Why Buy With Us?
James & Lee Realty Realtors® pride themselves on their level of customer service, whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor. Buying a house is a big deal and we treat it as such.
Allowing us to represent you in your transaction will bring you peace of mind knowing that you’re in capable hands and that your best interests supersede all else.
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Escrow and Closing Costs
What is escrow? Are there any closing costs that buyers should be aware of? What is the process of purchasing a home?
The first time you’ll encounter escrow in a real estate transaction is when writing out your earnest money check for an offer. Your earnest money is deposited upon acceptance of your offer, and either applied to the cost of the transaction or, in the case of a failed transaction, paid out to the appropriate party depending on how the contract was breached.
There are closing costs to be aware of that our associates will explain in detail before you start signing an offer. Your down payment is considered a closing cost, and the title company you choose will have their own set of closing costs. Some unique ones may pop up based on the house you’re buying, such as HOA-related closing costs. We will work to make sure that nothing is ever a surprise before you get to the closing table.
When it comes to purchasing a home, every transaction is unique. That’s why we focus on training our associates to handle any issue that comes up and make sure that all resources are available to make sure you’re taken care of properly and professionally. The general home-buying process typically goes:
Pre-approval -> Find a home -> Make an offer -> Negotiate until accepted -> Have inspections done -> Negotiate repairs -> Final walkthrough -> Get keys at the closing table.
What is a home warranty? Is it worth purchasing?
A home warranty is typically a one-year renewable service contract designed to protect your household budget from unexpected, costly repairs on home systems and appliances. A home warranty is different than home insurance, as home insurance is required by your lender to protect the structure from weather damage and theft, among other things.
It is up to you whether a home warranty is worth purchasing or not. Your James & Lee associate will discuss the different home warranty providers and their benefits with you before that decision needs to be made.
What is the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage? How do you go about getting pre-approved?
When it comes to mortgages, there’s a big difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. A pre-qualification letter is a “big picture” look at your finances between you and your lender, whereas a pre-approval letter is issued when you and your lender have done a more thorough evaluation and have determined the loan amount you qualify for. Simply put, it’s all about the pre-approval letter. Once we have that in hand, we can get started finding your new home and will use that when submitting an offer once you’ve found the house you love.
In order to start the pre-approval process, either contact your lender directly or, if you don’t have one selected yet, one of our associates can get you into contact with some of the great ones we’ve worked with in the past.
What are all these different loan types? Where do I start? What type of credit score do I need?
Our associates will guide you through everything, start to finish. The best place to start is by talking to your preferred lender or asking us for a list of reputable ones we’ve worked with before. Your lender will then help you decide which type of loan is the best fit for you. Some common loan types are:
1) FHA Loan – Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans offer a competitive interest rates and lower down payments than a conventional loan.
2) VA Loan – The US Department of Veteran Affairs offers this to active-duty military members, veterans, and surviving spouses. It features competitive interest rates, no down payment, no private mortgage insurance, and no minimum credit score.
3) Conventional Loan – This loan type is obtained through your preferred banking institution and the terms and rates are set by that bank. Mortgage brokers can offer you many different conventional loan products from banks all over the country.
There are different credit score requirements for each loan type, so it is best to talk with your lender or mortgage broker to figure out which criteria you meet. They may also be able to help you sign up for one of the many different programs available such as the Section 184 loan for Native Americans, the Good Neighbor Next Door for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, or one of the many local and state grants or programs available to home buyers.