Real Estate 101: Ten Essential Terms to Learn Before Purchasing a House (Part 2)
Buying a house can be a daunting task, especially for first-time homebuyers who are not familiar with real estate terminologies. In the first part of this blog post, we discussed ten essential real estate terms that every homebuyer should know. Here are ten more terms that can help you make informed decisions when buying a house:
1. Homeowner's Association (HOA)
An HOA is an organization that manages and enforces rules and regulations in a residential community. If you're buying a property in an HOA community, you'll be required to pay dues to the association, which can cover common area maintenance, amenities, and other services. HOA rules can dictate everything from the color of your house to the type of mailbox you can have.
A contingency is a condition that must be met before the sale of a property can be completed. Common contingencies include home inspection, appraisal, and financing contingencies. If a contingency is not met, the buyer may have the right to cancel the contract without penalty.
3. Down Payment
A down payment is the initial amount of money that a buyer pays toward the purchase of a property. The down payment is typically a percentage of the purchase price and can vary depending on the type of loan and the lender's requirements. A larger down payment can help lower your monthly mortgage payments and reduce your overall interest costs.
4. Closing Disclosure
A closing disclosure is a document that details the final terms of your mortgage loan. It includes information on the loan amount, interest rate, closing costs, and other fees. The closing disclosure must be provided to the borrower at least three days before the closing of the sale.
5. Contingent Offer
A contingent offer is an offer to purchase a property that is dependent on certain conditions being met. Common contingencies include home inspection, appraisal, and financing contingencies. If a contingency is not met, the offer may be canceled without penalty.
A deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of a property from one party to another. It includes a description of the property, the names of the buyer and seller, and any restrictions on the use of the property.
7. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
PMI is insurance that lenders require borrowers to pay if their down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. PMI protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. The cost of PMI varies depending on the loan amount and other factors.
Amortization is the process of paying off a mortgage loan over time through regular payments. Each payment includes both principal and interest, and the balance of the loan decreases with each payment. Amortization schedules can vary depending on the loan type and repayment terms.
9. Home Equity
Home equity is the difference between the market value of your property and the amount you owe on your mortgage. As you pay down your mortgage, your home equity increases. You can use your home equity to borrow money or as a source of savings.
Closing is the final step in the home-buying process. It's the meeting where the buyer and seller sign the final documents and the sale is completed. At the closing, the buyer pays the remaining balance of the purchase price and receives the keys to the property.
In conclusion, understanding these real estate terms can help you make informed decisions when buying a house. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent like myself and mortgage lender can also provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.