Innovative Realty
Blaine, MN
763-767-4400
email: irofmn@aol.com
Buying a home can be one of the most exciting experiences in our lives. It can also be one of the most difficult and traumatic. The decisions we make about our home will shape and have an effect on our future in so many different ways. The choices we make will determine how much time we will spend commuting to and from work or school, the kind/type of education our children may receive, our personal sense of security, and most importantly for the majority of us---how much money we will have remaining in our budgets to spend on other things. Innovative Realty Buyer's Rebate Program will help you save money to spend on these other things.
 
Innovative Realty has linked a mortgage calculator to help you in dtermining the best possible course of action for you and your situation.  We have found this linked website to be quite helpful in providing the information needed to help make an informed choice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
One of the best and the most helpful services that any Realtor can provide you is a no-cost, no-obligation meeting to discuss your needs and requirements, as well as any special likes or dislikes about the area you are in now or personal preferences for the area you would like to go into. Once he/she has this information, it will speed up the process in finding you a new home.
 
 
 
 
 
INNOVATIVE REALTY'S BUYER REBATE PROGRAM
 
In order to qualify or be eligible for any INNOVATIVE REALTY commission rebate, you must have a signed & current representation agreement with INNOVATIVE REALTY. Rebates are limited to one (1) rebate program disbursement per transaction.
 
This Rebate Program applies to Innovative Realty's currently contracted buyer's ONLY, meeting the sales price requirements of $100,000 and above.  Potential recipients are eligible to receive a 1% rebate of the final sales price of this property.  This rebate WILL NOT & DOES NOT apply to facilitator services or auction house sales.
 
All Rebates will be mailed to contracted clients within 30 days of our successful closing of your property.
 
 
 
Home Ownership Has Definite Benefits
 
1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, propert
   taxes you pay, and some of the costs involved in buying your home.
2. Gains. Between 1998 and 2002, national home prices increased at an average of 5.4 percent annually.
   And while there's no guarantee of appreciation, a 2001 study by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
   found that a typical homeowner has approximately $50,000 of unrealized gain in a home.
3. Equity/Investment. Money that you have paid for rent is money that you'll never see again, but
   mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home. As you make more payments
   and own more of your home, you add to its investment value. Most improvements will also add to its
   value.
4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. When you sell, you can
   generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple as gain without owing any federal
   income tax.
5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed mortgage payments do not go up over the years. However, keep
   in mind that property taxes and insurance costs may rise.
6. Freedom. The home is YOURS!! You can decorate any way you want and be able to benefit from your
   investment for as long as you own the home.
7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years will give you the chance to participate
   in community activities and lets you and your family establish lasting friendships.
8. Credit. Owning a home helps you establish financial credibility.
 
 
Prepare yourself for home ownership
 
• Decide how much home you can afford.
• Develop a "wish list" of what you would like your home to have. Prioritize the features on your list.
• Select three or four neighborhoods you would like to live in. Be sure to consider items
  such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
• Determine if you have enough saved to cover your down payment and closing costs.  Closing costs,
  including taxes, attorney's fee, and transfer fees average between 2 percent and 7 percent of the home
  price.
• Check to make sure your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report.
• Determine how large of a mortgage you can qualify for. Also, explore different loan options and decide
  what and which is best for you.
• Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapproved you for a loan.
• Do some research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or down-payment assistance
  programs.
• Calculate the costs of home ownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association
  fees, if applicable.
• Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help you through the process.
 
 
Take the Trauma Out of Home buying
 
1. Find a real estate professional who will be on "the same page" as you are. Home buying is not only a
   big (if not huge) financial commitment, but it can also be a very emotional one. It is critical that
   the REALTOR® you choose is both skilled and will be a good fit with your personality.
2. Remember, there's no "right" time to buy, any more than there is a "right" time to sell. If you find
   a home now, do not try to second-guess the interest rates or the housing market by waiting. Changes
   do not usually occur fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home will not
   stay on the market very long.
3. Do not ask for too many opinions. It is natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too
   many ideas will make it that much harder to make a decision.
4. Accept the fact that no house is ever perfect. Focus on the things that are most important to you
   and let the minor ones go.
5. Do not try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process,
   but trying to "win" by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love.
6. Remember your home does not exist in a vacuum. Do not get so caught up in the physical aspects of
   the house itself—room size, kitchen—that you forget such issues as amenities, noise level, etc.,
   that can have a big impact on what it will be like to live in your new home.
7. Do not wait until you have found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage,
   investigate insurance availability, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer
   contingent on a number of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home,
   there will be some costs. Do not leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
9. Accept the fact that a little buyer's remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home,
   especially for the first time, is a big commitment, but it also yields big benefits.
10.Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have
   appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually from 1998 to 2002. Although appreciation is not what
   we would have liked from 2006 to 2009, things are beginning to look better in 2010. A home's most
   important role is as a comfortable, safe place to live.  
 
