Real Estate

Do you want to buy a home?

Buying a home is an emotional decision. It is the place where you are going to spend some of the most important moments in your life. It will be the place where children are brought home from the hospital, birthday parties and anniversaries are celebrated. It will be a place of refuge from the storm.

It is also an expensive purchase and one you cannot return if you don’t like it after a few weeks. And for this very reason, people generally are worried about making the right decision when buying a home. Therefore most people prefer to have a third party—a Realtor–that they trust to help them with the transaction. Someone who can advise them on values and appreciation. Someone who knows inspectors and lenders and can maneuver through the paperwork and to a successful closing.

As a buyer, there is not a fee to hire a realtor. The listing realtor contracts with a seller to list their property and sell it. In turn, the listing realtor offers a portion of the commission generally half to a selling Realtor to bring them a buyer. Any Realtor can sell any property on the market including for sale by owner homes. It is advisable to hire your own Realtor rather than call sign to sign for many reasons.

  1. The Realtor on the sign generally represents the seller in the transaction. Let’s face it, they are the ones paying the commission.
  2. If you are working with a Realtor they will begin to learn what you are looking for and may know of a property that will work for you.
  3. They will be an advocate for you in the transaction.
  4. They have knowledge about transactions that can make things go smoother than if you tried to do this on your own.

As a full time realtor, I work with my buyers to get the best deals possible and to give great customer service. If you have questions regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.net

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Real Estate · Uncategorized

What is the difference between mortgage insurance and home insurance?

Sometimes my clients get confused with the difference between the types of insurance products that are part of a home loan. So to clarify the difference between them, I have summarized the difference between the two types of insurance policies.
Mortgage insurance is a fee that the buyer pays to insure the lender in case they default on the mortgage. This fee is needed if the buyer invests less than 20% in the property or obtains a FHA loan. As of June 2013, a buyer will pay the mortgage insurance for the life of the loan on a FHA loan. On a conventional loan the buyer will pay mortgage insurance until the value of the property reaches a 80/20 value rating. If a buyer purchases a home on a conventional loan with less than a 20% investment for below market value and then improves the property significantly (maybe a foreclosure) it would be advisable to get a market analysis to see if the property has a 80/20 value rating after the improvements. This can save the buyer significant money.
Home Insurance protects the home owner from the perils of nature and thief. It is required by the mortgage company if a loan is on the property. And personally I am not sure why you would not have home owners insurance even if your home was paid off. It is a protection for your investment. You will want to shop around for insurance as premiums and what they cover can drastically differ from company to company. Home insurance does not cover everything. One thing that it does not cover is flooding. If your home is in a designated flood zone, you will need a separate flood policy.
If you have questions regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website http://www.sandiwalker.net

Uncategorized

Should I buy a home warranty?

The number one con to home ownership is maintenance. Repairing plumbing leaks, heat and air units and such can be expensive. An option is to purchase a home warranty. Generally they are somewhere around $500 a year and will cover the mechanics of the home. They can be purchased at the time of sale or after the property sale. But the question is are they worth it. I guess the answer depends on who you ask. I like putting them on older homes or on homes that my first time home buyers purchase, because they do ease the cost of many repairs.  But there are a few things you need to know if you are going to purchase a home warranty.

  1. You must call the 1-800 # to get service and use their contractors. If you use your own contractor, the repairs will not be covered.
  2. It can take a few days to get the service authorized and the work performed. So it may not be as fast as hiring your own contractor.
  3. Not everything is covered by a home warranty, so ask or read the fine print before the contractor shows up at your door to inform you that the cracked toilet is not covered but you still owe the deductible.
  4. Some items in your home may not be currently up to code. So while the home warranty company may cover the broken hot water tank or furnace, you may owe for the upgrade to current code charges.  Of course this still may be less than repairing the item without the warranty.
  5. If you are buying an older home with older appliances and mechanics, a home warranty may give the buyer piece of mind knowing that the home warranty company will repair many items that may break over the year.
  6. You may ask the warranty company for a buy out on an appliance rather than repairing the item. This may help you to afford an upgrade.
  7. If you are having trouble with a home warranty company repairing an item reach out to your realtor  who can reach out to the sales rep. The sales rep may be able to help the situation.

If you have questions regarding real estate, please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website  http://www.sandiwalker.net