Property Tax Liabiliy

The total amount of the previous year's property taxes is usually included in the listing information. If it's not, ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office. Tax rates can change from year to year, so these figures maybe approximate.
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Making the Offer

Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information: Complete legal description of the property; Amount of earnest money; Down payment and financing details; Proposed move-in date; Price you are offering; Proposed closing date; Length of time the offer is valid; Details of the deal. Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer.
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Fixed Rate Refinancing

If interest rates drop significantly, you may want to investigate refinancing. Most experts agree that if you plan to be in your house for at least 18 months and you can get a rate 2% less than your current one, refinancing is smart. Refinancing may, however, involve paying many of the same fees paid at the original closing, plus origination and application fees.
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Buyer Responsibilities

To ensure you won't fall victim to loan fraud, be sure to follow all of these steps as you apply for a loan: Be sure to read and understand everything before you sign. Refuse to sign any blank documents. Do not buy property for someone else. Do not overstate your income. Do not overstate how long you have been employed. Do not overstate your assets. Accurately report your debts. Do not change your income tax returns for any reason. Tell the whole truth about gifts. Do not list fake co-borrowers on your loan application. Be truthful I about your credit problems, past and present. Be honest about your intention to occupy the house. Do not provide false supporting documents.
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Energy Efficient Mortgage

The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) allows a homebuyer to save future money on utility bills. This is done by financing the cost of adding energy-efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of an FHA-insured home purchase. The EEM can be used with both 203(b) and 203(k) loans. Basic guidelines for EEMs are as follows: The cost of improvements must be determined by a Home Energy Rating System or by an energy consultant. This cost must be less than the anticipated savings from the improvements. One- and two-unit new or existing homes are eligible; condos are not. The improvements financed may be 5% of property value or $4,000, whichever is greater. The total must fall within the FHA loan limit.
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Odd Rooms

Funky space? Think twice: When house-hunting, look closely at room shapes as well as sizes. Oddly shaped spaces can be interesting, but difficult to furnish–especially with the furniture you currently own.
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Attracting Buyers

If you're looking for ways to attract buyers, consider offering a warranty for the first year after the sale. The assurance that they won't face major repair bills right away may make some buyers more comfortable with your asking price.
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Contingency Clauses

Contingency clauses should satisfy the concerns of both the buyer and seller. Buyers also can protect themselves by inserting additional necessary contingencies. Indicate which items like curtains and appliances are to remain with the house. Then stipulate you have the right to personally inspect the home 24 hours before closing to make sure all is in order.
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Initial Offer

Unless you have a buyer's agent, remember that the agent works for the seller. Make a point of asking him or her to keep your discussions and information confidential. Listen to your real estate agent's advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors: what homes sell for in the area, the home's condition, how long it's been on the market, financing terms, and the seller's situation. By the time you're ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a price.
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