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How’s Business?: Buy a home with a broker

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Speak with anyone in the real estate industry and you will find one phrase repeated consistently: “We are in a buyer’s market.” If you are looking to buy a Queens home, what steps should you follow? I spoke with my brother, Peter Palumbo, a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 American Homes, who gave me his insight into buying a home.

Peter recommended hiring a buyer’s broker. He said with today’s pressure at the office and ever−increasing workloads, it is more difficult for buyers to focus when looking for a home as well as receive a fair negotiating shake at the home they are interested in buying. Peter said many first−time home buyers are turned off by brokers because they look to make money on top of the commission split with the seller’s agent.

He said there is an upside to hiring a buyer’s broker. A quality broker is working in the buyer’s interest. Also, a quality broker has already worked out commission splits with the seller’s agent and is not charging his buyer extra money. A broker researches the home, school district, sports programs, etc., for you and makes your life easier and more comfortable when purchasing a home.

Peter said you should contact your mortgage lender to see how much you can afford to spend and what your target price range should be. He thinks it is a good idea to get pre−approved. Peter said the pre−approval document is more for the home seller’s benefit to prove you are an able buyer.

He said with the Internet, it is easy for prospective buyers to go online to the Web sites MLS, Trulia, Zillow, etc., to get an understanding of the homes, neighborhoods, taxes and pricing of the neighborhoods buyers are looking to call home.

So How’s Business regarding being a first−time home buyer? Figure out your personal or combined take−home pay because banks tend to follow the 2836 rule. Your monthly mortgage payments or net paycheck should not total over 28 percent. Your total debts should not edge over 36 percent. You can contact Peter at 917−538−1921.

Contact Joe Palumbo at 516−297−4034 or jp@c21amhomes.com.

Posted 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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