Written by Jan Wilkinson
Commonly asked Real Estate questions
1. Is now a good time to buy property?
Is it less expensive to own a home or to rent a home? The answer to this question helps families make the decision whether or not to purchase a home, I would say this depends on your circumstances and whether you are planning to live in the property long term or not, and by long term I am thinking 5 years or more, if it is a long term plan you will find it less expensive to buy a home as opposed to renting.
If you listen to all the doom and gloom about the economy you could find making this decision extremely difficult, however there are experts telling us that if you want a great deal with great interest rates now is the time to act, from my experience I have seen many of my Clients who previously rented getting into properties paying similar payments to their rent and in some cases paying less, being able to choose a preferred subdivision and having the long term benefit from being able to sell the property when the property market takes its next cycle.
2. I have a low credit score but a good paying job, I would like to buy a home, how do I solve this problem.
The best thing for you to do is to contact a qualified loan officer in your area and seek their advice. If your scores are low there may be information on your report that is wrong and needs to be corrected. The loan officer will be able to advise you on steps to improve your scores and the time frame which will help to give you some hope of when you will be able to buy once you complete all the steps.
3. What does under contract mean?
Under contract means that the seller has accepted an offer,when an offer has being signed by both the buyer and seller, it becomes a legally binding contract.
There are other terms that describe the same situation which are Pending and Contingent; Contingent means that not all conditions have yet been met, an offer could be contingent upon financing approval, a satisfactory home inspection or the sale of another home, they are just a few examples.
4. We are planning to retire in the near future & wonder if we should pay cash for a house.
I would recommend you seek the advice of an account or investment banker, because the question might be better answered once they have reviewed your entire financial situation, as your investments need to be analyzed to make the best decision.
My thoughts: Once a person retires sometimes their monthly income drops below the acceptable level to make payments and they no longer qualify to buy a home, please consider if this would be the case for you? If so, you may be required to make a larger down payment to make your income match the payment. Interest on a mortgage is the lowest right now so if you need to finance, it’s a good time to do that. Seek advice on whether your money is better off in an interest bearing account, as you may be better off leaving it there.
5. Buying an investment property – smart or foolish?
If you have money available in this property market please seek the advice of a Realtor as with a little research and buying smartly, you will find Real Estate purchased as an investment keeps on giving. With your Realtors assistance find a rental that cash flows from the day you buy it, then it will only get better from there, as rents go up, building values go up over the long-term, and you will get cash flow on a monthly basis and a lot of that cash flow is sheltered by depreciation so check out your options to see if this is a good option for you and your financial situation.