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Victorian houses

Do you have any questions about the home buying process? Read through our frequently asked questions and answers below. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Bonnie Spindler.

  • How can Bonnie Spindler and her team help me when buying a house?

    As seasoned real estate experts, Bonnie and her team will give you more access to homes, appointments, and sellers. She will negotiate on your behalf to help get you a better deal than you might be able to get on your own. She will use her knowledge and expertise to advise you when making offers and before signing contracts to protect you and your assets.
  • What is title insurance?

    . The search checks public records to see if there will be any issues when transferring the title of ownership. Title insurance is a one-time cost that protects the buyer in case a title problem arises after the papers are signed. Some of these problems could be forgery, mistakes while examining the records, or undisclosed heirs.
  • What is a wood-destroying organism inspection report?

    Most lending institutions in California will require a wood-destroying organism inspection report before approving a mortgage application. The report is conducted by a state-licensed pest control inspector. The inspector will search the house for evidence of wood-destroying organisms (termites, carpenter ants, fungus, etc…), including the organisms themselves and any damage caused. A clean report cannot guarantee that the house is free of these organisms, but rather that there was no visible evidence at the time of the inspection.
  • What are the hazards of lead-based paint?

    In homes built before 1978, lead-based paint may have been used. Ask your real estate agent for a copy of a pamphlet outlining the hazards. You are required by law as a home buyer to receive a copy. Read more about the hazards on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Website.
  • What are closing costs?

    The decisions on who will pay the closing costs will be agreed upon by the buyer and seller before any closing papers are signed. Costs are usually around 10% of the total sales price and may include anything from homeowners’ association fees to the costs of the inspections.
  • What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

    If you, as a buyer, are pre-approved for a loan, your credit, employment, and funds have all been verified and approved by your financial institution.

    If you have been pre-qualified, it is only probable that you can afford the mortgage being discussed. Your credit, employment, and funds will have to be verified before you can be pre-approved.

  • What should a home inspection include?

    Before you finalize a home purchase, especially if you are financing the home with a mortgage, you will need to have a home inspection conducted. The state-certified inspector will evaluate the condition of and the risks involving the following:

    • Ceiling, floors, and walls
    • Foundation
    • Roof
    • HVAC systems
    • Septic tanks, sewer lines, or wells
    • Plumbing and electrical systems
    • Insulation
    • Doors
    • Hazardous materials concerns

  • What property details are usually included by listing services?

    Generally, you should be able to find information about the following:

    • Price
    • Location
    • Photo(s)
    • Annual property tax
    • Amenities (especially # of bedrooms/bathrooms)
    • Current financing
    • Utilities

  • What pages are generally included in the Purchase and Sales Agreement?

    • Addendum Outlining Special Conditions
    • Agency Disclosure
    • Contingency
    • Conditions/Disclosures Addendum
    • Earnest Money Receipt
    • Financing Addendum/Clause
    • Inspection/Clause
    • Lead-Base Paint Notification
    • Property Disclosure Form (completed by sellers)
  • What is the difference between a Real Estate Agent and a REALTOR®?

    A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and has to follow its code of ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®, and not every REALTOR® is a real estate agent. Some REALTORS® are property managers, appraisers, or other professionals in the business.