Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few FAQ’s that our buyers ask about both before and after buying a property.
Home inspection companies are hired by either sellers or buyers to find visible defects at a property. For single-family homes, inspectors look at both the exterior (e.g. roof, gutters, siding, and more) and the interior (e.g. countertops, ceilings, flooring, plumbing, attic, crawlspace, and more) of the property. For condominiums, inspectors usually check the interior if the HOA is responsible for the exterior part of the property. Furthermore, some companies also offer infrared imaging and sewer scopes. Lastly, the septic inspection is commonly the responsibility of the sellers.
- Pre-inspection: this takes place before you submit an offer. It doesn’t guarantee you win the offer but it makes your offer more enticing to the sellers.
- Inspection contingency: this takes place only if the sellers accept your offer.
- Inspection waiver: this means you don’t do an inspection at all. This option is common if the sellers provide us with an inspection report which they did before listing their property on the market. It’s common for listing agents only to provide this after we tour the home in person.
Yes! Continue to read your emails and texts from us in case there’s any other additional paperwork we need. If we call and leave a voicemail, we ask that you respond within 24 hours or sooner. After the inspection, your lender will also be infrequent touch about the financing side. Time is of the essence, so please do respond as quickly as possible to both your lender and us, especially if you have any questions and/or concerns. Every document we need has a deadline.
Banks hire appraisal companies to assess the value of the home and to see if what you offered (i.e. the purchase price) is really worth giving that loan amount. This process normally happens between the second to the third week of the 30-day transaction. This is good for both the bank/lender and you as the buyers. The appraisal report can come back one of three ways and there’s no wrong answer:
- Lower than the purchase price. When this happens, we renegotiate with the seller.
- The same as the purchase price. When this happens, we move forward with the process.
- Higher than the purchase price. When this happens, we also move forward with the process and you have some equity in the home.
We highly encourage you to postpone any large purchases (e.g. boats, cars, anything that requires a loan) until after closing. DO NOT, we repeat DO NOT open any new credit cards or take on new loans, especially with retail stores that ask you if you want a discount and then pull your credit. This negatively affects your credit, which can impact your mortgage application, i.e. you risk losing the home before you get the keys (also known as, “financing failed”).
We suggest waiting to give notice until (at the earliest) the day of closing. Why? Because your first mortgage payment normally begins two months after closing and if anything goes wrong (e.g. you or others on the loan become unemployed, or the bank requests repairs that the sellers may not complete after the appraisal), then we want to make sure you still have a home to live in if the deal falls through. However, in the end, it’s up to you when to give notice.
It’s very important that you notify us and your lender about this change. Life happens and sometimes things are unpredictable, so if you lose your job, we will ask you to sign a form to cancel the contract due to “financing failed” since you may not qualify for the loan anymore without a job. Being honest is important.
About three to four days before closing, we will do a final property walk through with you, at which time you can invite your friends and family.
- Pre-purchase – before getting pre-approved
- Once pre-approve.
- Once the seller accepts your offer – mutual
- Post-Closing Homeownership
No, but if you want to get a well-rounded education on the process of buying and are curious to learn about the many downpayment assistance programs available through Washington State, then, we suggest you take it.
Each individual who will be on the loan and who will use the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) program must register individually. There are other programs with particular lenders that also require this certified class. If there are other family members or individuals who aren’t on the loan, but who are part of making decisions, then, we suggest all persons involved take the class to ensure you’re all on the same page.
To be able to finance a home, you need income. To use the funds from the state (WSHFC) towards down payment of a home, you need to be able to work legally in the United States and have either a Permanent Resident Card or a VISA – work permit. However, there are various ITIN programs available for foreigners.
Although Real Estate Agents can represent both sellers and buyers on the same property (aka Dual Agency), it’s often best we don’t so there are no qualms about whose interest we best represent.
Different loans require different minimum credit scores; however, at minimum 580 and above, preferably 620 and above for most first-time homebuyer programs. In general, the higher the score, the better the loan terms. If you need to improve your score, we can refer you to credit repair companies and nonprofits as well.
The best way to find out is to schedule a consultation with us and/or a mortgage lender. We will ask you questions about your homeownership goals, timing, income, savings, and more, to guide you with options.
This depends on how much you qualify to buy a home, which lenders calculate through your debt-to-income ratio. Some programs will give you a fixed dollar amount to buy a home (e.g. $7,500 to $17,500) and other programs will give you a percentage of the purchase price (e.g. up to 5%).
Common out-of-pocket costs are: earnest money, inspections, appraisal, and downpayment (minimum 3% of the purchase price) and closing costs (1-3% of the purchase price) not covered by programs. Furthermore, consider moving costs including furniture and repairs, which vary greatly on the property’s condition and your wants and needs.