Question: I’m interested in buying a new home. Where do I start?

– Answer:  Purchasing a new home is an exciting process and there are several steps along the way. The first step in the home purchase process is research. Next, make a list of neighborhood and home features most important to you. Visit Property Art web site. Consider your budget and determine what type of home you can afford. Narrow your selections and focus in on your dream new home.

Question:  Is the land included in the price of my new home?

– Answer:  It is. When you purchase a new home, you are not only buying the home itself. You are also buying the land that the home is built on.

Question:  Are there any financial options that can help me buy a home over my price range?

– Answer:  Buying a home will most likely be the largest purchase of your life – so you need to be sure that you own a home that’s compatible with your financial situation. A mortgage is typically a person’s largest financial obligation, and is designated for borrowers who have demonstrated an ability to manage their finances. To determine this, lenders are required to review a borrower’s credit report. The key to choosing the right mortgage is to understand the range of features and options available to you, as well as your budget, circumstances and goals. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be choosing the best options for you and your family.

You should also consider how much money you have for a down payment – the portion of the purchase price that you furnish yourself.

To qualify for a conventional mortgage you will need a down payment of 20% or more. However, you can qualify for a low down payment insured mortgage with a down payment as low as 5%.
There are mortgage specialists (e.g. in the bank) which can explain the types of mortgages available to you, the terms, and the rates to help you select a mortgage that fits your lifestyle and potentially cuts years off your mortgage.

Question:  How do I determine what the interest rate on my home loan will be?

– Answer:  In most basic terms, an interest rate is a fee paid for borrowing money. Interest rates fluctuate daily based on economic conditions and your specific interest rate will depend on you and your financial habits. So, when you search online for “today’s home loan interest rates”, the rate you see listed in the search results is probably not the rate you will end up paying – that is just a starting point.

Your interest rate will be determined based upon how much money you borrow; what type of loan you get; how long you plan to take to pay off the loan; your down payment amount; and finally your credit rating.

Question:  How does purchasing home compare with renting?

– Answer: The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission of the landlord.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.

Question: What should I look for when deciding on a neighborhood?

– Answer: Select a neighborhood that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people make this choice based on schools. Do you want access to shopping and public transportation? Is access to local facilities like libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a rural neighborhood? When you find places that you like, talk to people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable in.

Question:  Is an older home a better value than a new one?

– Answer: There isn’t a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may be in more established neighborhoods and offer more ambiances.  People who buy older homes, however, shouldn’t mind maintaining their home and making some repairs.

Newer homes tend to have more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain.  People who buy new homes often don’t want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.

Question: How do I make an offer?

– Answer:  Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information:

  • complete legal description of the property
  • amount of earnest money
  • down payment and financing details
  • proposed move-in date
  • price you are offering
  • proposed closing date
  • length of time the offer is valid
  • details of the deal

Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer.

Question:  Do I need a lawyer to buy a home?

– Answer:  You may want to hire a lawyer to help with the complex paperwork and legal contracts. A lawyer can review contracts, make you aware of special considerations, and assist you with the closing process. Your real estate agent may be able to recommend a lawyer.

For the customers from abroad it is important to hire a lawyer who can represent homebuyers in case they can’t be in Cyprus for some paperwork.