 
Tips for Buyers in a Tight Market
 
Increase the chances of getting your dream house instead of losing it to another buyer, with these easy steps:
1. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage. You will be able to make a firm commitment to buy. This will make
   your offer more desirable to the seller.
2. Stay in close touch with your REALTOR® to find out first about new listings that come on the market.
   Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market.
3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look at Internet sites, newspaper ads, and drive by the
   neighborhood frequently. You might see a brand-new “for sale” sign before anyone else.
4. Be ready to make a decision. Spend lots of time in advance deciding what you must have so you will
   not be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.
5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford,
   but do not try to go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you will lose out.
6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move
   or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight
   market, you will probably be able to sell your house rapidly, or you can talk to your lender about
   getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.
7. Do not get caught up in a buying frenzy. Just because there is competition, it doesn't mean you
   should just buy anything. Even though you want to make your offer attractive, do not neglect
   inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.
 
 
Tips for First-time Home buyers
 
1. Be picky, but don't be unrealistic. You could live there for a long time and you want to be
   comfortable, but there is no perfect home.
2. Do your homework before you start looking. Decide specifically what features you want in a home and
   which are most important to you.
3. Get your finances in order. Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover
   your down payment and your closing costs.
4. Do not wait to get your loan. Talk to a lender and get prequalified for a mortgage before you start
   looking.
5. Do not ask too many people for their opinion. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to
   turn to if you feel you need a second opinion.
6. Decide when you could move. If you rent, when is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight
   is the rental market in your area?
7. Think long-term. Are you looking for a starter house with the idea of moving up in a few years or do
   you hope to stay in this home longer? This decision may dictate what type of home you'll buy as well
   as the type of mortgage terms that suit your needs the best.
8. Don't let yourself be "house poor". If you max yourself out to buy the biggest home you can afford,
   you'll have no money left for maintenance and decorating or to save money for other financial goals.
9. Don't be naive. Insist on a home inspection and if possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover
   defects within one year.
10.Get help. Consider hiring a REALTOR® as a buyer's representative. Unlike a listing agent, whose
   first duty is to the seller, a buyer's representative is working only for you. Often, buyer's
   representatives are paid out of the seller's commission payment.
 
 
Common First-Time Home buyer Mistakes
 
1. Not asking enough questions of their lender and missing out on the best deal.
2. Not acting quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house.
3. Not finding the right real estate professional--one who is willing to help them through the home
   buying process.
4. Not doing enough to make their offer look good to a seller.
5. Not thinking about re-sale before they buy. The average first-time buyer only stays in a home for
   four years.
 
 
Hidden Home Defects to Watch For
 
No home is flawless, but certain physical problems can be expensive. You definitely will want to keep a watch for:
• Water leaks. Look for stains on ceilings and near the baseboards, especially in basements or attics.
  Also, check for water seepage in basement, water stains near windows and ceilings below bathrooms.
• Shifting foundations. Look for large cracks or bulges along the home's foundation.
• Drainage. Look for standing water, either around the foundation of the home or in the yard.
• Termites. Look for weakened or grooved wood, especially near ground level.
• Worn roofs. Look for broken or missing copings and buckled shingles as well as water spots on
  ceilings.
• Inadequate wiring. Look for antiquated fuse boxes, extension cords (indicating insufficient outlets),
  and outlets without a place to plug in the grounding prong.
• Plumbing problems. Very low water pressure, banging in pipes.
 
 
Environmental Issues
 
When purchasing a piece of property, it is important to be aware of any environmental liabilities associated with it. For example, you should find out if there are any registered underground tanks within several miles of the property, any known contaminated properties in the neighborhood, or any property owners who have been fined by the government for failing to meet environmental safety standards. Before, it took a costly site investigation for the information, but now there are online environmental databases available at a fraction of the cost. Anyone can access reports on otherwise hard to detect environmental issues. With these databases, it is possible to obtain a listing of hazards near a property, or spills and violations attributed to businesses nearby. Some reputable databases include VISTA Information Systems, located in San Diego, California, which allows you to register and search the data bank for free, and E Data Resources, which is located in Southport, Connecticut. These services are all relatively inexpensive, but can provide you with priceless information that is useful before you make a purchase.
 
LEAD POISONING is a serious problem which can lead to adverse health problems. In children, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavioral and learning problems, slow growth, and hearing problems. In adults, lead poisoning can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorder, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain. Lead poisoning is especially a problem in cities with older buildings. Typically, lead is present in the paint from older buildings, in the water supply, and in the environment from cars and buses. Preventing lead poisoning in large cities, where there is so much possibility for exposure is both difficult and expensive. Federal programs have attempted to address this problem. For buyers and sellers, lead poisoning is also an issue. Houses that were built before 1978 probably have paint that contains lead. Federal law requires that sellers disclose known information on lead-base paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers will have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards and are likely to stipulate corrections.
 
