Know your personal home-buying options

Dear Terese,
I don’t have the best credit, and I’m not sure I could qualify to buy a house.  Would you work with me to find a home?

Dear Poppy,
Just because you have a less than perfect credit report does not mean you cannot purchase a home!  There are several options you can consider.  First, contact a local lender.  They can work with you to review your credit report and determine if you can repair your credit and increase your FICO score.   I would refer you to a local lender.  If you decide to work with a credit repair company, be sure to check with the local Better Business Bureau to make sure you working with a reputable firm.  A recent study from the US Public Interest Research Group has documented that a staggering 79% of all credit reports do not meet full legal compliance.    This means most negatives can be removed from the credit report because of improper or inaccurate filing.  Be proactive and meet with someone who has the ability to help you possibly delete different types of credit delinquencies:  tax liens, judgments, repos, foreclosures, evictions, charge offs, medical bills, late payments, bankruptcies, or other items.  Also, discuss with the lender if there are programs available for your situation.  Some loan programs require high credit scores, others can work with lower credit scores – but expect to pay for the privilege in the way of higher interest rates or private mortgage insurance fees.

Dear Terese,
Is it a RESPA violation to indicate a title company in the MLS?

Dear Ray,
Pricing in the MLS, along with a title company listed in the MLS, would be considered an offer to negotiate, not a required term of the contract.  It would be a violation if the seller conditioned the sale of the property on the buyer purchasing the title insurance from the title company indicated in the MLS.  If the seller pays for both the owner policy and the lender policy of title insurance, then the seller can pick the title company without violation the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). 

Dear Terese,
I’m trying to decide if I am ready to buy my first home.  What are some costs of home ownership I should consider? Teri

Dear Teri,
It is a great idea to consider all costs when you changing from a renter to a home owner.   Some of the onetime expenses are items such as appliances.  If you are buying a resale, is the HVAC or water heater old?  Furniture – do you want to fill up your new home with furniture now or later?  Remodeling – do you need to invest in remodeling so your new home fits your needs?  Some of the ongoing expenses include the regular mortgage payment – principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI).  The neighborhood may require HOA, or home owner association fees.  Exterior maintenance is important over time – roofing, painting, windows, gutters, and septic are just a few of the items that may need attention.  Interior maintenance once paid for by your landlord is now your responsibility – appliances, plumbing, electrical, flooring, and other interior items are now your job!  The cost of a home may be very different – especially if you are moving from a small apartment to a large home.  Yard care and pest control are other items you’ll need. 

Tip of the Day:  “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed better than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1

Terese Peabody Cozart, Broker Associate, Stanberry & Associates
400 Hwy 290 W, B-101, Dripping Springs, TX 78620,  512-894-3488 office, 512-699-7711 cell

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