Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Home

Why do I need an agent if I’m buying a home?

Home steps

You should have your own buyer’s agent, separate from a home’s listing agent, to ensure that someone is representing only you. A buyer’s agent represents the buyer exclusively. This means s/he works to protect your interests in the transaction and helps to negotiate the best purchase price and terms.

At Solidarity Realty, LLC, we will negotiate on your behalf, anticipate problems, and tell you the truth. We are not interested in getting you into a home that doesn’t make sense for you. The best part is that on over 99% of all cases, it won’t cost you anything — the fee is paid by the listing agent simply splitting his or her commission to pay the buyer’s agent.

But BEWARE: Do NOT call the listing agent’s number on the sign outside the house to show you the house!  After he or she has shown you a house, you cannot hire a buyer’s agent (for no cost) to represent you in buying a property after you have already seen it with a listing agent (except in an open house). After a listing agent has shown you the property themselves, they no longer have to share his or her commission with a buyer’s agent.  So, do it right and hire a buyer’s agent right from the beginning. It will save you a lot of time and stress.

How do you choose between buying and renting?

Home ownership offers tax benefits as well as the freedom to make decisions about your home. An advantage of renting is not worrying about maintenance and other financial obligations associated with owning property.

There also are a number of economic considerations. Unlike renters, home owners who secure a fixed-rate loan can lock in their monthly housing costs and make prudent investment plans knowing these expenses will not increase substantially.

In short, after 30 years of paying rent, you have saved yourself a lot of chores.  After 30 years of paying a mortgage, you own your home outright, usually a substantial asset. Home ownership is a highly leveraged investment that can yield substantial profit on a nominal front-end investment. However, such returns depend on home-price appreciation.

What are the pros and cons of adding on or buying new?

Before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or buying a larger one, consider these questions:Home in transit

How much money is available, either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel your current house?

How much additional space is required?

Would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?

What do local zoning and building ordinances permit?

How much equity already exists in the property?

Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs?

Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.

Who gets the furnishings when a home is sold?

It depends. Fixtures, any kind of personal property that is permanently attached to a house (such as drapery rods, built-in bookcases, tacked-down carpeting or a furnace) automatically stay with the house unless specified otherwise in the sales contract. But, as a rule of thumb, if the seller can remove it without a tool, you should assume they will remove it.  However, if it is a substantial item such as a washer, dryer, or refrigerator, for example), you can negotiate for it in the contract.

Do you have other questions?  Please feel free to call us or email