Real estate shopping can be a high-stress time. Looking for your home, whether it be a starter home or your forever property will take a lot of time and energy. Searching for a home will also be a learning experience. If you are looking for a house in the Greater Portland Area or Sebago Lake region, be sure to learn a little about the real estate terminology that you will see in some ads and how they affect what you are looking for.
Appraisal is one of the terms that you do want to be familiar with when house hunting. The appraisal value of a home means a licensed appraiser goes to the property to look at the floor plan, number of bedrooms, number of baths and amenities (granite, hardwood floors, etc.). The appraisal will be determined with comparable homes that have sold in the neighborhood.
Along the lines of home value, a term that you must understand for the sake of your physical and financial health is the term fixer-upper. This term is used widely, because it can mean anything from needs a fresh coat of paint and the wood floors buffed, or needs an entire overhaul of the interior and exterior of the home. When you see the word fixer-upper inside of listings, ask your realtor to show you the home and provide you with some home-buying advice on the items that will need to be fixed and the cost range. However, if you are looking forward to rebuilding and getting personal touches in your home, the term fixer-upper can be an exciting prospect.
Whether you decide to purchase a new home or a fixer-upper, you will likely need a home loan. One real estate term that you will see on advertisements is FHA approved or non FHA approved. Federal Housing Association loans are given by the Department of Housing and Urban Development from the federal government. FHA loans are often available to a wider range of credit scores, and the down payment for the loans can be as low as $100. If you intend to go through the FHA program, the home must be approved by the program.
While living in Portland, Maine, you will hear some house descriptors that are found only in the New England area. A saltbox is one of the terms that you will hear and not necessarily be able to associate if you don’t already know the term. A saltbox is a roof that slopes from the second story of a home, to the attached first story level of the home. A saltbox roof is only found in the New England area in the United States, making it a regional term you should know before looking for real estate.
Using a REALTOR® will help you successfully navigate the market and will help you understand any listing terms that you may not grab prior to looking for a home. If you are looking for a property, contact us to help guide you through this process.