Buying a home may be the most important investment an individual or family makes in their lifetime. It is important to know the process and to be aware of the industry professionals who can assist you. The two primary advisers will be Realtors and mortgage lenders. You must understand how much you can afford and what your budget will allow. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may qualify for a tax credit ($8000 in 2009) and could be eligible for special financing programs. To take advantage of this program, you must close on the property you purchase by December 1, 2009.
Mortgage Financing - A Loan for Your Home
Most home buyers borrow the money to purchase property by obtaining a mortgage through a lender. The lender may be a bank, mortgage banker, credit union or a private investor. The most common types of loans are conventional and government insured (FHA and VA). It is advisable to obtain a "credit approval" from a lender prior to actively looking at property so that you understand the price range you can afford.
The Real Estate Agent's Role in the Process
As a consumer in the home buying process, you have options for representation from a real estate agent. In Massachusetts you may hire a buyer's agent or work through a facilitator. A buyer agent is a licensee who acts on behalf of a buyer or tenant in the purchase, exchange, rental, or lease of real estate. A facilitator is an individual licensee who assists one or more parties during all or a portion of a real estate transaction without being an agent or advocate for the interests of any party to such transaction.
Finding Your First Home in Springfield, MA
There are a variety of on-line tools and services that will assist you in finding the perfect home. The Massachusetts home search is easy with "quick search" options to search for MA homes for sale and real estate. Let us assist you in finding the property that meets your needs. Virtual Homes real estate agents can assist you in your search for the perfect home.
Massachusetts Multiple Listing Service- Search the MLS for all MA property listings. Go to MA MLS.
Massachusetts Foreclosures and Bank Owned Homes - Register to receive MA foreclosure (bank-owned) listings and short sale opportunities.
MA Home Search Service - Home search is a web-based real estate software tool (MLSpulse) that keeps you continually informed of your local real estate market.
Springfield, MA entry level homes can be found at Springfield MA Affordable Homes for Sale. At this map based search, click on affordable homes under popular searches.
Home Inspection - In-depth View of the Property
A home inspection gives the buyer more detailed information about the overall condition of the home prior to purchase. In a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth, unbiased look at your potential new home to advise you on the condition and necessary repairs.
Legal - Obtaining Title and Possession
In most areas of Massachusetts, both the buyer and seller have an attorney represent them. An attorney representing your interests will review the Purchase and Sales agreement, research the title and coordinate the closing. They review or prepare the HUD-1 settlement statement, schedule the closing, record the documents and distribute the funds. Once the paperwork is signed and the seller receives his funds, they will give you the keys to your new home.