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Georgetown Real Estate Law Blog

Sellers should consider remodeling their homes before a sale

Those who are looking to sell their homes in Delaware or anywhere else may have questions about whether to upgrade their properties before doing so. Generally speaking, it may be a good idea to make an upgrade if it significantly increases the home's value. It is also important to make an upgrade if it makes the home easier to sell. Typically, buyers judge a property based on what it looks like today as opposed to what it will look like after a remodel.

Furthermore, most buyers want to move into a house that is ready to use immediately. In many cases, individuals may be looking to buy a house because they don't want to pay rent anymore. If a home needs significant work, the buyer could be forced to make both a rent and a mortgage payment until their remodel is complete.

Canceling a home purchase agreement

Typically, a person in Delaware can back out of a home purchase after an offer has been accepted. However, when and how someone can rescind an offer depends on how the contract was structured. It also hinges on whether all parties have signed the document. If it has, it may be necessary to go to mediation to resolve the matter if a seller doesn't willingly allow the deal to be canceled.

In most cases, a purchase offer comes with a variety of contingencies. For instance, a buyer may say that the deal is contingent on securing financing or the results of a home inspection. If a particular condition isn't met, it is usually acceptable to back out of a home purchase without forfeiting any earnest money. Earnest money is a deposit a person makes to prove that he or she will make a good faith effort to buy the property.

Considering a 15-year mortgage

Most homebuyers in Delaware take out a mortgage loan from a bank to complete their purchase. After all, very few people can buy a house in cash outright. The traditional mortgage period stretches over 30 years at a fixed interest rate. However, there are also options for a 15-year, shorter-term mortgage. People buying a home may have several factors to consider when choosing the mortgage loan that is right for them.

First-time homebuyers often have access to special programs supported by the government to encourage Americans to purchase residential real estate. For example, there VA, FHA and USDA loans. Other buyers may still opt for a conventional bank mortgage.

Purchasing a home

When purchasing a home, one of the things Delaware residents have to consider is whether they want to make their mortgage payments biweekly or monthly. If the mortgage payments are made biweekly, the mortgage payoff date will be earlier, and the total interest costs will be lower. With a monthly mortgage payment, buyers are likelier to be paying more interest with a payoff date that is much later than that for a biweekly payment.

It is also important for homebuyers to compare lenders beyond just looking at interest rates. One of the other lender factors that should be considered includes lender fees. While a lot of closing costs tend to be standard with little variation among lenders, other fees for processing, closing, commitment and origination can vary significantly.

A general timeline when buying a home

The process of buying a home in Delaware or any other state may depend on a variety of factors. Those factors may include a buyer's ability to get a loan and find a home in a timely manner. It can then take about 30-45 days to close on a deal after the seller accepts a buyer's offer. However, buyers should start thinking about what they need to buy a home several months before they start the process.

For instance, it can be a good idea to start saving for a down payment as soon as possible. It can also be a good idea for an individual to take a broad look at his or her credit and financial situation. Doing so can make it easier to take the steps necessary to maximize the odds of getting approval from a lender.

What to expect when buying waterfront property

There can be many advantages to buying a home close to the water in Delaware. Of course, there can also be many downsides to having a home in such a location. While the views may be beautiful, the cost to buy a home will be higher than in other parts of a town or city. If a body of water is vulnerable to hurricanes or other natural disasters, an individual will need to pay more for homeowners insurance.

Other downsides to buying a waterfront property include the possible need to buy flood insurance or buy special finishes for the home. Furthermore, the water may attract a lot of traffic, which means that it can be harder for homeowners to maintain their privacy. One of the key benefits of buying a home on the water is the greater potential for price appreciation.

Selling a home during the busy season

For real estate professionals in Delaware and throughout the country, the summer months are a busy time of year. This is because most buyers and sellers want to have a transaction concluded before the start of the new school year. However, there are a few tips that sellers should know about prior to listing their homes. First, it is important to make sure that the home is clean.

It can be a good idea to spend time cleaning out attics, basements or any other room in the home that has a lot of stuff in it. It can also be worthwhile to remove any items from a living room or other space that may be seen as nothing more than junk. The next step is to look for any issues that could scare a buyer off and to take care of them prior to listing the home.

Minimizing fraud during a real estate transaction

A lack of security measures could result in fraudulent real estate transactions in Delaware or any other state. In many cases, a scammer will learn about a transaction after hacking an email account or by otherwise obtaining unauthorized access to an online account. They will then pretend to be an attorney or other party relevant to the purchase or sale of the property. The final step in the process is to instruct a person to send closing costs or other payments to a fraudulent account.

There are ways for buyers and sellers to avoid scams. For instance, it is important to insist that everyone involved in the transaction have secure passwords and use two-step authentication. Individuals can also protect themselves by making sure to call anyone who has supposedly asked for a payment to be wired.

People who lost their homes returning to homeownership

The financial crisis caused many people in Delaware and across the country to lose their homes to foreclosure or short sale. It was especially devastating for those with sub-prime mortgages in communities that were part of the "housing bubble." Now that it has been years since the recovery, many of these buyers are looking to return once more to the real estate market. Homeownership can be an important way of building wealth. While many people are wary of losing out again, they are also taking precautions to protect themselves, like seeking more affordable homes.

These home buyers are being referred to as "boomerang buyers" because they are returning to the residential real estate market after being cast out. Experts say that this group of people could help to boost a real estate market that was showing signs of slowing down. In the first part of 2019, home sales were down 6.6 percent over the year before. One analyst said that he expected buyers aged 35 to 64 to drive recovery in the market. Many of these people were hesitant to buy due to their prior experiences with buying a home.

Youngest adults want to be homeowners

Young people in Delaware and throughout the country would have a home as opposed to a vacation or dream wedding. According to a survey from Bank of America, 59 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 23 say that they will buy a home within five years. This would mean that those within this age range would be homeowners before they turn 30. The study involved about 2,000 people who own a home or are planning to.

To accomplish their goal, younger people are planning to go to a less expensive college or live with their parents while saving for a down payment. Individuals who are considered part of Generation Z are more likely to want to buy a house to start a family compared to other generations. This was true for over half of study participants born after 1995 compared to just 40 percent of Millennials.