Like the rest of the country, Nevada’s housing market has been struggling to bounce back from a foreclosure crisis and decreasing home values. The median home price in Nevada was $211,500 at the end of 2011. There are many laws and regulations in place when it comes to Nevada real estate that other states do not have. Buy a house in Nevada by working with a licensed real estate agent and a reputable mortgage lender.
1. Find a real estate agent. Look for a licensed agent or broker who has experience with Nevada real estate.
- Make sure you have a “buyers agent” who will protect your interests only. Some agents represent both the seller and the buyer in a transaction, but most real estate experts agree that each part should have their own agent.
- Sign a brokerage or listing agreement. This will put your expectations and the agent’s fee or commission schedule in writing.
- Find an agent or broker by asking for referrals, performing an Internet search or responding to real estate ads that you find in print or online.
- Talk to a reputable lender who can help you apply for the right loan. Start with your local bank or credit union.
- Apply for a traditional mortgage if you have a solid credit history, verifiable income and a down payment.
- Discuss your eligibility for federal loan assistance from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veteran’s Administration (VA) or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- Ask your lender about your eligibility for state assistance. If you are a teacher or educational professional, you may qualify for Nevada’s Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program. There are also programs for people with disabilities, or those who care for people with disabilities.
- Check with the Nevada Housing Finance Agency about requirements for a Nevada’s Interest Only PLUS loan. This mortgage is a 35-year loan which requires the homebuyer to pay only interest for the first 5 years of the loan.
- Check listings in your local newspaper if you are not using an agent.
- Go online to search for homes for sale in the area of Nevada you want to buy. Sites such as Realtor.com provide listings according to zip code, and anyone can search so you do not need an agent.
- Narrow your search to homes you can afford.
- Ask your agent to show you houses based on the size, location and other requirements you need or want.
5. Make an offer on the house you want to buy.
- Submit a contract of sale. Your agent will help you write and sign a purchase agreement. Your contract will need to include a deposit, usually around $2,000, to indicate that your offer is serious.
7. Set a closing date. You and the seller will decide on a date to close on the sale of the house. Most house sales in Nevada close from 30 to 60 days after the contract is signed by both parties.
- Include language about how soon you would like to close in the contract when you make your written offer. The closing is usually contingent upon a successful house inspection and mortgage approval.
9. Do a final walk through. Before closing, inspect the property yourself to make sure it is ready for you to move in.
10. Finalize your mortgage. Make sure all of your paperwork is in place and that your mortgage has been approved by the lender.
11. Purchase homeowners insurance. In Nevada, most insurers will require you to have enough insurance to cover at least 80 percent of the replacement cost of your home.
12. Close on the house. Attend closing with your real estate agent, an attorney provided by your lender, and the seller or the seller’s agent.
- Pay your down payment, if you are making one, and your closing costs. Lenders often require a certified check rather than a personal check.
- Get your keys from the seller. You have successfully purchased a home in Nevada.
Think about how long you plan to be in the house when you are shopping for one. You will want to find a house that will work well for your family for at least a few years, in order to give the market a chance to rebound.
Beware of predatory lenders. Nevada law protects consumers from lenders who charge more than 6 percent of the financed amount in fees, or offer loans to people who cannot reasonably afford them. You should also be suspicious of lenders who want you to finance credit insurance on your mortgage.
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