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What is LTV? Loan To Value is the ratio of price to loan amount. Ex: borrowing $80,000 on a $100,000 home = 80% LTV.

What is HVAC? HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning.

Do I get my EMD back if the Seller rejects my Offer? Yes, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.

What is EMD?
EMD stands for Earnest Money Deposit. This is submitted as part of the Offer To Purchase as a show of good faith and ability to produce funds.

More real estate questions and answers can be found here.

When do I do Inspections? The seller gives the buyer permission to inspect the property after the contract is accepted. The Inspection Period starts at one minute after midnight and ends according to paragraph 18 of the contract (pgs 7&8).

Can I get a Home Warranty? Maybe; your agent can negotiate that as one of the terms you want in the contract.

How can I be sure that I’m not missing a better house? If you’re working with an agent, the agent will examine FSBO’s and other non-traditional options if there are any that fit your requirements.

Why didn’t my agent tell me about the house on Meyer Boulevard? If the house does not meet your criteria as far as style, floor plan, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, condition and preferred price point, your agent will not bring it to your attention because it does not meet your requirements. If the house is not in your preferred price range, the house does not qualify for you. If there are seller contingencies that do not mesh with the way you plan on buying, the house does not qualify for you.

What is a ‘Seller Contingencies’ that could affect me? If the seller stipulates that they will only accept cash offers and you are financing part of your purchase, that house is disqualified.

If my Lender says the property doesn’t appraise out, am I still obligated to buy it? No, Line 9 of the Financing Addendum states the contract is contingent upon the buyer’s financing.

Can I get a better deal by going directly to the Seller’s Agent?  Think about this for a minute. You are asking if the agent who has promised, in writing, to represent the best interests of the seller will do a better job for you than the agent who has promised, in writing, to represent your best interests.  ???

Can I get a better deal by being an Unrepresented Buyer? Once again, I invite you to think about this. You are asking if you can do a better job than an agent who does this for a living every day.  You have a job.  If I were to go into your job once every 5 years, would I be able to do it better than you?

What is a Seller’s Disclosure and where do I get one? Sellers are required by law to disclose the true condition of real estate property they have up for sale.  The Seller’s Disclosure is a document that lists everything about the property’s condition as far as the seller knows. This includes the roof, HVAC, foundation, chimney, plumbing, electric, whether or not the appliances are staying in the house, etc. The Seller’s Disclosure becomes part of the Real Estate Contract. Your agent will get you a copy of the Seller’s Disclosure.

Can I buy a Short Sale? If you are patient, you may be able to buy a short sale.  Of all short sales attempted across the United States last year, the number successfully closed was around 10%.  Banks still do not have a good system in place to deal with all of the short sales and foreclosures but they are a little bit better this year than last.

How much should I offer? It depends on the location and condition of the home as compared to other recent sales in the area; must be determined on a house by house basis.

Do I move in right after Closing? In many cases, yes but it depends on what is in the contract as far as Closing and Possession Date.  Refer to page 3, paragraph 6 of the Residential Real Estate Sale Contract 2010.

When is Closing? The Closing Date is one of the terms of the contract; it must be negotiated.

How can I get a free credit report before contacting a loan officer? You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the major credit reporting bureaus.   This link will allow you to receive your free credit report from all three agencies:  Free Annual Credit Report Tip: order one report from one company in January, another report from another company in May,  and the third in September.  This gives you your free report from each company but at different times of the year.

What if my credit is less than stellar? A good loan officer will work with you on improving your credit score and rating.  This may take months or even years, depending upon your situation.  Some realtors will also help you as you correct your credit.  If you would like a financial planning worksheet to help you in budgeting, repairing damaged credit, and saving for down-payment and closing costs, just call or email and I will send you one.

How can I freeze my credit in the event my card is lost or stolen? Here is where you go to do that:

Filing a Fraud Alert
Experian Credit Freeze
Transunion Freeze

*****The Deadline for the Tax Credit was 30 April 2010.  (Yesterday) If you are not under contract,  I’m sorry to say you have missed it.  I will leave the answers posted for those who may have questions when filing their income taxes to claim the credit.   Qualifying Active Duty Military Personnel have an additional 1 year to buy and close. (30 April 2011)*****

How does a homebuyer claim the $8,000 First Time Buyer Tax Credit?

The Tax Credit is claimed using IRS Form 5405 when you file your taxes.  You can claim the credit in 2009 or 2010.  Please consult with your tax adviser to determine which year is more beneficial for your situation.

Do Resale Buyers (long-time residents) have to sell their present home to be eligible for the $6,500  Tax Credit?

No, you can keep your present/old home but the home you purchase must become your primary residence.

What are the income limitations?

For single filers, the Adjusted Gross Income limit is $125,000;  for joint filers, the AGI limit is $225,000.

Is the Credit good for any price home?

No, the purchase price of the home may not exceed $800,000.

For married couples, do they both have to qualify for the Tax Credit in order to claim it?

Yes, both must qualify if they are both purchasing the home.

For more information on the Tax Credit, please click here.

When you’re thinking about selling your home, call me; we’ll talk.

If you have a question, you can ask it here, email me, or call for a personal answer.

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