Buying a home is a major decision. We have worked with first time home buyers, as well as experienced home buyers over the past 20 years and we have identified these frequently asked questions.

When you are ready to buy real estate, we can help you purchase the right home. Contact Us to learn about the ERTS advantage or search our site for Residential, Commercial, and Land properties.

Buyers Questionnaire
Role of a Buyers Agent
Financing a Home
Local Schools
Tax Savings

Buyers Questionnaire

Should I buy or rent?

Buying provides the pride of ownership and many tax advantages that renting does not. Owning real estate can be a good investment and has historically appreciated over time.

Renting is a wise choice when you plan on moving in a short timeframe. Renting will enable you to avoid transaction costs of getting into a property or out of a property.

How much money will I need to buy a home?

This varies. It depends upon many factors, which includes price of the home, type of mortgage, income level, and amount of your debt. Generally, you will incur the following costs:

  • Earnest money is the buyers security deposit with a contract for the purchase of a home. The security deposit is put into an escrow account if the offer is accepted. This money is applied towards the down payment or closing costs for the property.
  • Down payment is the lump sum deposit applied towards the purchase of a home that provides equity in that property, and is required at settlement.
  • Closing costs are the buyers required funds that are needed in order to process the transaction of closing on a home.

Is the home price negotiable?

Market conditions dictate the flexibility in the price of any home. An experienced real estate agent can help you determine a comparable price you should pay. It could also depend on:

  • How long has the house been on the market?
  • What is the average sale price of properties in the neighborhood?
  • Is this your dream home and will you risk loosing it over price negotiations?

How do I know if my new home will appreciate?

We can help provide you with historical appreciation information. In addition, other factors will determine future appreciation such as:

  • Property location
  • Neighborhood amenities
  • Quality of the school districts around
  • Recent sales prices of homes in the same community
  • Supply and demand

For a current estimate on how much your potential purchase is worth, please Contact Us

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Role of a Buyers Agent

Why do I need an agent?

Professional agents protect your best interests by explaining the legal implications associated with buying and familiarizing the buyer with the complexity of real estate law. We believe buying your real estate through an agent gives you an advantage over other buyers. Some of the questions you may ask your agent are as follows:

  • What is the process of purchasing a home?
  • How much home can I afford?
  • What characteristics should I consider when buying a home?
  • What is the approximate timeframe for buying a home?
  • When is the best time to buy my real estate?

The cost in using a buyer agent is funded by the seller, therefore buyers can protect themselves by using agents.

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Financing a Home

How do I know if I can qualify for a loan?

Lending institutions can help you figure out the exact amount you qualify for. However, our Loan Calculator can help you estimate your monthly payment.

What does my monthly payment include?

The monthly payment includes principal, interest, insurance, and property taxes that are levied by your city and county.

Where do I find a good lender?

There are numerous lenders from whom you can obtain mortgage loans. However, it is a good idea to shop around for the lowest rates. You should consider not only the rates, but also the points and other expenses that are included in a loan package. Be sure to get a good faith estimate in writing. If you need help finding a lender, please feel free to contact a ERTS agent and we can guide you through the process.

What is the basic information every lender will require?

When applying for the loan you will need to provide the following:

  • Social security numbers
  • Recent paycheck stubs
  • Verification of employment
  • Bank statements
  • A list of credit cards and account numbers
  • Any outstanding loans and account numbers (i.e. cars, medical bills, student loans, other property, etc.)
  • Last two years' income tax returns
  • Point of contact who can verify your current address (i.e. relative)

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Local Schools

How can I find out about neighborhood schools?

The best source of information about schools is the local school board. However, many real estate agents are also well-informed about local schools.

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Tax Savings

What are the tax savings of buying a home?

Buying a home can impact both your federal and state income tax returns. We advise contacting your tax professional for specific advice. Some of the questions you may ask your real estate agent are as follows:

  • How much will I save by deducting mortgage interest?
  • How much will I save by deducting property tax?
  • Which costs of buying a home are tax deductible?

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