Prestige Home Mortgage
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Victor Runkle Home Loans
Victor Runkle


Home Loans Vancouver Washington
We Are the Experts on VA Loans
FHA, USDA, & Conventional

Frequently Asked Questions

5 Things You Need To Know About Home Inspections Before Buying A Home

Question: Is an appraisal the same thing as a home inspection?
No, an appraisal and a home inspection are two very different yet important functions during the home buying process. The appraisal is a market analysis of your home (or the home you are buying) to determine current market value. This value is supported by comparable nearby sales of similar properties. While an appraiser may notice an issue and note it on their report, their primary function is to determine value.

A home inspection is a detailed inspection of the property performed by a qualified home inspector. This includes inspection of the foundation, attic, crawl space, etc... to look for any issues that point to a possible water leak, structural issue, pest problem and so forth. Obtaining a home inspection is an important part of the home buying process, and a good tool for buyers to use to protect themselves from buying a home with costly issues that will arise after purchase.

Question: When is a home inspection performed?
Typically a buyer makes an offer on a home, and once the offer has been accepted the buyer is given a certain amount of time to obtain a home inspection, review and move forward. If a buyer chooses not to purchase a home after reviewing their home inspection, their Realtor can advise the buyer on how to decline and receive their earnest money deposit back if they are still in the agreed upon time frame.

Question: When do I meet with the home inspector?
Since a home inspection can take a couple hours or more, I usually advise my clients to meet with the home inspector once they have completed their inspection. At that point the inspector can address any major issues they have found. In addition, many home inspectors will provide a detailed report via email after the inspection for the buyer to review.

Question: What if I still want to buy a home but want the seller to make some repairs?
This is pretty common, and is an another reason having a Buyer's agent represent you is so important. Once you have reviewed your home inspection, you can discuss your concerns with your Realtor and decide which items you would like to address with the seller. Your list of items is written up in the form of an addendum, and your agent presents this list to the seller or seller's agent. The seller has the option to respond to this request and agree upon what will and will not be done.

Question: How do I choose a Home Inspector?
Your Realtor works with many home inspectors in your local real estate market, and can provide you with a referral to a home inspector. You also may know of a home inspector from a friend or relative who recently bought a home, and can suggest an inspector they hired.

The home buying process is an exciting and sometimes stressful process. Make sure you have a Realtor representing you who can help you navigate the process and has your best interests in mind.

Is it really worth the time to go into back up position?

What is back up position?
Back up position is when you put an offer in on a home and there is already an offer accepted. If the first offer does not go through then you would end up in first position. The first offer most commonly falls through because the financing did not get approved which is usually found out in the first two or three weeks. Secondly is the current Buyer backed out because of something with the home inspection they did not like which is usually found out within the first week.

Why would I go into back up position?
The number one reason you would go into back up position is because you really want the house! Most Buyers do not want to wait around for weeks to find out if the other offer is going through so they keep shopping. I always tell my clients who are really interested in a property with an accepted offer is to put in a strong back up offer and at least wait for the home inspection to be completed which is usually only a week and less than two weeks.

The reason why is because the Seller may like your offer better than the current offer they have already accepted. Many home inspections reveal repairs or deficiencies that should be addressed which most Buyers ask the Sellers to fix. If a Seller likes your offer better they may not agree to fixing anything on the property with the current Buyer hoping they withdraw their offer so they can accept yours.

But then will I have the prior buyers problems to deal with?
If something was found on the home inspection of the previous Buyer that would affect the structural integrity of the home or affect the value of the home then the Seller must document it on the property disclosures. The property disclosures are forms for the Seller to complete about the known condition of the property which are provided to Buyers who have their offer accepted by the Seller. So in the event something really bad was in the prior home inspection you would find out about it from the property disclosures.

Many times a Buyer may want items fixed that are so mediocre only a home inspector would find them and they ask the Seller to repair them. I see it happen all the time where a Buyer will walk away from a house purely out of the principal of the fact that a Seller will not complete a minor repair. In other words, if the current Buyer backs out there is a good possibility you may not be walking into a big problem, it may just be the personal preferences of the Buyer before you that were not met.

