Writing this post was triggered by my checking out real estate values in my neighborhood. In all honesty, I wanted to see if my house’s value went up, down or was the same.
Zillow generally over-estimates values, but I went on it knowingly… http://www.zillow.com. Why? The only excuse I have is that perhaps it is nice to see your home valued $10,000 more than what you know you’d get if it were to sell it.
Then, after I was re-assured Zillow was continuing to over-estimate my house, I started checking other homes and values and discovered that some were listed in “pre-foreclosure…” What does that mean? I wondered. I still don’t know for sure, but searched “What could cause foreclosure?” and came up with some very useful information.
I continue to have as the main purpose of my blog sharing information we could use in our daily lives, and did MORE research and came up with more than an answer to my initial search question.
Here it is!!!
What to check before you buy a new home.
Most of us know the obvious: Do you have enough money to afford a down payment and the mortgage? Is the neighborhood safe? If you have children or plan on having kids, is the School District good?
In the heat of the moment, some of us fail to think of the following:
How much are the utilities? Does the house have a new roof and a new heater? Even if you buy a remodeled house, a leaky roof will “leak” your budget faster than you have enough money to fix the roof.
If you have pets. What are the township’s rules? How many dogs/cats are you allowed to have?
Check the costs of homeowners, car and HEALTH insurance in the area you plan to move. They vary from area to area in the same state.
What do you need, yes NEED in terms of services:
A good health care system which is reasonably close in space
A good mechanic/shop to service your car
A reliable pharmacy to have good prices and reasonable hours.
A hair dresser/barber
A community to feel comfortable and welcomed. A church, Temple, Community Center, Al Anon, AA or Narc Anonymous meetings in the area. Of course good neighbors.
The best time to check the safety of a neighborhood is to drive through it at night. Also, check the local newspaper’s Crime Section, The Police log.
Now… you bought your new home. You made sure the roof didn’t leak and you drove through neighborhood at night. All is great!
Time to pay your property taxes! They could be in escrow and just as your home insurance, paid together with your mortgage. It is probably the best way to ensure it is all paid in a timely manner.
However, let’s say you opted to pay your property taxes separate from your mortgage because you are responsible. Did you know that if you pay your mortgage but not your property taxes the mortgage lender has the right to foreclose to protect their investment? I didn’t know that but this is the case according to http://www.homeguides.sfgate.com/can-property-tax-lien-cause-foreclosure
What are tax liens (same source as above)
They are debt attached to real estate when income and property taxes are unpaid. That means lien holders have a financial claim on the property.
When a home is bought the amount due is paid at closing from the homeowners equity. If the lien is not paid another action may be taken. In some states the new buyer may opt to inherit the debt (tax lien) and agree to pay it in a set period of time and pay more interest on the amount owed. These are called tax certificates, and if not paid in a timely manner foreclosure may be requested by the holder of the lien. This varies from state to state. In California for instance, instead of tax certificates there are levies placed against a property, which gives the taxing body ownership of the property. The time-frames of such actions vary from state to state.
Do I know what “pre foreclosure” means? No, I don’t but now I know I MUST pay both my mortgage and also the real estate taxes as the consequences of not paying are equally bad.
In my searches I came across some web sites that you might find of interest. Here they are:
http://www.veteransunited.com Helps veterans buy a FIRST home
Happy searching for a new home and Happy 2015!