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First time homebuyers

  • Why should I buy, instead of rent?

    A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you'll enjoy having something that's all yours - a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.

  • What are "HUD homes," and are they a good deal?

    HUD homes can be a GREAT deal. When someone with a HUD insured mortgage can't meet the payments, the lender forecloses on the home; HUD pays the lender what is owed; and HUD takes ownership of the home. Then they sell it at market value as quickly as possible. Read all about buying a HUD home. Check our listings of HUD homes and homes being sold by other federal agencies.

  • Can I become a homebuyer even if I have I've had bad credit, and don't have much for a down-payment?

    YES, you Can!! You may be a good candidate for one of the federal mortgage programs. ASAP Realty can help you sort through your options. We can also help you to see if there are any local homebuying programs that might work for you.

  • Are there special homeownership grants or programs for single parents?

    ASAP Realty can help you! We will help you to become familiar with the homebuying process. Although as a single parent, you won't have the benefit of two incomes on which to qualify for a loan, we will help you in getting pre-qualified, so that when you find a house you like in your price range you won't have the delay of trying to get qualified. We can help you with research on buying a HUD home, as they can be very good deals.

  • Should I use a real estate broker? How do I find one?

    Using a real estate broker is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. ASAP Realty is well-acquainted with all the important things you'll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering...the quality of schools, the number of children in the area, the safety of the neighborhood, traffic volume, and more. We will help you figure the price range you can afford and search for homes in your price range. With immediate access to homes as soon as they're put on the market, ASAP Realty can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it's time to make an offer on a home, ASAP Realty can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And best of all, all our service are FREE, you don't have to pay us anything! The payment comes from the home seller - not from the buyer.

    By the way, if you want to buy a HUD home, you will be required to use a HUD registered real estate broker to submit your bid. ASAP Realty is HUD registered and authorized to submit HUD contracts.

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

    Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, 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 ASAP Realty can negotiate this down for you. We have successfully negotiated Earnest Money Deposits as low as $50.00; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement. ASAP Realty has access to many programs that can get this down as low as ZERO. There are some programs that require NO DOWN PAYMENT ,others can be 3.5%; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house. ASAP Realty is skilled and experienced at negotiating these costs to be paid by either the seller or the lender. 99% of our clients do not have to pay out of pocket for their closing costs.

    When you make an offer on a home, ASAP Realty will put your earnest money into an escrow account. When the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your earnest money varies. If you buy a HUD home, for example, your deposit generally will range from $500 - $2,000.

    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. That's why many first-time homebuyers turn to HUD's FHA for help. FHA loans require only 3.5% down - and sometimes as low as $100.

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

    Use ASAP’s simple mortgage calculators to see how much mortgage you could pay - that's a good start. You can also click on Pre-Qualify Now, and we can let you know right now. If the amount you can afford is significantly less than the cost of homes that interest you, DO NOT give up!!!! ASAP Realty is here to help!!! Many times we can negotiate a lower price, or help you to qualify for more with one of our expert preferred lenders, or we can help find a better home for less money. ASAP Realty knows what kinds of mortgages the lenders are offering and can help you choose a lender with a program that might be right for you.

  • How do I find a lender?

    ASAP Realty has relationships with many different banks, brokers, and lenders. We will hold your hand and assist you in getting qualified for the right loan for you. Most lenders need 3-6 weeks for the whole loan approval process. ASAP Realty is very familiar with lenders in the area and what they're offering.

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

    Well, of course you'll have your monthly utilities. If your utilities have been covered in your rent, this may be new for you. ASAP Realty will help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, you might have 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. Again, ASAP Realty is here to hold your hand and help you every step of the way.

  • So what will my mortgage cover?

    Most loans have 4 parts: PITI: Principal: the repayment of the amount you actually borrowed; Interest: payment to the lender for the money you've borrowed; homeowners Insurance: a monthly amount to insure the property against loss from fire, smoke, theft, and other hazards required by most lenders; and property Taxes: the annual city/county taxes assessed on your property, divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year. Most loans are for 30 years, although 15 year loans are available, too. During the life of the loan, you'll pay far more in interest than you will in principal - sometimes two or three times more! Because of the way loans are structured, in the first years you'll be paying mostly interest in your monthly payments. In the final years, you'll be paying mostly principal.

  • What do I need to take with me when I apply for a mortgage?

    Good question! If you have everything with you when you visit your lender, you'll save a good deal of time. You should have:

    1. social security numbers.;
    2. copies of your checking and savings account statements for the past 2 months;
    3. evidence of any other assets like bonds or stocks;
    4. a recent 30 days paycheck stubs detailing your earnings;
    5. Social Security Award letter is applicable;
    6. 2 Years W-2’s;
    7. copies of your last 2 years' income tax statements; and
    8. the name and address of someone who can verify your employment. Depending on your lender, you may be asked for other information.


  • I know there are lots of types of mortgages - how do I know which one is best for me?

    You're right - there are many types of mortgages, and the more you know about them before you start, the better. ASAP Realty will hold your hand through the entire process, explain ALL the different types of loans to you, and help you to decide what is the best loan for you. In a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same for the term of the mortgage, which normally is 30 years. The advantage of a fixed-rate mortgage is that you always know exactly how much your mortgage payment will be, and you can plan for it. Another kind of mortgage is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). With this kind of mortgage, your interest rate and monthly payments usually start lower than a fixed rate mortgage. But your rate and payment can change either up or down, as often as once or twice a year. The adjustment is tied to a financial index, such as the U.S. Treasury Securities index. The advantage of an ARM is that you may be able to afford a more expensive home because your initial interest rate will be lower. There are several government mortgage programs,including the Veteran's Administration's programs and the Department of Agriculture's programs. Most people have heard of FHA mortgages. FHA doesn't actually make loans. Instead, it insures loans so that if buyers default for some reason, the lenders will get their money. This encourages lenders to give mortgages to people who might not otherwise qualify for a loan. Talk to your real estate broker about the various kinds of loans, before you begin shopping for a mortgage.

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

    Again, ASAP Realty will guide you through the entire process and help you. We will help you analyze the following: 1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? 2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You probably want to get a professional home inspection before you make your offer. ASAP Realty can help you arrange one. 3) How long has the home been on the market? If it's been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer. 4) How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make. 5) How badly do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.

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  • What if my offer is rejected?

    The real estate market is really starting to heat up, and many times offers are rejected because someone bids higher! But don't let that stop you. Now you begin negotiating. ASAP Realty will help you. You may have to offer more money. Often, negotiations on a price go back and forth several times before a deal is made.

  • So what will happen at closing?

    Basically, you'll sit at a table with a closing agent and your ASAP Realty Agent. The closing agent will have a stack of papers for you to sign. While he or she will give you a basic explanation of each paper, you may want to take the time to read each one and/or consult with your ASAP agent to make sure you know exactly what you're signing. Before you go to closing, your lender is required to give you a booklet explaining the closing costs, a "good faith estimate" of how much cash you'll have to supply at closing, and a list of documents you'll need at closing. If you don't get those items, be sure to call your lender BEFORE you go to closing. Be sure to read our booklet on settlement costs. It will help you understand your rights in the process. Don't hesitate to ask questions.

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  • More information?

    See our 100 questions and answers about buying a home.

Still have unanswered questions, or would like to find out how we may assist you in buying a home? Feel free to provide your contact information below and a brief message, and we can set up a time to further discuss your options.

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