Nadia Boldt
Real Estate Broker
I speak Russian
Я говорю пo-русски

Buyer’s Questions

  • Questions 1: What price home can I afford?

    Your buying power depends on how much cash you have available for the down payment and how much a financial institution will agree to lend you.

    There is a rule of thumb that says that yourhome loan should not be more than two and a half times of your annual gross income. (Annual gross income is the amount of money you make before taxes are deducted.) Like other rules of thumb, this is a general idea of how large a mortgage you can afford. Of course, it doesn’t take into account all the information(like your debts, for example) that will help you to determine your comfortable payments.

    If you are buying a house with someone else (spouse, parent, adult child, partner/companion, brother or sister or other relative), you should consider your co-purchaser’s earnings and existing debts as well. Remember, if you apply for a loan with a co-signer, you and your co-signer are both legally responsible for repayment of the mortgage.

  • Questions 2: What’s a house worth?

    As all other things in the world a home is worth what someone is willing to pay for it at a certain moment. Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property’s value, most people turn to either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis. An appraisal is a certified appraiser’s estimate of the value of a home at a given point in time. Appraisers consider square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, neighborhood and availability of transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also take lot size, topography, view and landscaping into account. Most appraisals cost about $450. A comparative market analysis is a real estate broker’s or agent’s informal estimate of a home’s market value, based on sales of comparable homes in a neighborhood. Most agents will give you a comparative market analysis for free.

  • Questions 3: Is it better to buy a new home or a resale?

    It depends on your personal preferences.

    What is the return on new versus previously owned homes?

    Buying into a new-home community may seem riskier than purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, but any increase in home value always depends upon the same factors: quality of the neighborhood, growth in the local housing market and the state of the overall economy.

  • Questions 4: How do I choose the best loan program for me?

    Your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you.

    • Do you expect your finances to change over the next few years?
    • Are you planning to live in this home for a long period of time?
    • Are you comfortable with the idea of a changing mortgage payment amount?
    • Do you wish to be free of mortgage debt as your children approach college age or as you prepare for retirement?

    Your lender can help you use your answers to questions such as these to decide which loan best fits your needs.

  • Questions 5: What is the school district like?

    Even if you don’t have kids, your next buyers might. This makes this a huge factor when buying a home, since most people look for a good school district when making a purchase.

  • Questions 6: Do I need a home inspector?

    Absolutely! You should hire your own home inspector.In the Carolinas termite inspector is a must as well!

  • Questions 7: How much to offer?

    Generally, I will help you with this. However, there are several things to consider as you develop your purchase offer:

    • Is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? I will conduct research, called a “Competitive Market Analysis” or CMA, on comparable properties, to help you come up with an educated opinion on the value of the property.
    • Is the home in good condition – or will you have to spend a substantial amount of time and money making it the way you want it?
    • How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for a while, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer.
    • How much do you really love this home? Or there is a second choice for you? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted.
    • And if there is a multiple offers situation – it is a totally different game!

    Common points of negotiation are price, earnest money deposit, due diligence fee, closing costs, repairs that need to be made, appliances and fixtures, closing date.

  • Questions 8: Who Pays For What?

    A major question in every real estate transaction is: “Who pays what?” The answers vary by States standard practices. Items listed below are “customary” in the state of North Carolina.

    Sellers Generally Pay:

    • Real estate commission
    • Revenue Stamps ($2 per $1,000 of sales price in North Carolina)
    • Property tax proration (to date of acquisition)
    • Document preparation fees
    • Home warranty (according to contract)
    • Work/repairs required (according to contract)
    • Matters of record against the property or seller (loans, tax liens, judgments, etc.) and fees required to clear them (statement fees, conveyance/trustee fees and prepayment penalties)

    Buyers Generally Pay:

    • Title search
    • Title insurance policy premiums (lender’s and Buyer’s)
    • Attorney fees
    • Property tax proration (from acquisition date)
    • Special delivery/courier fees, if required
    • Document recording charges
    • Homeowner’s association transfer fee and prorated dues
    • Home warranty (according to contract)
    • Inspection fees
    • Home insurance premium for the first year
    • Lender’s new loan charges
    • Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to the first payment
    • Revenue Stamps ($2 per $1,000 of sales price in North Carolina)on new construction
  • Questions 9: Do I need professional help?

    Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.