Finding the Uncommon Deal in Washington
Washington State is a great place for home buyers to find “the uncommon deal”. The following are tips to assist home buyers in Washington State find your dream home at the right price. Here are some things to know: Washington is a non-recourse state, so if an individual buys a home and loses the home to foreclosure, the primary lien holder cannot come after the owner for any deficiency. If, however, the owner has a second mortgage and the home is foreclosed by the first lien holder, the second mortgage company can sue the homeowner for a deficiency. Most liens are secured through a Note and Deed of Trust rather than a “mortgage”.
Washington State requires a property disclosure statement to be filled out by all sellers, except trustees and executors. Some states are caveat emptor, buyer beware. Having said that, most buyers choose to have a home inspection done (at their own expense), which is done after the buyer and seller have agreed to all the terms of the contract.
Home buyers should be aware that homes built prior to 1978 must have a lead based paint disclosure. Once you find that great deal and close, sales are closed by escrow companies rather than attorneys, as in Illinois.
The following are general guidelines that have helped Washington buyers:
• Have a trusted real estate broker and lender to consult with
• Get pre-approved before starting your home search.
• Don’t get your heart set on “the” house. The house you think is your dream house may not work out or be right for you.
• Do a lot of research, especially research where sex offenders live through the sheriff’s web site
• Buying is a process of elimination, not selection, so knowing what you don’t like is as important as what you do like
• Search holistically, consider commutes, proximity to shopping, medical care, things and people who are important to you, not just price or a good deal
• Ask for the seller to pay closing costs. Most sellers are willing to pay them right now.
• Always get a home inspection. These usually costs between $300 and $500. This is the best money you spend during the transaction.
• Be prompt. Time is of the essence and you could lose the house you want if you don’t perform according to the time frames.
• When choosing a lender, don’t necessarily go for the “best” rate. Go for someone who focuses on purchase loans, rather than one who focus on refinances.
• To get the best deals, patience and cash win the day. You can get a great deal on that short sale, but it might take six months or even a year to get approval.
• Cash is always king, especially in distressed and bank owned properties.
Washington State is not only a great place to live; it is a great place to find the best deal.