Why Your Offer Wasn't Accepted

In today's market, the First Time Homebuyer can find themselves feeling at a disadvantage with the large number of cash buyer's purchasing homes right now.

The housing market is regaining at a healthy pace, and competition in what is considered a First Time Home in your market can be fierce. In December 2013, cash buyers accounted for 42.1 percent of all residential sales on average nationwide, according to a recent report by Realtytrac.

First Time Homebuyers typically make up approximately 40 percent of home buyers on average. According to the National Association of Realtors, First Time Homebuyers made up 28 percent of the sales in December 2013. This is the lowest since 2008, and here is why...

While the experience of buying a home is very exciting, and every buyer wants the best deal possible, knowing the competition in any business transaction is very important. Remembering that in many markets, nearly half of the other potential buyers looking at the same home you are have cash in hand and can close quickly is key. Taking the time to figure out what you want and what areas you are interested in buying in is crucial. Once you do find the home you want, hearing that your offer wasn't accepted can be very disappointing. Here are a few tips to get a great deal, for a fair price and get the seller's attention:

  1. Remember who your competition is in your price range and take that into consideration when formulating an offer with your agent.
  2. Heed your Realtor's input on if the home is competitively priced, how long it has been on the market, and if you may be offering too little to get a response.
  3. Don't get discouraged, doing your research and working with an agent who is familiar with your market will help you be prepared as you make an offer on the home you love.

Best of luck in your search for your new home!

Always Use a Local Realtor and Lender

It is very important to always use a local Lender for VA Loans and FHA Loans in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR. Every VA and FHA borrower has the right to utilize any VA and FHA Lender that is licensed in that state but there is some risk which I will explain.

Purchasing a home with your VA benefits or FHA loan in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR is the biggest purchase of your lifetime. It is extremely important that you work with a local professional who thoroughly understands and is educated on the market. It is very difficult for out of state Lenders to fully understand the details of the VA and FHA market in an area they do not reside. In Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR local Lenders understand the VA and FHA market because they have established relationships with local Realtors and local Escrow Companies that provide them with up to date information. Out of state Lenders without those relationships do not have access too this information. While an out of state Lender is capable of closing a VA Loan or FHA loan for you, a local VA and FHA Lender offers expertise that someone out of state most likely does not possess.

Out of state Lenders not only effect you as a VA or FHA borrower but they also effect a purchase transaction in its entirety. Every transaction has the same questions asked buy all parties involved that include the Seller of the property, the listing Agent, the selling Agent, the Escrow Company. When you are conducting a VA loan or FHA loan in Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR and all entities involved are local except for a Lender who is out of state these questions arise:

  • Who is this Lender?
  • Where did you hear about them?
  • Do you know anyone who has used them before now?
  • Are they easy to get in touch with?
  • Can you talk to a person directly?
  • Do they have any recommendations in our area?

When these questions start to be asked by Realtors the seller usually wants some reassurance that the buyer of their home is working with a reputable company. Normally this will include the seller requiring that you get pre-approved with a locally known Lender. Reputation is hard to prove when you are out of state and no one has heard of the Lender, seen the Lender or has ever spoke to anyone who has worked with them in past. There is more to a VA Loan or FHA Loan than just getting it closed. Not every VA Loan or FHA Loan is cut and dry. VA Loans and FHA Loans are not easy to close and require experience to be done correctly. Local Lenders will be known by other Realtors and Escrow Companies and they will be able to verify their experience level.

Issues pop up on every VA Loan or FHA Loan that can potentially end up in a denial. A Lender must have the internal fortitude to work through these problems and not give up because of frustration. A Lender who you have been able to look at eye to eye and establish a personal face to face relationship with will normally not give up on you. Whereas a Lender whom you have never met and have only spoken on the phone with will find it much easier to end a transaction if the VA Loan or FHA Loan shows some difficulty. Today the Lending market is very rigid which means that Lenders must work twice as hard to close a VA Loan or FHA Loan. This is why working with a local Lender is so important because creating that personal relationship usually ensures stronger loyalty and representation. Having a local Lender where you and your Realtor and Escrow Company can go to their office to pick up and drop off important paperwork and talk too in person makes a huge difference to everyone's comfort level. Especially with the individual you are purchasing your home from in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR.