Buyers FAQ

  • Why should I buy instead of renting?

    There is nothing like the feeling of owning your own home – a home where your personal style will tell the world who you are. A home where you can do it your way without asking for anyone’s permission. But there’s more to owning a home than freedom of style. Home owners can deduct the cost of the mortgage loan interest from their federal income taxes, and usually from state taxes, too. Interest composes nearly all of your monthly payments , for over half the number of years you’ll be paying your mortgage. This adds up to hefty savings at the end of each year. You are also allowed to deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. If you rent, you write your monthly check and it’s gone forever. You are paying the landlord’s mortgage instead of your own. Another financial plus in owning a home is the possibility its value will go up through the years.

  • How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?

    That depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. Generally, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money – the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house.
    Earnest money – When you make an offer on a home, we will put your earnest money into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money is applied to your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your earnest money varies. As a general rule, earnest money is between 1% and 3% of the purchase price.
    Down payment -The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Some types of loans require 10-20% of the purchase price. Many first-time homebuyers turn to FHA loans. FHA loans require only 3.5% down.
    Closing costs – which you will pay at settlement – average 3-4% of the price of your home. These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won’t be caught by surprise. In some instances, we can negotiate to have the seller pay your closing costs. This makes it much easier for buyers to get into their first home.

  • How much do buyer’s agents charge?

    One of the biggest advantages to using a buyer’s agent when buying your Vancouver Washington home is that our services to you are free. In Washington, the sellers pay the buyer’s agent commissions from the proceeds of the sale. There is no reason for a buyer to ever enter a purchase agreement for a home without the services of an experienced agent.

  • How do I know if I can get a loan?

    As Vancouver Washington real estate agents, we have built relationships with many of the best loan officers in the area. We make it a point to know who has the best loans with the lowest costs. We will gladly get you in contact with a reputable loan officer in the area.

  • In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?

    In addition to your monthly mortgage you will have your monthly utilities. If you are currently renting, this may be new to you, the landlord may pay your utilities. We are able to help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, there may be homeowner association or condo association dues. You’ll definitely have property taxes, and you also may have city or county taxes. Taxes normally are rolled into your mortgage payment. Don’t worry, we are able to help you anticipate these costs.

  • When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?

    This is where our knowledge of the Vancouver Washington real estate market and negotiation skills are vitally important. We walk our buyers through every step of the offer and negotiation process. There are several determining factors to consider when making an offer and we address them all. The home’s condition and location are key to determining the value but there are other issues that help us discover how much the seller is actually willing to accept. Our research will tell us why the seller is moving, how long they have been trying to sell the home, any recent price reductions, and if there are any reasons that they are being forced to sell. All of these factors help us guide you towards an offer that will have the best chance of being accepted.