Princeton Capital Blog

Mortgage News Roundup

July 3rd, 2014

Hand with pen pointing to MortgageMortgage News Roundup

Today’s roundup is for home buyers. We found ten tips for helping you buy a home, how to win a bidding war, and some lessons from seasoned home inspectors.

How to Win a Bidding War On a Home

You’ve heard horror stories about people getting out-bid on houses all the time. Believe it or not, a seller isn’t always looking for the best price. Sometimes they just want the easiest path and not have their time wasted by people who can’t back up a good offer.

That means getting pre-approved for a mortgage and having all your paperwork (the pre-approval, proof of income, work history and bank statements) easy to access.

Yahoo! Homes posted these five strategies to win a housing bidding war:

  1. Agree to outbid everyone. Do you really want the place? You can outmatch every other bidder by creating a contract with a so-called “escalation clause.”
  2. Be first. See the home as soon as it comes on the market. That way, you can get your bid in early and preempt later offers.
  3. Be flexible (but not foolish) with contingencies.
  4. Get your mortgage ready in advance. Don’t have a ton of cash to put on the table? Try pre-underwriting a mortgage instead.
  5. Pay with cash. The best way to get a seller’s attention is with cold hard cash.

Contact a reputable loan officer to get your pre-approval in hand and get all of your questions answered about mortgages and what you can afford.

The Top 10 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Home

Money Magazine at the CNN website posted these 10 tips for buying a house:

  1. Don’t buy if you can’t stay put for at least a few years.
  2. Start by shoring up your credit.
  3. Aim for a home you can really afford.
  4. If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.
  5. Buy in a district with good schools even if you don’t have kids.
  6. Get professional help.
  7. Choose carefully between points and rate.
  8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.
  9. Do your homework before bidding.
  10. Hire a home inspector.

Home horrors: Lessons from home inspectors

MSN has a great article on lessons to be learned from home inspectors with the following tips:

  • Just because you’re dry doesn’t mean the roof isn’t leaking
  • Everyone may think the house is on a slab, but thinking so doesn’t make it so
  • Just because the floor is level doesn’t mean it hasn’t sunk half a foot
  • Stucco can look really nice even when the house is flooding
  • So what if the electrical worked then — it’s not adequate today
  • The water can taste good even if the pipes are about to burst
  • A municipal housing inspector is not a housing inspector
  • Finally, not every home inspector is created equal

A typical home inspection for a three-bedroom house costs $300 to $450. When hiring an inspector, buyers should ask the home inspector the following:

  • How many years have you been in the business? How many hours of home inspections have you completed?
  • Do you have references?
  • How long are your reports? A report of more than 20 pages smells of an online boilerplate form with extraneous home advice, Salomon says. An experienced inspector will write a concise report in his own words.
  • What training do you have? Unlike the 12-year-old boy, for example, Salomon also has a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Are you a member of any local or national professional organizations? How do you keep up with changes in industry?
  • How many hours of continuing education do you complete each year?

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