Kellee Smith's Blog
Your own gut may be a great check when buying a house. You know if a deal feels right for you or not. Partner with a licensed realtor who holds herself to the highest ethical standards and you may never have to worry about being part of a kickback or a mortgage fraud scheme. You may get the best prices on each part of the home buying and home owning process.
Empower yourself when buying a house
That includes getting the best deal on your closing costs, mortgage insurance rates, property appraisal costs, title fees, homeowner's insurance rates and mortgage fees. However, unless you live in the house that you buy with this realtor until you decide not to own a house anymore, benefits of working with the above the board realtor will run out.
To truly gain while buying a house, you need to trust yourself. You need to learn the ins and outs of the mortgage process. This doesn't mean that you need to know as much as a real estate with an active license. But, to protect yourself against mortgage fraud and other disadvantages, it does mean that you should know about mortgage elements like:
- Real estate agent commissions and fees, including the average and competitive realtor commissions in areas that you are looking for a house in
- Homeowner's association fees and costs that go to embezzlers (This can happen if homeowner's association board members aren't keeping a watchful eye on balance sheets, payments and bank records.)
- Down payments (In addition to knowing what the average down payment percentage is, you should know how down payments will impact your monthly mortgage installments.)
- Home inspection fees (Again, find out what the average rate for home inspection fees are in the area where you want to buy a house.)
- Mortgage insurance costs (This costs is separate from homeowner's insurance.)
- Insurance to protect your house and land, including financial protection against natural and human caused damages.
- Fees associated with the mortgage application itself (Get clear about costs that you are responsible for paying that you won't be reimbursed.)
- Values of houses in the area that you want to move into (It doesn't hurt to run comparables on houses in the area yourself.)
Know what you're getting into when buying a house
These additional costs may not be directly associated with buying a house, but they will impact your ability to make your monthly mortgage payments. At the top of the list are utility costs. Electricity and running water aren't the only utilities you may be responsible for after you buy a house. Other utility and home related costs include sewage and trash pickup fees.
After you buy a house, you may also be required to pay for gas, telephone services, oil,cable television and Internet services. You'll also have to pay to maintain your home. Maintenance costs cover repairing appliances like the refrigerator,washing machine or air conditioner.
Make sure that you can pay these costs comfortably before you take on the responsibility of owning a house. It can keep you from falling behind in your mortgage payments. It can help you to sleep good at night.