Third Parties Involved in Your FHA Loan Transaction
Knowing who the service providers are in your area can help you decide when it’s time to pay for inspections, pest control, and related services.
You should compare third-party service providers the same way you compare lenders, and it’s never safe to assume the same services will cost the same money between them.
Real Estate Agents
A real estate agent can help you navigate unfamiliar territory when you look at houses in new-to-you neighborhoods.
They can also help you find the exact property type you want (duplex, condo, mixed-zoning, or suburban home) and avoid those you prefer not to view.
Not all agents are the same, you’ll want one with enough experience to help you get what you need for the type of home you want. RE agents are not mandatory; you can house hunt with or without one.
The lender’s job is to get an appraisal. The borrower’s job (if they want to know the true condition of the home) is to hire a home inspector to complete a walk-through of the property that is far more detailed than an appraisal.
The home inspection is technically voluntary, but if you buy a home without having it both appraised and inspected, you are doing the equivalent of buying a used car without ever test-driving it first.
This is optional unless the appraiser finds evidence of wood-destroying pests or other issues. Pest control may be required in such cases as a condition of loan approval. Compare the local vendors in your area and choose one with specific experience in the pest issues you need to manage.
Borrower’s Legal Counsel
Some buyers choose to have a lawyer present for some of the proceedings when it is time to commit to the loan. The lawyer may review the contract and ensure it does not contain predatory clauses or other problems. A lawyer is not required for the purchase or sale of a home with an FHA mortgage, but as an option, having one does provide some borrowers greater peace of mind.
You should consider a title search mandatory, even if you have never heard of a legal requirement to get one in your housing market.
If you don’t, you could be liable for unpaid back taxes, homeowner association fees, or other problems held over from the previous owner. A title company is the service provider that does this work. Don’t overlook this important step or skip your research into the service providers near you.
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