You're thinking of buying a new home. Exciting!
We have been helping buyers make well informed buying decisions for over 10 years. We offer a comprehensive, full service approach to buying a home. We’ll guide you through the latest financing options, identify the best available properties meeting your needs, negotiate the best price, terms and make sure all the details are taken care to ensure a smooth closing. You’re covered every step of the way!
There are many steps to consider when selling your home.
Here at Fox Homes, we do our best to make things as easy and stress-free as possible for you throughout the entire process.
— Click on a section to learn more. —
What do you want to buy?
There are many considerations to make when deciding to buy a home. One of these considerations is where to buy. There are many different types of communities within the Twin Cities. We can work with you to understand what all of these communities have to offer. Another consideration is what type of home to buy. There are many styles of homes in the twin cities. Some of these styles include single-family homes, town homes, condos, and lofts. There are differences between these styles of homes like amount of maintenance needed, association fees and general cost of living. We look forward to sitting down with you and discussing these difference and what will work best for you!
This type of real estate normally includes a house, yard and possibly a garage. There is generally more maintenance involved in this type and the cost of ownership can be higher than others. The benefits include full ownership in the property and no common spaces shared with others.
Town homes come in both attached and detached styles. This is a common interest type of living, which means that all of the property around your home is shared amongst the community. There is usually an HOA (home owners association) fee included in your monthly cost that can cover lawn care and landscaping, snow removal and exterior hazard insurance. Some HOA dues can also include things like water/sewer, garbage and other utility costs. It is important to pay attention to what each property has to offer in HOA fees.
Condos and Lofts
Condos and lofts are another example of common interest living. They can be a very low maintenance option and tend to be in a more urban setting that can be convenient to our two downtown areas of the Twin Cities. Many times, the condo and loft HOA dues can include many more utilities like heating, cooling, natural gas, trash, recycling, water, sewer, electricity, and basic cable. It is important to find out what is included in the HOA fees at any prospective property.
What’s a Condo?
A condo is defined as “An individually owned housing unit within a larger property. The ownership of the unit is based on the legal description of the space the unit actually occupies, in addition to shared interest in the common areas of the property.” The style of a condo can vary but they are generally more finished with more defined rooms and spaces.
What’s a Loft?
A loft is defined as “floorplan consisting of a large unpartitioned space over a factory or warehouse or other commercial space.” There are different types of lofts. The conversion of buildings to lofts – result in what is known as the “hard loft” or “True Loft.” These are buildings with history and character. They have a harder edge of either concrete construction, or “mill” construction of exposed old brick and original wood posts, beams and floors and / or heavy timber construction. They will have the original exposed ductwork, electrical, and plumbing which are features used to complement the décor.
“Soft lofts” are usually found in newly constructed loft buildings. They have the elements of a hard loft but with softer edges. The softer edges may include carpet covering the floors and drywall encasements hiding the ductwork, electrical, and plumbing. Some may have walls that may not reach the ceiling, which are sometimes called three-quarter length. Soft lofts will tend to look more like traditional apartments and are usually more energy efficient than a hard loft.
A short sale occurs when a property is sold and the lender agrees to accept a discounted payoff, meaning the lender will release the lien that is secured to the property upon receipt of less money than is actually owed.
For example: If the unpaid balance of a loan is, say, $100,000 and a property sells for $90,000, under a short sale the lender might accept $90,000 as payment in full. This means that the lender must approve any purchase agreement that is submitted to the seller. It can be a wait of 3-9 months but the purchase price is often lower than average.
A foreclosure is the legal action instigated by a lender to end all ownership rights when mortgage payments have not been kept up (known as defaulting). The owner’s right to the property is terminated, and ownership of the property transfers to the institution, which then usually sells it and applies the proceeds to the mortgage debt. The negotiation process with a bank is slightly longer than a standard purchase although prices are often lower than the average.
Financing—What can you afford?
Homes and financing are closely intertwined. (Financing is the difference between the purchase price and the down payment, commonly referred to as debt or the mortgage.) The good news is that over the years new and innovative loan programs have evolved which require a 5 percent down payment or less. In fact, a number of programs now allow purchasers to buy real estate with nothing down.
In addition to a down payment, purchasers also need cash for closing costs (the final costs associated with closing the loan). Several newly emerging loan programs not only allow the purchase of a home with no money down, but also underwrite closing costs.
Not everyone, however, elects to purchase with little or no money down. Less money down means higher monthly mortgage payments, so most homebuyers choose to buy with some cash up front.
As to closing costs, in markets where buyers have leverage, it may be possible to negotiate an offer for a home that requires the owner to pay some or all of your settlement expenses. Speak with one of our agents for more details.
Using a Fox Homes realtor
Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. At first it might seem that by checking local ads or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price.
But a basic rule in real estate is that all properties are unique. No two properties — even two identical models on the same street — are precisely and exactly alike. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. Also, no two transactions are alike.
In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. Contact our office so that we can set you up with the perfect Realtor for you!
Finding Your Home
A home search can be a large task. This is where Fox Homes can help! Our knowledgeable agents can use they’re expertise to search the market for exactly what you are looking for. Interested in looking as well? You can use our online search tool to search all of the current listings in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. You can search single-family homes, town homes, condos and lofts.
Your Fox Homes agent can take you to all of your favorite search listings. This is a time where you can see the homes in person, get a feel for the neighborhood and consider all of the positives and negatives that may come with each listing. As you are touring each home, you will begin to get an even better idea of what your search priorities are. Your agent can help to point out the high and low points to every listing and help you get one step closer to your perfect home!
Making and Negotiating an Offer
When it comes to making and negotiating an offer, your Fox Homes agent will put their experience and expertise to work for you! They can help you form an offer that not only gets you the best possible deal, but that protects you as a buyer. Our agents are highly trained and have the knowledge you will need to get the done and help you understand every step along the way.
Setting up Insurance
The essential idea behind various forms of real estate insurance is to protect owners in the event of catastrophe. If something goes wrong, insurance can be the bargain of a lifetime. This is something we will help you with prior to the closing on your new home.
What kind and how much?
There are various forms of insurance associated with home ownership, including these major types:
Purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. Coverage includes “lenders” policies, which protect buyers up to the mortgage value of the property, and “owners” coverage, which protects owners up to the purchase price. In other words, “owners” coverage protects both the mortgage amount and the value of the down payment.
Provides fire, theft and liability coverage. Homeowners’ policies are required by lenders and often cover a surprising number of items, including in some cases such property as wedding rings, furniture and home office equipment.
Closing on your Home
Its time to sign on the line! Closings bring together a variety of parties who are part of the “transaction” process. For example, while the history of property ownership has been checked, it’s possible that the records contain errors, unrecorded claims or flaws in the review itself, thus title insurance is necessary.
At closing, transfer taxes must be paid and other claims must also be settled (including closing costs, legal fees and adjustments). In most transactions, the closing agent also completes the paperwork needed to record the loan. Then, the keys are yours and its time to move in!Its time to sign on the line!
Closings bring together a variety of parties who are part of the “transaction” process. For example, while the history of property ownership has been checked, it’s possible that the records contain errors, unrecorded claims or flaws in the review itself, thus title insurance is necessary. At closing, transfer taxes must be paid and other claims must also be settled (including closing costs, legal fees and adjustments). In most transactions, the closing agent also completes the paperwork needed to record the loan. Then, the keys are yours and its time to move in!