Let us be the first to congratulate you in making the big decision to buy a home or other real estate property. If you are a first time buyer, you must be wondering, now what? On the road ahead there are many questions that will need to be asked related to buying your property. The following is information we believe will help you with the buying process.

Questions & Answers About Buying A New Home

Information to determine if you're ready to buy a home. To become a first-time homebuyer, you need to know where and how to begin the homebuying process. The questions and answers in this article by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have been carefully selected to give you a foundation of basic knowledge.

Cancellation of Private Mortgage Insurance

If you put less than 20 percent down on a home mortgage, lenders often require you to have Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender if you default on the loan. The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 - which became effective in 1999 - establishes rules for automatic termination and borrower cancellation of PMI on home mortgages. These protections apply to certain home mortgages signed on or after July 29, 1999 for the purchase, initial construction, or refinance of a single-family home. These protections do not apply to government-insured FHA or VA loans or to loans with lender-paid PMI. This article by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes the rules for automatic termination and borrower cancellation of PMI on home mortgages.

High-Rate, High-Fee Loans (HOEPA/Section 32 Mortgages)

If you’re refinancing your mortgage or applying for a home equity installment loan, you should know about the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994 (HOEPA). The law addresses certain deceptive and unfair practices in home equity lending. It amends the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and establishes requirements for certain loans with high rates and/or high fees. The rules for these loans are contained in Section 32 of Regulation Z, which implements the TILA, so the loans also are called “Section 32 Mortgages.” This article by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes what loans are covered, the law’s disclosure requirements, prohibited features, and actions you can take against a lender who is violating the law.

The Home Buyer's Handbook

Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime — and one of the most stressful. After all, a home mortgage loan is the largest contract most of us will ever sign. Add to that the unfamiliar terminology and the endless stacks of legal documents, and it's not surprising that many people are confused by the whole experience. Provided by the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General.

Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water. Your home can trap radon inside. This is a United States Environmental Protection Agency publication that answers important questions about radon and lung cancer risk. It also answers questions about testing and fixing for anyone buying or selling a home.

Mortgage Loan Types

There are a dizzying array of mortgage loan types available -- as the saying goes: more mortgage loan types than you can shake a stick at. This article presents a list of common types of mortgages and detailed information about each, including various types of fixed-rate mortgages, FHA loans, VA loans, and more.

RESPA - Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA, was enacted by Congress to provide homebuyers and sellers with improved disclosures of settlement costs and to eliminate abusive practices in the real estate settlement process. Originally passed by Congress in 1974, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act became effective on June 20, 1975. RESPA has been impacted over the years by several changes and amendments. Enforcement initially fell under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). After 2011, those responsibilities were assumed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) due to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection legislation.

Buyers Real Estate News & Insights

An RSS feed of the latest news and advice for buyers provided by The National Association of REALTORS®.

We hope that that these resources have proved useful to you as you prepare to sell your property. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information. We are here to help you make the purchase of your property a success.