Monday, January 21, 2008

We made our first offer.
One Saturday morning, in mid December, my husband and I, arrived at Jane’s office (she works for one of the biggest real estate companies in Bucks County). Two hours and tons of paperwork later, we walked out, full of hope and anticipation. We were a little tired of the house hunting, even though, everybody was telling us that we were just beginning. (It’s been 3 months since we had officially started.) Don’t get me wrong, we want to buy a house, but, on the other hand, we are by no means desperate. Thank God, we are not pressured to buy; can you imagine all the stress involved?! We definitely will be taking our sweet time, and that is, I think, the smartest thing to do, considering the current condition of the market.

One more thing, please, you want to be very cautious when signing documents (a little patronizing won’t hurt!). My advice is: read carefully every single clause of the contracts you sign, even the fine print. Better safe than sorry! BTW, most real estate agencies use standard contract forms. And don’t you worry, when the offer-making time comes, your real estate agent will do all the necessary paperwork for you. You just have to sit there and be pretty!

Before you make an offer, it is better if you have a mortgage pre-approval letter (considering you are a serious buyer). If you have no clue what I am talking about (I didn’t):">a

It looks more convincing, it shows the seller that you are a motivated buyer. Furthermore, it is helpful to you too, because you will then get a quote, in other words, you will have an approximate estimate of the potential loan you will be getting. But don’t be fooled by the numbers you’ll hear from lenders. You have to decide for yourself how much are you willing, able and ready to pay monthly for a house. Think about it, the lenders will want to give you more money (that means more money for them, even though the criteria for lending house loans is more stringent now), nevertheless you don’t want to become a slave to your house!(Unless you really do!) Consider carefully how much you are prepared to pay each month, as your mortgage payment will consist of: principal and interest, insurance and property taxes (it may also include PMI payment, which could be avoided if your down payment equals 20% of your home’s purchase price). If you have never heard of PMI before, here is a helpful link:

It is a lot different than having a simple rent payment, huh? Did I make you think twice?

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