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10 Questions to Ask Your Lender

1. What are the most popular mortgages you offer Why are they so popular
2. Which type of mortgage plan do you think would be best for me Why
3. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable
4. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance If so, how much will it cost, and how long will it be required (NOTE: Private mortgage insurance is usually required if your down payment is less than 20 percent. However, most lenders will let you discontinue PMI when you ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.)
5. Who will service the loan  your bank or another company
6. What escrow requirements do you have
7. How long will this loan be in a lock-in period (in other words, the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored) Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if it drops during this period
8. How long will the loan approval process take
9. How long will it take to close the loan
10. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying the loan

Used with permission from Real Estate Checklists & Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask

1. What is the assessed value of the property Note that assessed value is generally less than market value. Ask to see a recent copy of the seller s tax bill to help you determine this information.
2. How often are properties reassessed, and when was the last reassessment done In general, taxes jump most significantly when a property is reassessed.
3. Will the sale of the property trigger a tax increase The assessed value of the property may increase based on the amount you pay for the property. And in some areas, such as California, taxes may be frozen until resale.
4. Is the amount of taxes paid comparable to other properties in the area If not, it might be possible to appeal the tax assessment and lower the rate.
5. Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions that I might not qualify for For example, many tax districts offer reductions to those 65 or over.

Reprinted from REALTOR magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS .
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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