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Buyers Guide

Q. How many homes should I plan to view and how should
I make the final decision?
. While exploring your needs and wants fully is a good
idea for focusing your search and saving time, viewing a number of
homes will help you become familiar with what you can expect to
get for your money. When you find a home you really like, it's a
good idea to go back and look at it at a different time of day.
This will give you greater insight into what it will be like
living in the home full time.

Q. How can I check my credit rating before I apply for
a mortgage?
Your credit rating is based on a combined score
generated from three credit bureaus who look at your credit
history, amount of credit available, and recent inquiries to
determine what's called your FICO score. A smart way to go is to
have your Weichert Gold® Services Manager check your
rating for you and, if appropriate, suggest ways for you to
improve your credit. For a small fee, you can get your score or
review your credit report by going online to www.myfico.com or
contacting the credit bureaus directly at:

Equifax: (800) 685-1111
Experian: (888) 397-3742
TransUnion: (800) 916-8800

Q. Why should I consider paying points?
Buyers often choose to pay a one-time charge called
mortgage "points" in exchange for a lower interest rate.
Usually paid at closing, each "point" costs 1% of the
mortgage amount, or $2,000 on a $200,000 loan. The lower rate
reduces the monthly mortgage payment, and points paid in
conjunction with the purchase of a home are generally
tax-deductible in the year they're paid (see tax advisor). Monthly
savings will often exceed what was paid in points in just a few
years' time.

Q. What is the purpose of an attorney review?
In states where the real estate agent writes the
contract, there may be an attorney review period. This specified
period allows the attorney to cancel the contract or request it be
altered. Both buyer and seller would then have to agree to the
revised contract in writing. During this period, either party may
void the contract without penalty.

Q. What is title insurance and why do I need it?
Basically, title insurance assures that you have clear
title to the home you're purchasing. A title search is the primary
component of "due diligence," a process that will be
started either by your attorney, if you are using one, or by the
title company you choose. The title search determines whether the
seller actually owns the property and if there are any claims
against it.

Q. What happens if the house I want to purchase does
not appraise at the amount expected?
If the house doesn't appraise at the amount expected,
other alternatives are typically found. A second appraisal may be
sought, the buyer may be willing to put more money down, the
seller may adjust the price or offer other concessions, or the two
sides may negotiate to split the difference between them.


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