By: Attorney Tom Demakis
Buying a house is, for most people, the single biggest investment they will ever make. The process can be very stressful, but it does not have to be. You can eliminate a lot of anxiety if you take a few steps to protect yourself.
- Learn and understand the market in which you will be buying.
Once you have seen a lot of houses in your price range, it will be easier for you to determine what a house is worth and to spot a bargain when you come upon one.
2) Once you find the house you want, do not let anyone pressure you or rush you into buying a house that’s not right for you, or paying too much for one. There are other houses out there, particularly in this market. The seller or the broker will almost always tell you that there are other buyers about to make offers, or that other offers have been made.
3) When you make a written offer in the form of Contract to Purchase, you should limit the deposit to $500-$1000.
4) You should not sign the Contract to Purchase without having an attorney review it. Any document that you sign is going to influence your rights in the purchase.
5) You should always make sure you have a home inspection. It is usually a good idea to have the home inspector also check for termites and other pests, as well as radon. If significant repairs are necessary, it is permissible and acceptable to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price or to require the seller to make the repairs prior to closing.
6) After the home inspection, you will enter into a formal purchase and sales agreement. Again, this should be done only with an attorney’s help.
7) When you are ready to apply for a mortgage you should go to Community Credit Union. You will certainly get the best service possible during the home-buying process, as well as after you begin making payments on the loan. The closing costs will generally be less with CCU than they will with a mortgage company or some other banks.
8) Always be mindful of the deadlines for the home inspection, the mortgage commitment, and the loan closing in order to avoid the risk of forfeiting your deposit. Always keep your attorney well informed.
9) Discuss with your attorney the benefits of a Realty Trust or a Declaration of Homestead, which will protect your home from most creditors up to certain limits.
Different issues can arise at any point in the home buying process, including ones which we have not discussed here. However, most of the problems and stress come from the points mentioned above. Following the advice in this article will usually result in avoiding major mistakes in your purchase of a home. If you have any questions, please call Community Credit Union or you may call me directly at Demakis Law Offices at 781-595-3311