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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What To Know Before Starting The Home Buying Process


Before shopping for a home, there are specific things that you should know. We’ve put together a list of questions and answers to help you prepare for buying a home. Once you’ve learned how to start the home buying process you’ll be better able to get the right home at the right price.  Consulting a qualified lender to find out how much house you can afford and getting preapproved for a loan is always a good place to start.

How much house can I afford?

Your savings, income and the current interest rates will determine the maximum price you can spend on a home. Most lenders recommend that you spend no more than 28% of your monthly income on mortgage payments.
 

What are the current interest rates?

Interest rates fluctuate daily based on the market and your individual rate will additionally be based on your credit history. So you will need to talk to a qualified mortgage loan officer to help you determine your rate. Contact The Boehmer Team if you would like the names of some reputable mortgage loan officers in St. Louis City, County, St. Charles County and surrounding areas in Missouri.

What is an appraisal and how much does it cost?

An appraisal is a valuation of a property that determines property value for tax and home loan purposes. Currently an appraisal costs between $250-$350 in the St. Louis, Missouri area.  This is paid at closing and considered part of your closing costs.

What inspections will be required & how much do they cost?

A building inspection will be required for almost all home loans. This tells the bank the condition of the home they are financing. Currently in the St. Louis, Missouri area a building inspection runs approximately $225-$300 and is based on the sale price of the home.
Additionally you can get termite inspections ($60-$100) and radon inspections ($100-$150). There are a number of additional items that you can inspect for such as sewer laterals, septic systems, swimming pools, wells and environmental testing if desired.

What is a home closing?

The home closing is the final transfer of the ownership of a house from the seller to the buyer, which occurs after both have met all the terms of their contract and the deed has been recorded. This term can also be used to explain the timing of when the deed/ownership of the house will be transferred to the new owners. The closing usually takes place at the office of someone like a title officer, escrow officer, or real estate lawyer (someone who is licensed in initiating the transaction and purchase agreement).

How much will the closing costs be?

The amount of closing costs will depend on the amount of points a buyer will be paying with their mortgage loan. (Each point is 1% of the mortgage loan amount). Closing costs vary depending on the type of loan you are using.  They can include title fees, origination fees, pre-paids including insurance, setting up your escrow account and survey to name a few.  Depending on the loan amount and loan type, closing costs usually run approximately 2-3% of the loan amount.  Your loan officer will be able to give you more accurate information on what your total closing costs will be.

I’m also thinking of buying a car, a boat or other big-ticket item. Should I wait?

Do not make any other large purchases while in the home buying process as it could affect your ability to get a mortgage loan.  Consult your loan officer before opening any charge cards and obtaining any other type of loan.


Now that you have the information you need to start the home buying process visit TheBoehmerTeam.com to see homes currently for sale in the St. Louis and St. Charles County area of Missouri.  You can narrow the results by the area and price range of your choice in addition to many other advanced features. Contact us if you have any questions about the home buying process.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Radon in Missouri Homes

What is radon and how does it affect my home? 


Radon is a chemical element (Rn). It is produced via the natural breakdown of thorium and uranium, their decay product radium, which creates its decay product radon. It is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that is considered a health hazard due to its radioactivity. 
 
Studies have shown a clear link between breathing high concentrations of radon and incidence of lung cancer. Thus, radon is considered a significant contaminant that affects indoor home air quality worldwide. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.


How do you find out if you have radon in your home?


For Missourians there is a FREE RADON TESTING KIT you can order. Click the following link and fill out the quick form to receive your testing kit in 8-10 business days: http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/radon/testkit.php

What if you find radon in your home?


If you have performed only a single test, the US EPA recommends a follow-up test before fixing your home. Radon levels fluctuate naturally and it is important to know if the initial test was an accurate assessment of your home's average radon level or whether the high levels could have been caused by unusual weather.


What if you discover radon and plan on selling your home?


If you are involved in a real estate transaction, the EPA recommends fixing the house prior to sale if the average of your original and follow-up tests are 4.0 pCi/L or higher.


How to mitigate radon in your home:


  1. Hire a qualified licensed residential radon mitigation contractor.
    You can find a list of qualified licensed residential radon mitigation contractors for Missouri at: http://www.radongas.org/mitigation_template/MO.shtml
  2. Do it yourself:
    To install a DIY radon system requires a variety of skills and some very special knowledge. Yes a radon mitigation system is really quite simple by design, but a poorly installed system could actually make your level worse. Here are a list of books to help you install a home radon mitigation system correctly: http://www.radonattahoe.com/doityourself.htm    


Find more information on radon in Missouri at http://mo-radon.info. This site contains county levels, inspectors, mitigators and more. Or talk to The Boehmer Team about their preferred radon inspectors for your area.