Most Common Buyer's Questions

If you are buying, you probably have more questions than answers.  If that the case, read the following most common questions ask by Buyers.

1.  I am buying for the first time, but I do not know where to start.
If you are planning ahead of time, find out if local real estate offices, schools, or colleges are offering seminars for homebuyers.  Attending these seminars may help you to become more knowledgeable with the buying process, real estate terminology, and get informed about existing home-loan programs, etc. Other sources of real estate information may be  newspapers, magazines, and  local real estate newsletter.

2.  I have decided to buy a property, what do I do next?
Before homebuyers start looking for a property, I recommend  homebuyers to contact first a lender to be pre-qualified for a loan.
3.  Where do I look for a home-loan?
There are many sources, but you may contact your local Bank, Mortgage brokers, Saving & Loans, Credit Unions, visit lenders in the Internet, etc.  Ask for appointments to find out more about their home-loan programs and rates. For the most part lenders are competitive, but shop around to compare interest rates, loan programs, and fees charge to process a loan. If you can not find one in you own, a real estate agent may recommend one to you.
4.  What documents & information does lender need for a loan application?
The required list of documents and information may vary from lender to lender and will depend in the circumstances of each borrower. For the most part in California, lenders require at least the following list of documents and information to process a home-loan application.
  • DOCUMENTS: Most recent 2 years filed Federal Tax Return with W-2 (or 1099's if self employed), most recent paycheck stubs-Less than 30-days old and most recent 3-months bank statements.
  • INFORMATION: ID, social security #, two-years of residence history, two-years of employment history and if renting, landlord information.

5.  What is the difference between fix and adjustable interest rate in a loan?
In a standard fix interest rate loan, the interest rate remains fixed (does not change) for the life of the loan. The most common ones are the 30-year fixed loan and the 15-year fixed loan.

For an adjustable interest rate, the interest rate changes certain percentage once or twice a year or as agreed under the loan terms. Normally, there is a cup in the interest rate, in other words, the interest rate will not go higher after reaching certain percentage (Common questions about Adjustable Rates).

6.  What kinds of programs are out there for first time buyer?
Consult your local lender or agent, they are normally more aware about different government and city programs for local communities.
7.  What is the minimum down payment to buy a home?
This figure varies, and will depend in the type of loan, loan amount, and sale terms. For example, a standard conventional-loan normally requires 20 percent down. On the other hand, a government secure loan (e.g., FHA-loan) a first time buyer may buy with as little as 3 percent down up to certain loan amount.
8.  How do I know if I am working with the right real estate agent?
The general rule is, before deciding to work with an agent, is always good idea to interview different agents to know more about their business experience, personality and type of services offered; work with the one you feel meet your requirements. You may also ask family or friends, they may recommend someone to you.
9.  How do I know if I am buying at the right price?
Ask your agent for a Comparative Market Analysis, a market analysis may help you to find recent sold properties in the area, and spot buying and selling trends in the area.



Marthel Real Estate
396 S. California Ave #2248, West Covina, CA 91793
CalBRE Lic. #01198990


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