools for getting a market overview and a feel for what is available in your price range, but they are no substitute for touring a home in person. Before you...

So You Want To Buy A House?

Spring is just around the corner (really, it is) and youíve been thinking it may be the time to start looking for a home. If you have been on the fence about buying, itís a good time to make that decision. There are many reasons why now is a good time to start your home search. Interest rates are still very low, home prices have not rebounded here yet as they have with some bigger cities and spring is typically when most sellers list their homes. Aside from the obvious tax advantages of home ownership ( mortgage interest and property tax deductions to name a few) in many cases it is actually less expensive to own a home than to rent. Instead of paying monthly rent to your landlord, you could be building equity in your own home with every mortgage payment you make. Ok, so Iíve convinced you itís time to think about buying a home, but where do you start? This is the first in a four part series examining the steps to purchase a home. The very first step is to get pre-approved with a lender for your mortgage. Many people think they know what price range they are in and start looking for a house before talking to a lender. Big mistake! More often than not, you think you will qualify for more than you actually do and you find that the house you fell in love with is out of your price range. Rather than risk disappointment, make an appointment with your local loan officer and get pre-approved. You will need to bring some...
Grant money still available for Freeport homebuyers

Grant money still available for Freeport homebuyers

If you are considering purchasing a home in the city limits of Freeport, you may be able to qualify for a grant. In order to be eligible for the grant money, the home must be unoccupied. You must be able to meet the eligibility requirements, including income limits. Depending on your income, the grant includes $3,000 to $5,000 in down payment assistance and up to $20,000 in rehabilitation money. The home must be in reasonably good condition so the repairs do not exceed the money available for rehab. If the home needs a roof or new furnace and new floor coverings and paint, you may be able to do all that for under $20,000. If the home needs new windows, a new furnace, new plumbing, new wiring, a new roof or a new kitchen, it probably is not a good candidate for this program. You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for the grant, but you do need to occupy the property. If you live in the home for at least five years, and the loan will be forgiven. This is not the program for someone that is looking to flip a property. It is intended to encourage owner/occupants to purchase vacant inventory and upgrade them rather than have them remain empty and fall into disrepair. There are a good number of vacant homes on the market right now, and not all are foreclosures or bank-owned properties. Sometimes the owner has bought another home before his or her current one sold, and it is sitting empty. These types of homes would still qualify for the...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This