Massachusetts Real Estate Home Buying Guide
Buying a home is an important investment however your primary focus should be to solve a housing need. The process can be very complicated if you do not work with industry professionals that can provide accurate information and advise you. The professionals include mortgage lenders, Realtors, Attorneys, Home Inspectors and Accountants. 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 obtain a mortgage when purchasing property. 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.
Buyer Agency - The Real Estate Agent's Role in the Process
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 Massachusetts home search is easy with "quick search" options to search for MA real estate. Let us assist you in finding the property that meets your needs. The Virtual Homes MLS Map Search provides all MLS listings plotted in each town on a map. RE/MAX Innovations 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.
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