Walter "Bud" Crane

Sales Associate

2015:

Attention ALL Buyers:

Read  EVERYTHING - scroll down

There is lots of good information for Buyers here, check back frequently, because I add things periodically.

Spring 2015

The market has brought 2 kinds of properties to the forefront: "As-Is" sales and Typical Sales.

1 ).    The "As-Is" Sales. These include:

Some may or may not be eligible for all types of financing, and some could take months to complete the sale.

Call me for a better explanation of the "As-Is" sale.

2 ).    The typical sale where the owner / seller at least warrants that certain items will be in good operating condition.

Aug 2015: New Closing Rules go into effect. Expect the closing-escrow period to take a little longer. We are moving to a "time is not of the essence model".

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Buyer Orientations 

If you are serious about buying a house, then you'll want to attend one of our "Buyer Orientations" designed exclusively for REMAX of Cherry Hill Clients. (CALL AS WE DO THIS ON A ONE ON ONE BASIS NOW) We'll discuss:

Financing Alternatives - Look real closely at FHA financing; the stringent regulations adopted over the past year by conventional Lenders are absent in FHA loans.

Market Trends - Demographics - what everyone else is looking for... your Generation ... previous Generation ... NEXT Generation. RIGHT NOW, I'd be buying everything I could that is one ONE FLOOR with the expectation that the aging baby boomers will want smaller, one floor homes.

Pre-Qualifications vs. Pre-Approvals - enhance your bargaining power .... become a stonger, sought after Buyer... remember, there IS a difference. "Everyone gets pre-approved" is a saying commonly mentioned. Financing and Credit Regulations have undergone FOUR major changes in the past year, and there are MORE coming. Let me get you "Ppre-Approved" not just "Pre-qualified". This is more important now than ever before.

Conditions of your Mortgage Commitment - watch out for pre-payment penalties... hidden fees!

Most Frequent Home Inspection items: WATCH FOR: Roofs that LOOK OK, and are NOT leaking, but that have defective / cracked shingles upon close examination, water in basement, horizontal cracks in basement walls, electric service mail cable frayed or bare wire showing,

Seller's Warranties - what is and is not covered. Optional American Home Shield (AHS) Warranty for approx $535.00 . THIS IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Accurate Closing Costs - don't come up short $ (see below for typical costs)

How to instruct your Attorney (that's right - YOU are in charge) - call for Local Attorney recommendations. Attorneys that do not SPECIALIZE in Real Estate can create a NIGHTMARE experience when Buying or Selling.

Appraisals - what they mean to you, limitations of and techniques used. Can order one thru a NJ Licensed Appraiser for approx $395., call for recommendations

Making a Decision - Timing - Location

Making Offers, Counteroffers and Negotiating Strategies  - NEW STRATEGIES FOR THIS MARKET; need to look at pricing HISTORY, PREVIOUS Days on the Market.

Obsolescence - can you fix it? Don't get stuck with a DOG that will be difficult to RE-SELL

Termite Inspections -  cost approx $85.00, (Sellers-consider getting one before you list - call I'll suggest)

Home Inspections - what to ask the 'Home Inspector'. NJ Inspectors now need to be Licensed. Expect to pay around $400. SOME INSPECTORS ARE DOING LIMITED STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS FOR SELLERS THAT ARE JUST PUTTING THE HOME ON THE MARKET

Title Searches: Reports  -  Shows judgements, pending foreclosure actions, prior and curremt bankruptcies, extra mortgages and more. THIS IS A MUST DO, IN ADVANCE,  IF BUYING SHORT SALE PROPERTY. COSTS ARE ABOUT $150-175.

Pre-Settlement Inspection: what to expect; what to watch out for.

Buying Bank Foreclosures: Limitations when buying, repairs, certifications, and getting financing. Dangers and benefits of.

Short sales - creates some time constraints when Buying. Call for Consultation. ABOUT 50% DO NOT GO THRU.

Municipal Inspections - problems associated with; remedies and responsibilities. Find out which Towns are most affected.

How to have a pleasant Closing!

