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A checklist for buying your own home


Dear Mr. Gisriel:

My wife and I currently rent an apartment. We want to buy a home but don't know how to get started. Could you give us some tips?

Mike Hardesty

Ellicott City

Dear Mr. Hardesty:

Here is a 14-point home purchase and settlement checklist you can use:

* Save at least enough for a down payment and settlement costs (usually 5 percent to 10 percent of the sales price).

* Select a real estate agent and the general areas where you might want to live.

* Locate your new home -- inspect at least three to six houses.

* Sign a real estate contract.

* Select a lender and apply for a loan (talk with at least two lenders).

* Provide the lender with required documents.

* Arrange for inspections (home inspection, termite report, well/septic certification, etc.).

* Contact a title company to arrange settlement date and do title search.

* Obtain homeowners insurance policy, pay for it and get a receipt.

* Contact utility companies.

* Check with real estate agent, lender and title company for final instructions.

* Get bank, cashier's, or certified check for settlement.

* Conduct final pre-settlement inspection or walk-through.

* Attend settlement and close on your home.

Dear Mr. Gisriel:

I am interested in a career in real estate. How do I get started?

Stuart King


Dear Mr. King:

The state and local boards of Realtors and many large real estate brokers offer education, training and licensing courses to those interested in becoming licensed agents.

These same groups also offer career guidance -- and, at the realty companies, perhaps a job.

To start working, agents must pass a real estate course and a state exam, then hook up with a broker. Real estate sales people work on commission, and earnings are based on performance.

Pub Date: 8/11/96

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