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Home Inspection Report: The When and Why

clock April 9, 2014 10:27 by author MyTitleDirect
Once your offer has been accepted, but before you sign your Contract of Sale, it is very important to get your home Inspected by a qualified home inspector. This is a very important step in the home buying process. The home inspection consists of a very detailed look throughout the home. The main goal of a home inspection is to make sure that the home is safe to live in. For example, the inspector will take a close look at the roof to make sure it is well intact. They will also check to see if there is any structural or mechanical damage such as broken heating systems, or a collapsing floor. The basement will be checked for cracks and damage as well as your toilets and more. A termite report is usually needed as well, which you can have the home inspector do at the time of inspection to save you time and money. This isn’t required but it is generally cheaper compared to contracting a separate termite inspection agency.  It is very important to follow the inspector and take notes on what he is observing. Some issues may not arise now, but can turn into problems in the future, especially in older homes. It is important to be educated and prepared for possible future maintenance that you will need and how to avoid problems if possible.  An inspection is also another tool you can have in your back pocket for sale negotiation purposes. Damage that needs to be fixed on the home can be negotiated to have the seller pay for them or to even have the purchase price of the home lowered to compensate for the maintenance work needed.   Read the rest of this article from Buyhomeapp.com here


Title Insurance for Less? A new breed of insurance company is promising discounts for home buyers ~ W.S.J.

clock April 1, 2014 08:28 by author MyTitleDirect
A new breed of insurance company is promising discounts on a type of policy many home buyers don't even realize they need: title insurance. Almost everyone who buys a house also purchases title insurance. Mortgage lenders generally require that borrowers buy a so-called lender's policy. Owners can buy a separate policy for themselves. The insurers determine if there is clear ownership of the property and offer protection if someone later claims an ownership interest in it.   Brian DeYoung   Title insurance can cost hundreds of dollars for modest houses and thousands for multimillion-dollar properties. Yet many home buyers don't focus on the product, or the price, until they sit down at the closing. There often is little incentive to shop around, as established insurers typically charge similar premiums and some states set or cap prices. Consumers tend to rely on a mortgage broker, real-estate agent or lawyer to connect them with a title insurer. Now upstart insurers and agencies are challenging the status quo. Insurance agencies also are being more aggressive in competing for title-insurance business. Redfin, a real-estate agency based in Seattle that has pioneered the use of technology in real-estate sales, started a title-insurance agency, Title Forward, in early 2013. It is based in Philadelphia and sells policies in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and the District of Columbia. Title Forward is telling customers it can save them money by helping them figure out which type of title-insurance policy they need—and whether they can do without the more-expensive "enhanced" policies many agents sell. These policies can cover home buyers if the seller doesn't pay a contractor who did work on the house just before the sale and later claims he is owed money, according to Adam Wiener, a Redfin executive. Enhanced policies cost as much as 17% more in the states where Title Forward works, he says. Title Forward's policies are issued by industry giant First American Financial. Sue-Ann Greenfield, an entertainment-industry business manager from Manhattan, was buying a second home in exclusive Sag Harbor, N.Y., last fall when she went onto the Internet to research closing costs. "I decided I was going to be proactive," she says. "Why am I spending all this money on title insurance, and I don't even know what it is?" Still, greater competition will benefit consumers, says Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, a nonprofit consumer-advocacy organization based in Texas. Mr. Birnbaum notes that state insurance departments have "requirements in place to make sure a company can pay its claims." In 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Congress's investigative arm, concluded that the title-insurance industry's reliance on agents who sell to real-estate and mortgage professionals and lawyers, rather than to consumers, presents potential conflicts of interest and raises questions about the "reasonableness of prices" paid by consumers. [The Wall Street Journal]   Read the entire Wall Street Journal article by Leslie Scism (email at leslie.scism@wsj.com) and Alan Zibel (email at alan.zibel@wsj.com) on their web site here  


Find a Type and Location For Your Property

clock March 28, 2014 09:46 by author MyTitleDirect
The next step in the home buying process will be to find out where you want to live and what type of home you want to live in. A.    Choosing a location you want to live in is very important. Maybe you’ve always wanted to live by the beach, in the big city or a little closer to your retired parents. Most buyers have a general location where they want to buy a home. Try to narrow your search down to a few neighborhoods, like a specific zip code or county. Having an idea of where you want to live will give you the best chance of finding the home you want.   Read the rest of the article on BuyHomeApp.com


What is a home appraisal and why do lenders need to know a home’s value?

clock March 20, 2014 07:35 by author MyTitleDirect
An appraisal is a report that outlines an appraiser’s professional opinion of your property’s value at a specific point in time, based on specific factors. These factors include the location of the property, square footage, age and room count. The appraiser will also take into account what comparable properties have recently sold for in your area. Whether you’re refinancing or buying, a bank must have a good idea of the value of your home because it determines your maximum approvable loan amount. Once they have your home’s value, they can determine your loan-to-value ratio. Your loan-to-value ratio is one of the criterions that banks use to establish how your mortgage will be structured - the other two being your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. How much do appraisals cost?   Read more of this article on BuyHomeApp.com


Learn About The Home Buying Process From Buyhomeapp.com

clock March 12, 2014 10:37 by author MyTitleDirect
Buying a home is a very exciting time. You are looking to purchase a place where you and your family will host countless birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and game nights. Since buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime, we are here to help guide you through the process.  Listed below is an outline of the steps you will go through to buy your home: 1) Prepare Yourself 2) Find a type and location of your property 3) Get Prequalified for your mortgage 4) Find your dream home 5) Find an Attorney 6) Get a Home Inspection Report 7) Sign the Contract of Sale 8) Mortgage Application Procees from Start to Finish (Application to signed commitment) 9) Get a title search completed and cleared 10) Set a Closing Date: The How’s and Why’s 11) What Happens After the Closing: Start Packing and Planning the Move Read the rest of the article and learn about the process at BuyHomeApp.com