Buying a home can be overwhelming – even if you’re not a first-time buyer! We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to help alleviate some of the home-buying stress and let you get back to the business of serving our country.
Earnest money is simply a financial deposit paid by the buyer that the seller will require once the buyer goes under contract on a home purchase. The simple reason for earnest money is to financially vest the buyer in the transaction. Rule of thumb is that earnest money runs approximately 1% of the list price of the home you’re buying (ex. $2,500 earnest money for a home listed for $250,000).
Our answers here may be subjective and the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity states that in fairness to the public, we should offer resources instead. Visit SCHOOL DATA for more details and information.
There are many resources to assess the local crime levels. The websites for Colorado Springs Police Department, local town police departments such as Fountain, Manitou Springs, Monument and Palmer Lake and as well as El Paso County Sheriff’s Department are accurate and suggested resources for crime information for areas of town you are considering purchasing.
The VA does not do any home inspections; however, a home inspection is very important. After the buyer is under contract on a home, the inspection phase begins and the buyer should hire a home inspector of their choice. We can provide a list of inspector names to choose from for your convenience. You will receive a written report from your inspector as to the overall condition of the home, awareness of cosmetic issues as simple as a tear in a window screen and critical issues such as safety, code and/or structural. It is recommended that a buyer hire specialized inspectors, as appropriate, for other components such as the sewer line, the roof, the furnace, the fireplace, etc.
During the inspection phase of the contract, you as buyer have options. You can terminate the contract for any reason and have your earnest money returned, or you can request the seller to make all necessary safety, code or structural corrections to the home prior to closing. If the seller doesn’t agree to your requests, or you are not comfortable with what the seller is willing to do, you still may terminate the contract.
Yes, if you are getting a loan, your lender will require you to obtain homeowners insurance on the property and keep it in place for the entire time you own the home. Lenders often call homeowners’ insurance “hazard insurance” which a suitable label. You can shop around for coverage and rates and choose the insurance company after you go under contract to make your home purchase.
When procuring a loan, there are both closing costs and prepaids. These lender terms are thrown around a lot and there are differences between the two. Closing costs are all the costs and fees associated in obtaining a mortgage loan of any kind. Many of the closing costs and fees are uniform and regulated. Other costs vary from lender to lender but overall, they run typically the same. Prepaids are different from closing costs. There are mandatory costs that all homeowners pay. For example, these costs can include homeowners’ insurance, property taxes and homeowners association (HOA) dues. When the loan is initiated, the lender will collect a small portion of the annual amount and hold them in an escrow account just for you so the lender can pay them when they become due. Your monthly mortgage payment will include a prorated portion of these items so that the full amount is in your escrow account when they become due.
This is definitely a possibility for which we can make arrangements. Be sure to tell us if you think you could be deployed prior to closing, so we can work with the title company to be sure that you close on time.
In most cases, you do not pay anything to have representation by a licensed Buyer’s Agent. Though the Buyer’s Agent is your advocate and fiduciary according to Colorado State Law, the commission is borne by the seller of the property you buy. The Buyer’s Agent is paid from the seller proceeds at closing.
It is definitely wise to have a Buyer’s Agent, who is familiar with new construction purchases, represent you when purchasing a home from a builder. The Buyer’s Agent commission is paid for by the builder and already built into the cost of the home. A Buyer’s Agent can help you in a myriad of ways in purchasing new construction. They can do legwork in obtaining information for you. They can show you comparable new homes built by other builders, research existing homes for sale and help you through the decision-making process so you can make the best choice. An agent can advise you about what to expect when purchasing a new home and can help by asking the hard questions for you and perhaps get you extras that you wouldn’t know to ask for. After you are under contract for a new build, they are there to advise and guide you through the process. Our agents are all experienced in selling new homes and are familiar with new build sites in the region.
There are several ways you can start. You choose what is most convenient for you.
- Visit WANTS-NEEDS HOMEFINDER to complete a form to get started.
- Call our office at 719-247-9040 and talk with Julie. Julie is a very knowledgeable licensed agent and will be able to answer just about any question. If she doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find it for you. She is also available via text at 719-291-6318.
- Email us at [email protected] to get us started.
There are two basic expenses to be prepared to pay for prior to closing. The earnest money will be due at the time your offer is accepted. There is no set amount for earnest money, but typically runs around 1% of the list price. The second expense is for home inspection and other inspections that you decide to have done. These costs are due at the time of inspection. All other costs (closing costs) are paid at closing and will be disclosed to you by the lender if you are getting a loan once you go under contract. If you are paying cash for your home, your agent will communicate what the minimal costs will be to close.
The Colorado State Contract has addressed this scenario. You may not want to pay more for the home than the appraiser believes it’s worth. If that happens, your agent can prepare the documentation to request the seller to reduce the purchase price to the appraised value. If the seller is unwilling to agree to reduce the price, you can terminate the contract. In some cases, it might make sense for you to pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price to get the home you love.
A Military Relocation Professional Certified Agent has been trained through a program from National Association of Realtors (NAR) to understand the processes and procedures involved in a military relocation and how they impact service members’ relocation and housing choices. Training emphasizes the unique needs of the PCS process, finding a suitable home for the PCS’ing member, and sensitivity to the emotional issues of a relocating military family. In depth VA financing and eligibility matters are taught as well. NAR has addressed the need to train licensed Realtors to work with the Armed Forces with their specific needs. We have earned the NAR Military Relocation Professional Certification through the extensive training and passing the exams and paying the dues.
At Woodleaf Realty, we recognize military service members don’t always have the luxury of time in making their home purchase and also have needs civilians don’t have. We understand the differences and are honored to serve our incoming military personnel in the way that helps them the most and serves them the best. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has addressed the need to train licensed Realtors to work with the Armed Forces with their specific needs. We have earned the NAR Military Relocation Professional Certification through the extensive training and passing the exams and paying the dues.