Home Buying Basics

As soon as you are able to zero-in on your best pick in your ongoing house-hunting, the last thing that you want to experience is to compete with other interested home buyers. The ensuing competition – especially when it involves high value and marketable home properties – is now becoming a near possibility. This is something that home buyers must start to consider as more and more real estate markets are now slowly moving towards positive territory.So, what must home buyers do in order to get ahead of competition if and when things get tighter in real estate markets? You must arm yourself for the expected bidding war that you will have to face once you find your ideal home property. While others look at the transaction being purely dictated by the “roll of the dice,” it is extremely important for serious home buyers to prepare for transactions that will involve multi-bid home property trenches.Look at your loan logicDon’t start with your house-hunting unless you have a pre-approved mortgage. This is extremely important since this event will allow you to determine your budget range based on the maximal financing that is available to you. Once you have your mortgage application pre-approved, you not only establish your ceiling in your home buying but also focus on the right property segment or category. You may seek the professional advice of a licensed and competent broker so that you will be able to establish and determine your best options. You will also be perceived by sellers as a serious buyer once you have a pre-approved mortgage.Don’t keep up with the JonesesIt is not wise to engage in a rat race when buying your dream home. However, if you are serious in bidding for a particular party, it is highly recommended that you perform a comparative analysis of the real estate market. In short, you have to carefully assess the fair market value of the home property that you are interested in and compare the value with the fair market value of similar property within the same area. In this way, you can determine whether you are buying within your means or not.Play it cleanDon’t make impossible demands or unusual requests. For instance, it may not be wise to include in your terms of agreement that the home purchase will be predicated by the sale of your current home property. Adding contingent clauses to address extenuating conditions can lead to the failure of negotiation with the seller.Examine the merchandiseAllocate a budget for the appropriate pre-purchase home inspection. This is about one percent of the property’s asking price. This is one expense item that you cannot do without. If the property has serious flaws and underlying structural issues, then it is best that you have a detailed assessment report by a reputable home inspection specialist before proceeding with the negotiation.Don’t be charmed by superficial enhancementsAs a wise home buyer, you must look beyond the “icing” of the home property for sale. You must separate the substantial aspects from the fluff in order to make an accurate assessment of the true value of the home property. This means that you have to discount in your value assessment those gorgeous draperies and Persian rugs. It is also essential that you look beyond the drama and impact created by fresh coat of paint in both the interior and exterior of the home property. This can be just a “smokescreen” to conceal the real state of the property for sale.

When Banks Change the Locks on Your Home Before the Foreclosure Sheriff Sale

Especially in the case of homeowners who own multiple properties, they may find that their mortgage company has had the locks changed on a house in foreclosure. This can be very unsettling to owners who are still trying to find a workable solution to foreclosure, because it indicates that the bank is exercising control over the property before it has been sold out from under the owners at a county auction. But banks may have the locks changed on a house even though they are not the legal owners of the property.Of course, they can not really just take the property away before the foreclosure has gone through and the house has been sold at a sheriff sale. Without a reason to request that the house be secured, the bank can do nothing to the property itself until after the foreclosure auction. However, they can request the court to secure the property temporarily, which might mean changing the locks on an apparently-abandoned house.Especially if the homeowners have not responded to any of the bank’s motions in court or filed an answer to the foreclosure lawsuit or appeared (on their own or through an attorney) at the scheduled foreclosure hearing, the bank may just assume that they have decided to walk away from the house. Even if they know that the house is a vacation or investment property, they will not want to see it sitting empty and a potential target of vandalism or damage.The government courts and sheriffs department will usually do whatever the banks tell them to do, so that helps explain why a house may be locked up before the foreclosure auction. The mortgage company can usually show that the owners have not responded to the lawsuit and that the house has not been occupied for a certain number of weeks or months, and that it should be secured to prevent damage. The courts will usually accept this argument and order the sheriff to change the locks.But once this happens, it can be extremely difficult for the homeowners to regain access to their home. This is why they should keep in contact with the lender throughout the foreclosure process so they can explain why the house will be empty. But preventing the county government from changing the locks will always be much easier than cutting through all of the red tape later on to get back into the house. After the government changes the locks, even if the homeowners try to break into their own home, they may be held liable for any damage.Once the locks have been changed and the homeowners are shut out of the house, but before the foreclosure auction has been conducted, they can try to get access back to the house by calling the local sheriff’s department or the courts. They will most likely have to inform the court that they are still in possession of the house even though it is not their primary residence and may be empty at times. Even this simple act of explanation may require filing paperwork in the court and having the government remove the locks that were changed or allowing the legal owners access to their own property.But the house is still the private property of the owners until it is sold at the county foreclosure auction. The mortgage company can and usually will secure the home if it looks like the homeowners have abandoned a property in foreclosure. However, they can not not otherwise interfere with the foreclosure victims’ ownership interest until that interest is transferred by the applicable laws. The government may act as the right arm of the banks in securing the property and keeping the homeowners out for as long as possible, so keeping the house from being taken over by the government, even temporarily, should be a high priority for homeowners who are attempting to stop foreclosure on their homes.