Four Things Every Home Buyer Should Know Before Buying
If this isn't your first time buying a home, you probably already know the basic rules. However, if you're an inexperienced homebuyer, there are four things you should know before making your final decision. Buying a home can be stressful, but if you go into the process with some knowledge, it can be a smooth transition. Here are those four tips and some information about each one.
Your Initial Deposit
Once you've made the offer to buy the home, the next step is usually a deposit, or what some call a "good faith" deposit. This deposit is held in escrow until the closing is completed and the buyer is credited the amount. If for some reason the escrow gets cancelled or you decide that it was not the home for you, the big question is: What happens to the deposit? If you decide to cancel the escrow, most sellers assume that the deposit belongs to them. But that is not always the case. It is best to ask right away about the policy concerning the down payment before putting any money down. Make sure you are aware of the stipulations concerning your deposit depending on who cancelled the escrow.
Taxes and Assessments
When you calculate your yearly taxes, make sure you take everything into account. If you buy your home brand new from a builder, you will receive a supplemental bill which is equivalent to almost one year's worth of property taxes. This can be quite a shock if you never knew it was coming. Also, another thing to think about in new neighborhoods is assessments. This comes around the same time as your property taxes and can change year to year. This means that you not only have property taxes to think about, but you also need to set aside money for assessments which can increase each year.
Home Owner's Associations
If you find a home in a neighborhood that belongs to a home owner's association, or HOA, it is very important that you read the CCNR, or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. If you are not completely aware of every little detail in those guidelines, you could unwittingly break many of the rules. Most HOAs have rules covering everything from painting your garage door to what type of TV company you can belong to. Make sure you familiarize yourself with all the rules and then make your decision.
Insurance and Warranties
When it comes to shopping around for home warranties, make sure you find a plan that you feel comfortable with and covers everything you feel is important. Most plans cover basic things like appliances and air conditioners, but you can get plans that cover the roof and even the septic tank. Getting homeowner's insurance is very important and a "must-have" before closing the deal. However, when you do purchase a homeowner's insurance policy, make sure it's not the last thing you buy as it may delay the closing.
Buying you a home should be an exciting time of your life. Yes, it may be stressful but. But it's a step in a new direction. Keeping these four things in mind will make buying your home easier and hassle-free.