Moving Day!

Our goal is to make the home buying PROCESS as pleasant as possible with no last minute surprises. These orientations vary slightly depending if you are a "1st Time Buyer", "Move up Buyer", or need to "Sell a house and Buy another". Regardless they are well worth your time.

ALL Buyers:  (rev Feb 2015)                                               

Contingent Buyers: Must SELL before you BUY?  (Contingent Buyers) Call for STRATEGIES, TECHNIQUES ...... call me 856-424-4040 ext 133. 

Buyer's Qualifying: Simply put, you SHOULD probably Borrow (Mortgage) 2.6-2.7 x your GROSS annual income. Higher or lower depending upon debt load and credit. Expect conservatism to prevail. Call me at 856-424-4040 x 133 and I'll explain more over the phone.

NEW Rules in 2015 look like your total monthly payment with revolving debts, car payments, student loans, child support should not exceed 43% of your gross monthly income.

Credit Issues: Call to Discuss, many items are easily resolved, If you START to resolve them BEFORE you look at houses.

CAUTION: Real Estate Taxes: for NJ SINGLE FAMILY DETACHED (NOT CONDO) RESALE properties, on AVERAGE figure your Real Estate Taxes at 3.5% of the Sales Price; Over $300,000 more like 3%

Condo Buyers: What you should ASK the Homeowner's Association, what you should KNOW about owning a Condominium; Association fees from $30 to $250 depending on amenities....WATCH for new PET RESTRICTIONS in some communities. (call Bud 856-424-4040 ext 133)

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Typical Southern New Jersey Buyer's Approximate Closing Costs:
I'll estimate Your closing costs precisely - NO last minute surprises send me an email: http://www.budcrane@hotmail.com

or use this form (and formulas) to calculate them yourself!

Revised Feb. 2015

Closing costs:

Settlement fee.......................................  $  175
Termite insp.........................................    $   85
Mortgage Insurance Premium ................   $ (usually Financed if applicable)
Title searches .......................................  $   300
Title underwriting / review .....................  $   300
Title premuim ($525 + $4.00 per $1,000
              of sales price over $100,000 )     $________
Recording fees ....................................    $  300
Survey ...............................................    $  400 (if Condo - use $125 for Certification only)
                                            Total .......   $_______

Lender's Fees:
Commitment fee ..................................   $ _____   Varies with Lender - usually zero
Loan Origination Fee..............................   $ _____   Varies - usually Zero (CHANGES EXPECTED HERE)
Discount Points ....................................   $ _____    Based on Credit scoring for some borrowers
Document Preparation Fee
Application fees, Appraisal fees,                                                                                                                                                     Credit report(s).................................................$ 1,000    < Typical of all Lenders Fees except Discount Points

                                               Total.... $_______

Prepaids & Escrows:

Some fees are paid several months to a year in advance. This is not money down the drain, when you sell the house, you'll get reimbursed for most of this:

Real Estate Taxes (5 Month's ave)  ........    $________  (Annual Taxes are usually about  3.5% of Sales price, but 4.0 to 4.5% on some bargain properties)
Fire / Homeowners Insurance ...............     $  750   (varies upon Sales $ / if Condo: use $200 for contents only) expect ++ 
Home Owners Assoc Fees (if Condo) .....     $  500   (usually a move in fee + one month in advance + a processing fee)
Sewer Adjustment ...............................     $  100  (this is paid quarterly and runs about $300-400 per year w/ water)
Interest for last few days of the month ...    $  100   (varies on amount of loan) 
Home Inspection Fee ............................    $  400  (Optional but highly recommended)
Radon ................................................     $ (150 optional - If required) 
Attorney's Fee.....................................       $______ optional, usually $750-850 Flat Fee - ASK Attorney

                                              Total.....       $_________

Total Closing Costs................................................      $ ________
Lender Fees.........................................................       $ ________
Prepaids & Escrows...............................................       $ ________
Down Payment ....................................................        $ ________
Total Required .....................................................        $ ________

 

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Especially for First Time Buyers: (NEW)

This exercise is much easier to do in person, feel free to call, and I'll explain...