RADON is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that has been estimated to cause 5,000 to 20,000 lung cancer deaths yearly. It is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer. It has been estimated that nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the US has elevated radon levels. Radon is produced when small amounts of uranium and radium in soil and rocks decay. Radon gas will also decay into smaller and radioactive particles that can be inhaled into the lungs where it can damage cells and cause lung cancer. Radon is mainly released from soil, water and natural gas which have already been exposed to radon, from solar-heating systems that use radon-emitting rocks, and from uranium or phosphate mine tailings. Radon is naturally released in low concentrations, but inside your house, radon gas can become more concentrated. Lack of ventilation exhaust fans that bring in air from outside can increase the amount of radon in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that homes be tested for radon. For people selling their homes, the EPA recommends that the house be tested for radon, and radon levels be reduced, if necessary. Radon levels can be reduced by increasing the airflow into the house, keeping the vents open year round, and discouraging smoking in the house. For people buying homes, the EPA recommends obtaining radon test results in addition to information about radon reduction systems. If you are planning to have your home tested for radon, the EPA recommends that the test be conducted in the lowest level of the home that is suitable for occupancy, and you should make sure that the test is done correctly by following the EPA Test Checklist. There are two different types of testing devices available: passive devices and active devices. Passive devices, such as charcoal canisters, alpha track detectors, and charcoal liquid scintillation devices are exposed to air in the home for a specified amount of time, and sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. Active devices, like continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, continuously measure and record the amount of radon in the air, and require operation by trained testers. These tests can be performed over a long term, or a short term, with the long term tests by active devices considered to be more accurate.
 
 
Underground Heating Oil Tanks
 
Underground heating oil tanks can pose many potential problems to both home buyers and sellers. They have been the source of many environmental problems such as contamination of surrounding soil and ground water. Leaks are caused by the rust inside underground tanks, or by an electrical condition sparked by electric utility lines. Buyers should have the tank inspected to make sure that it is structurally sound. Buyers who do not want an underground fuel tank can arrange for an above ground tank to be installed in the basement, an underground tank to be shut off. Cleanups of any leaks will also have to be taken care of. For buyers, the underground heating oil tank should be written in the sales contract. For sellers, your lawyer should make sure that the description and condition of the underground heating oil is accurate and up-to-date.
 
 
 
Importance of Home Inspection
 
As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Do not take for granted what you see
and what the seller or the listing agent tells you. A professional home inspection is something you MUST do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition. Beforehand, make sure the report will be done by a professional organization, such as a local trade organization or a national trade organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection). Not only should you never skip an inspection, but also you should go along with the inspector during inspection. This gives you the chance to ask questions about the property and get answers that are not biased. In addition, the oral comments are typically more revealing and detailed than what you will find on the written report. Once the inspection is completed, review the inspection report carefully. You have to request an inspection when you present your offer. It must be written in as a contingency; if you do not approve the inspection report, then you don't buy. Most real estate contracts automatically provide an inspection contingency. If your contract does not have this contingency,be sure to have it included.
 
Questions You Should Ask YOUR Home Inspector
1. What are your qualifications?
2. Are you a member of the American Association of Home Inspectors?
3. Do you have a current license? Inspectors are not required to be licensed in every state.
4. How many inspections of properties such as this do you do each year?
5. Do you have a list of past clients I can contact?
6. Do you carry professional errors and omission insurance?
7. Do you provide any guarantees of your work?
8. What specifically will the inspection cover?
9. What type of report will I receive after the inspection?
10.How long will the inspection take and how long will it take to receive the report?
11.How much will the inspection cost? 
 
 
 
Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract
 
1. The closing date. Check to make sure if the date the seller wants to relinquish title is reasonable
   for you.
2. Date of possession. Check to see if the date the seller wants to move out is reasonable for you.
3. The earnest money. Look for the largest earnest-money deposit possible; because it will be forfeited
   if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.
4. Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the
   property and be sure it's acceptable.
5. Repairs. Determine what the requested repairs will cost and whether you are willing to do the work
   or would rather lower the sale price by that amount.
6. Contingencies. Keep the number of contingencies to a minimum. Set time limits on contingencies
   (inspections, sale of a home, obtaining a mortgage, contract reviewable by an attorney, etc.). This
   will make your offer more appealing and will not drag the process out and keep your sale from
   becoming final.
7. The contract expiration date. See how long you have to make a decision on the offer.
 
 
For more information, please contact INNOVATIVE  REALTY