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Real Estate Questions - January 2023 Recap

Here are some real estate questions I've received from viewers and my answers! Leave a comment or send me a message if you have any questions yourself.

I started a series on my Instagram page called Tuesday Trivia where every Tuesday I answer a real estate question on my stories. It was very well received so I figured I would compile the questions and answers at the end of every month so that it can be referenced. Here are the questions from January 2023. I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or just want to chat all things real estate! Ask me anything :)

Do real estate agents work for themselves?

Real estate agents are technically independent contractors/self employed. However, agents are required to be sponsered by a licensed real estate broker. Agents are not required to work set hours and are usually responsible for their own clients. But really... we work for you! Everything that we do is for our clients and we help walk you through every step of the process of buying or selling a home.

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. This point in time called the closing is when the title to the property is conveyed to the buyer. Both the buyer and the seller are responsible for their own closing costs and they cover different fees.

Buyer's Closing Costs:

  • Immediate upkeep cost

  • Mortgage principal

  • Mortgage interest

  • Appraisal fee

  • Inspection fee

  • additional bank fees to be paid to the lender

  • Title Insurance

  • Mortgage recoding tax

Typically a total of 2-6% of the sale price

Seller's Closing Costs:

  • State transfer tax (1%)

  • The NYC transfer tax (1%)

  • both buyer and seller's Brokers' commission (typically 6%)

  • Capital Gain Tax (for out of state sellers) - 9% of the gain

  • Tax liens (if any)

  • Filing fees

Typically a total of about 10% of the sale price

Am I too young to buy a house or start investing?

I think you know my answer already... You are never too young to start! The process of buying a house can sometimes be a long one so start talking to people and working through your budget now if it's a goal of yours. It never hurts to reach out, you might find that you can afford a lot more than you thought. Or you can get a better idea of the financial goal you need to be working toward. If you are paying for rent you aren't building equity so find out if there is a way for you to make that money work for you. There are a lot of real estate investment strategies that might end up costing you less out of pocket and actually making you money! Either way, age should never be what holds you back. You may just need more guidance from experts to get you there.

Things to look out for when buying a house:

I always encourage buyers to pay for an inspection even if they think it's not necessary. Leave it to an expert!

Here is a brief list of red flags to look out for. These are things that are either very expensive to deal with or things that may be out of your control that might seriously impact your day to day life in the house.

  • Age of the roof

  • Age of the HVAC System, boiler, and hot water heater

  • condition of the foundation

  • condition of the plumbing

  • does it feel drafty?

  • Is there a weird smell?

  • Is the property poorly maintained?

  • Noise level of the neighborhood (either neighbors, nearby businesses, or street noise)

  • condition of other buildings in the area

  • condition of the roads nearby

  • traffic on roads you may commute

What are the first steps in the home buying process?

I think it's helpful to know the first few steps before you can start the fun stuff of going to look at homes...

  1. Budget! - it's good for you to go over your income and expenses yourself to figure out what you can comfortably spend

  2. Mortgage Preapproval - connect with a loan officer to help you shop around for the best option for your situation

  3. Find a good real estate agent - connect with an agent and ask to chat about buying a house, you do not need to settle on the first one you speak to! they should help guide you through the rest of the entire process, and it's completely free to you as the buyer to have an agent!

Did you find these questions helpful? Have a question I haven't answer? Leave it in the comments below!

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