Sometimes it is hard to make a decision. There are so many houses, and details upon which to base your decision, that you could end up not making ANY decision, and therefore possibly miss some otherwise good opportunities.

These are things to ask yourself when considering a house: This is important: You must come to a YES or NO Conclusion for EACH of these questions.

1.  LOCATION: proximity to work, transportation, schools etc. Most all locations are good, locations govern your price range, and your affordability. For example, everyone wants to live in Moorestown or Haddonfield, but can you AFFORD to live there? Are there houses that are the SIZE house you are looking for in the towns you're looking at? Certain towns have a good mix if sizes, and stylrs. Some towns have a predominate style, like ranchers, capes, condos etc. Are you looking in the RIGHT places. The next category below clarifies and expands the concerns or definitions of "Location".  

2.  SITE / VIEW: the EXACT Lot the house is situated on, the width, the depth, what is next door, the grading, the trees, the landscaping, the fences, the shed, the pations, the driveways, side walks, the pools, the parking, the traffic, the noise, the sun exposure. Many of these things can be improved, changed, or upgraded to enhance the actual site. This is what makes EACH piece of Real Estate, unique. Therefore, ask yourself: Is the EXACT spot (Site) this house is sitting on, ok?"                                                                                 YES or NO

3.  SIZE / ROOM(S) / ROOM COUNT: These things are hard to change. The size is the size. HOWEVER, sometimes the Sellers have too much furniture, or have it arranged poorly. You MUST see beyond this. Look at the dimensions, they will give you the overall picture. Take a tape measure, measure the room is you're in doubt. Figure is you can live within the size of this house. Is this the typical size house in your price range? Master Bedrooms on starter homes are 12ft, 13ft (Ave), 14ft long; 15ft master bedrooms are on larger homes, sometimes with 2 full baths, family rooms are higher price tags. Be sure your expectations are in line with your Afforability and Location requirements. Therefore ask yourself: "Can I be more or less comfortable in this sized house?"             YES or NO

4.  CONDITION: this should really be "General Condition". Expect to make minor maintenace improvements on ANY house you buy. Carpets and paint are 2 relatively inexpensive items that will DRAMATICALLY change how well a house shows. Look beyond these items, and see if the major items are reasonably in good condition. Look at other similar homes on the street to see what other people have done. Sometimes adding shutters or adding or removing landscaping will really change how the house looks from the street. The Home Inspector will check: Maintenance items, life expectancy, and major systems. Therefore, ask yourself: "Is the house in Generally Good Condition?"                                                                                      YES or NO

5.  PRICE: Are you looking for too much house for your Income bracket? Are you going to take on too much house? Are you comfortable with how the monthly payment is going to look. Are you realistic in what you can afford, and what you'll get? If you were prequalified PROPERLY, you should know the answer before you even looked at the house. e things. At this point, do not yet worry about negotiaing, appraisals etc. This is so you can reassure yourself, that some lender or Agent is not putting you into more house than you can afford. Therefore, ask yourself "Am I in the right price range, for me?"                                                                     YES or NO?

OK HERE IS THE HARD PART AND THE KEY: let's say you answered YES to all but one category. GO BACK to that category, and ask yourself: "Is there someting HERE I can FIX, or DOES IT REALLY MATTER (IN OTHER WORDS, DO ALL THE OTHER YESES MEAN MORE THAN THIS "NO"?; In other words, can I add a fence, add or remove some landscaping, get rid of the baby grand piano - do you follow me here? GO BACK NOW>>> and see if the NO is really a NO.... or if it really matter

If you do this exercise, you'll have no problem making a decision on WHICH house to buy!

Bud Crane - 856-424-4040 x 133

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INSURANCE NOTE: Pennsylvania is now urging Buyers to SHOP EARLY early for Fire Insurance (aka Homeowners Insurance). This is a good idea here too. Rates VARY, and insurance companies are getting strict on pets, trampolines,  the PROPERTY's claims history, and YOUR credit.