Buyer: I've found the property that meets my needs and I want to write an offer. What do I need?
Stephanie: Great news! I am happy to be of service.
What enables you to write an offer...
1. A pre-approval letter from your lender. A pre-approval letter demonstrates to the seller that you are financially qualified and can afford to buy the property.
2. A check for 3% of the purchase price. This check is your deposit. It is sent to the title company and deposited into the escrow account once the contract is ratified/signed by both seller & buyer.
3. A letter to the seller is optional but a great way to share what you like about the property and why you would like to buy it. Sometimes this makes all the difference!
Home Inspections...this is the buyers responsibility
Home inspections should include an examination of the structural elements, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and mechanical systems, built-in appliances, and the presence of hazardous or toxic substances, including asbestos and lead-based paint. Following are some areas to which you should pay particular attention:
- The Roof: Make sure to get a determination regarding the condition and useful life of the roof, including all penetrations of the surface, such as chimneys and skylights, gutters, drains, etc. Although there may be no indication in the disclosures that the roof leaks, that is no guarantee that leaks will not develop with the next rain storm. Roofs do not last indefinitely. Exposed to the punishing effects of heat, cold and water, roofs of even the soundest construction will eventually leak.
- Heating System: Have your inspector check the condition of the heating system, particularly its internal parts and the ducts that distribute heat throughout the house.
- Water Intrusion: Even if the seller’s disclosures do not indicate any problems with leaks, you will want your inspector to assess the structure for susceptibility to water intrusion. Specific areas of concern are the foundation, garage, basement, crawl spaces, as well as all living areas. Take a close look at the seller's disclosures for notations relating to the presence of water and whether the property might be subject to seeping, flooding or running water during seasonal rains. If so, be sure to also inspect for the presence of mold.
- Sidewalk Repair: Since the maintenance of public sidewalks adjacent to a property is the responsibility of the owner, you will need to check the sidewalks for cracking, settling or other hazardous conditions.
- Foundation: Have your inspector take a good look at the foundation. Be sure that he or she makes a determination of the seismic strength of this part of the structure, particularly if the house is an old one.
Resource: SFBW A Guide for SF Homeowners