Melanie Hernandez

Should I get pre-approved prior to starting my home search?
Yes. Getting pre-approved first gives you an advantage over those who do not. It shows to sellers that you are a serious buyer and a seller is more likely to consider your offer. And if you are wasting time on homes that are over or under your budget, you may have missed that perfect home that was just right for your needs.

 What is the difference between a loan pre-qualification and a pre-approval letter?
A pre-qualification letter from a lender simply states you can qualify for a loan amount based on the verbal information you provided. This can typically be done very quickly, sometimes in minutes. A pre-approval letter from a lender is a letter stating you are approved for a loan and the lender has actually verified financial figures, employment, credit score and gone over your personal situation. This can take a couple of days, but has much more value.

 What are closing costs are who is responsible for them?
Closing costs are all of the “extra” buyer’s costs, separate from the down payment. Which can include: loan origination fees, appraisal costs, inspection fees, escrow and title fees, prorated property taxes, notary fees, ect…and can typically be 3%-4% of the purchase price. Since these fees are the buyer’s costs, the buyer is responsible. However it is possible for the buyer to negotiate for the seller to pay for some or all of closing costs with a credit. 

What is the difference between a foreclosure and a short sale?
A foreclosure, REO (Real Estate Owned) and bank-owned properties are all terms for when the lender has taken ownership of the home. A foreclosure property is typically sold as-is without any repairs or inspections paid for by the seller and the bank is exempt from letting you know any past history on the home as it is unknown to them. A short sale is still owned by the homeowner and they are selling their home for less than owed to the lender. Because of this the lender will have to approve to accept the “short” of the difference. This approval can take many weeks, sometimes months for acceptance, while a foreclosure has already gone thru the lender’s processes and “red-tape” and a response to an offer is usually only a couple of days. Short sales are also are typically sold as-is without any repairs or inspections paid for by the seller. With patience both can be great buying opportunities

At California Advantage Real Estate, we pride ourselves in helping every family find a house that perfectly fits their needs, turning every house into a home. Servicing the Central Valley and East Bay Area, we want to make our hometown your hometown.

Contact us to get your personalized list of available homes emailed directly to you.

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