When investing in Guemes Island real estate you will want to know how the process works. You will want to know about any expenses you may encounter along the way to owning your own home. Additionally, you will want to know how you will commute to your new home on Guemes Island, without a direct roadway. Only the Skagit County ferry system or your own boat can take you between Fidalgo and Guemes Island.
Offer to Purchase Contract
Once you have found the perfect home, the next step is to make an offer to the sellers in the form of a legal binding contract. Your Realtor will have all of these forms available to them. Real estate attorneys design these state approved fill in the blank answer forms. The offer to purchase not only includes the purchase price you are offering but all the terms and conditions of the transaction. Such as:
- The amount of earnest money being put down
- What items are included with the sale
- Items not conveying with the property
- Cash or financing and what type of financing
- Any contingencies involved
- Title and escrow
- Closing date and possession
The contract will identify the property and the parties involved in the transaction. The contract also states which real estate companies are involved, the names of the agents and whether they represent buyer or seller. In addition, contact information for all parties involved.
If your Guemes island real estate is a rental, then the contract also states when the lease is up and the earliest date the tenant will vacate. If the lease is still active when the property closes the new owners will be required to honor the lease.
A Realtor and Buyer’s Representation
Furthermore, you will find many things in the offer for you to consider and decide upon. A professional, experienced Realtor will be able to walk you through the entire contract along with any county disclosures. Make sure the Realtor is representing you, not the seller, which will put them looking out after you and your best interest. When it comes to negotiations a buyer’s agent will try to get the best price and terms for you. When driving around looking for your Guemes Island real estate, don’t call the name on the sign, call up your Realtor to schedule a showing!
The State of Washington requires all Realtors and real estate agents to provide buyers and sellers with an informative pamphlet. Make sure you are given this early on when beginning to work with an agent. You will find the Agency Disclosure pamphlet to contain some valuable information.
Within the expiration date marked on your contract you could have an accepted offer or you could receive a counter offer. Once the buyer and seller have signed and initialed all paperwork and changes, you have an accepted offer. Now your Realtor will walk you through the process of inspections and timelines that happen in the next two weeks, prepare to be really busy during this time.
Home Inspections, Contingencies
There will be many contingencies in the offer. These contingencies protect your earnest money deposit. Your Realtor will make your offer contingent on you obtaining financing and the appraisal for your financing. Perhaps you have a home inspection and you find a problem that makes you no longer want to buy the home. Many contingencies can be written into the offer, all of which protect your earnest money deposit. Contingencies also allow you a way out of the contract. There will be many of these to take care of in the first 10 days to 2 weeks. After that only the financing contingency remains usually right up until closing.
The buyer should hire a qualified home inspector to thoroughly look at the home within the timeframe specified. Your Realtor can provide you with a list of reputable state licensed inspectors who work specifically with Guemes Island real estate. Remember that it is his job to report what he finds, not to fix it. Try to be present at this inspection as you will learn a lot about the home you are about to purchase. If you are unable to attend you will be provided a report along with pictures. Either way, the buyer’s agent should be present for the home inspection. This will help that agent guide you through the next step, which is to address any repairs or concerns.
The first thing that the home inspector will look at is the structural soundness and serviceability of the building. In particular, he will inspect:
- Foundation or grade slabs
- Subfloors where visible
- Chimney foundation
- Attic components
- Visible roof structure
What an Inspection Might Reveal
Consequently, the inspector is looking for deficiencies such as wood rot and pest-conducive conditions. If the home inspector sees any problems or any potential problems he will point them out. He might suggest you seek further inspections from an expert in that specific field. You will have a time frame for any additional inspections; rely on your Realtor to keep you on track with these deadlines.
The home inspector will also inspect the Guemes Island real estate home’s plumbing system. He will describe the materials of the incoming water pipes and the sewer system. He will also inspect the water heater and other components of the home’s mechanicals.
The inspection will include all structures including the attic, basements, carports and garages of your Guemes Island real estate. Inspectors will also examine the home’s electrical systems to make sure that they are functioning properly and are up to code. Additionally, the inspector will inspect:
- Heating and cooling
- Window functioning
- Floor level
- Drywall seams and cracks
- Door functioning
- Toilet wax rings
- Water intrusion
- Water in crawl spaces
- Smoke and CO detectors
The inspection will also cover maintenance items that you will want to keep up on in the home’s future. A home inspection is one of the most important things to have done when buying a home. The cost of a home inspection depends on the size and complexity of the home. The cost should be from $300-$700 on average, well worth the expense for the size of the investment in Guemes Island real estate.
Guemes Island Real Estate Disclosure
In addition to having the home inspection, the seller is required to provide you with a residential property disclosure statement that they have filled out completely and signed. Given you are in receipt of the disclosure form you will have 3 days to review and investigate anything you might have concerns about on this disclosure. If you do not want to go through with the transaction, based on this disclosure you will need to address, in writing, during this three-day window your disapproval of the seller’s disclosure.
Sellers are required to give full disclosure about any defects they are aware of in the home. Most sellers are honest and make full disclosure of the things they are aware of. A home inspection usually will uncover the things they are unaware of.
Typical Home Buyer Expenses
You have worked very hard to save enough earnest money (approximately 1% of sales price) and down payment required by the bank (varies depending on loan type). Furthermore, you will also need to pay for an appraisal of the property ($400-700 on average) and the home inspection ($300-$700 on average). These figures are averages and can vary depending on loan type and other variables.
Especially relevant, you DON’T pay for one of the most valuable resources you have to guide you through the transaction, your Realtor professional. Because, your Realtor, that has worked with you for months and sometimes years gets paid by the seller’s real estate company. Consequently, In almost ALL Guemes Island real estate transactions the listing companies get paid and then they offer other companies a portion of that payment to find a buyer.
Finally, if you have completed all of these steps, then you now own Guemes Island real estate. Read our article about Guemes Island and its history to learn more about life on beautiful Guemes Island.