Some people are afraid to make a real estate purchase not because they lack the funds to buy one. For most buyers, their fear stems from not knowing what to expect, how to go about buying a property, and the fact that they are investing a huge sum of money towards long-term investment. The more you educate yourself about the real estate buying process, the more motivated you will be to finally make the home investment.
One thing every buyer needs to know is that while you have your own set of obligations, you also have your own rights as a buyer. These rights help protect your interest while securing the purchase. Some of these are as follows.
Right Against Housing Discrimination
According to the Fair Housing Act, buyers, as well as renters, are protected against discrimination from landlords, sellers, and lenders. One can be biased just because of your sexual orientation, the color of your skin, your religion, your race, or your nationality. They are also not allowed to discriminate against you because of your disability, familial status, or military status.
Different local and state jurisdiction has their own additional protections. In New York, no one is allowed to discriminate against buyers because of their lawful occupation or immigration status. Landlords or banks are also not allowed to inquire about your criminal record.
Right to Know Why Your Mortgage Application Was Denied
Let’s say you applied for a loan to buy land for sale. You submitted all the required documents. But then, your loan was denied.
There can be numerous reasons why a loan application was denied. This can be due to your insufficient income, poor credit score, too much debt-to-income ratio, and even lack of proper documentation. Know that if they reject your loan application, you have the right to ask and know the reason why it was turned down.
Right to Real Estate Disclosures
Real estate agents and homeowners are to disclose all hazards and defects a newly constructed house or an old home has to the buyers. Note that different provisions exist in different states. Even if your state does not require disclosure, it is your right to ask the seller and agent.
Some disclosures you ought to know are as follows.
Is there a known potential environmental contamination within or near the property? Is there any presence of hazardous materials or toxic wastes? Disclosure may also include earth-stability defects, if the property is tested for harmful chemicals or if the property was ever used to house harmful substances in the past.
Sellers must disclose the property’s repair history. It is advisable that buyers invest in home inspection especially if their lender is not requiring one. This will help buyers learn about the necessary maintenance and repairs and how much these will cost them in the future.
One also ought to know if the property is governed by a homeowners’ association. This means they are to pay monthly fees and abide by the HOA’s membership rules. It is also a good idea to ask for the late 12 months’ worth of HOA meeting notes to make sure you are updated.
There can be numerous nuisances where the property you are buying is located. This can include odors, smoke, noises, and other nuisance. It is best to ask and do your research to make sure you don’t buy a property that has intolerable nuisances.
Death in the property
No one wants to buy a house where someone died a horrible death. Not all states require a death in the property disclosure. But if the death was caused by violent crimes or due to safety issues, then the seller should be responsible enough to tell the buyer.
Right to Refuse Mortgage Provider
Homebuyers have the right to choose their mortgage lenders. Just because you got pre-approved for a home loan already meant you are obliged to use their services. You can cancel a home loan application for any reason.
This is the reason why buyers are advised to shop for mortgage lenders. Different lenders can have varying terms and interest rates. It pays to shop around until you find a lender that understands your needs and situation
There are lenders who will tell you to get a mortgage you can’t afford. There are those who won’t give you a Good Faith Estimate, will pressure you to sign documents without understanding them, or even sign blank loan forms. Watch out for bad lenders and you can protect yourself from future financial hassles.
These are but four rights you should know as a buyer. You are making a considerable amount of investment, which means you ought to think things through before making a decision. Do your research, ask for recommendations, and don’t hesitate to trust your gut feeling when making an investment.