The Home Buying Guide to New Hampshire Real Estate
Buying a home may be the most important investment an individual or family makes in their lifetime. It is important to understand the process of qualifying , working with a Realtor, finding properties, inspection options and obtaining ownership and possession. 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.
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. Mortgage interest rates are historically low and reduce the monthly payments or increases affordability. Consult with a mortgage professional to determine your specific qualifications and options.
Agency - The Real Estate Agent's Role in the Process
As a potential home buyer in the process of purchasing real estate, do not assume that a licensee (real estate agent) is acting on your behalf. New Hampshire real estate law (RSA 331-A) requires that the "Brokerage Relationship Disclosure" form be presented to the consumer at the time of the first business meeting, prior to any discussion of confidential information. This disclosure provides information regarding options available to you as a client versus a customer. Unless you sign a contract for representation, you are a customer not a client.
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. The buyer is the licensee's client and the licensee has the duty to represent the buyer's best interests in the real estate transaction.
A designated agent is a licensee who represents one party of a real estate transaction and who owes that party client level duties, whether or not the other party to the same transaction is represented by another individual licensee associated with the same brokerage firm.
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.
Property Search - Finding the Property
The New Hampshire home search is easy with "quick search" options to search for NH homes for sale and real estate. Let us assist you in finding the property that meets your needs. RE/MAX Country Properties real estate agents can assist you in your search for the perfect home.
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.
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:
- Evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction, and mechanical systems;
- Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced; and
- Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure, and finishes
The Closing - Obtaining Title and Possession
As a buyer your contract will stipulate that you obtain "clear title" to the property you are purchasing. The lender will co-ordinate the hiring of a title company or closing attorney that will be responsible for protecting the lender and the buyer's interests in the property. They will research the title, prepare the settlement statement, schedule the closing, record the documents and distribute the funds.
Occupancy is typically given after the transfer of title or the recording of the transaction in the Registry of Deeds.