Are you buying? These questions will help

It’s official, according to many Tri-City economic experts, mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in nearly 50 years. Mortgage rates averaged around 6.3 percent last year, and in our area, mortgage brokers are now reporting rates in the 4 percent range. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said recently the Federal Reserve Board’s recent action to lower interest rates will help buyers entering the market.

With the Tri-Cities spring buying season right around the corner, here are several important questions to ask if you are planning to take advantage of record low mortgage rates, moderating prices, and the federal tax credit for First-Time Homebuyers.

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. For many people it’s also the biggest purchase of their lifetime. The right home should suit your needs, tastes and budget. These questions will help when it comes to making that decision.

What is the price range of the property you can afford? Before you even begin to search for homes, consider taking advantage of a free pre-qualification service from many banks and mortgage companies. Call a mortgage professional to determine what you can afford to buy. These mortgage experts will provide you with an estimate of the amount of loan you can afford, based on an analysis of your income, assets and credit information. In addition, they can provide a pre-qualification letter, which helps you when it is time to negotiate with a seller.

What features are important to you? Make a list of what is important for you in a home. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? What type and size of living and storage space do you want? If you find a home that lacks one of those features, consider the cost of making adjustments later, and if renovations are worth it financially in the long run.

Do you like the neighborhood, and what it has to offer? This is where a qualified Realtor from Distinctive Properties, Inc., can help you. Go to to find an Agent that will be happy to assist you in finding properties in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Finley, Burbank, Benton City or Prosser, or in the outlying areas of Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla Counties. Tell them what’s important to you. Take some time to explore these communities. Are you interested in the schools? Talk to neighbors or friends who might have children attending the school system. Survey the proximity of local schools, shopping, hospitals and other services you might need. Are you a commuter? How close are you to where you work, and is there public transportation available nearby? Visit the area during different times of day to check out the traffic, noise and activity.

What’s the home’s condition? The newest and cleanest homes might even have defects. Realtors recommend you hire a professional home inspector to examine the property before you buy. If defects appear in a home inspection, a Realtor from Distinctive Properties, Inc., can help you negotiate with the seller for a remedy.

Where will you get financing? Mortgage experts in the Tri-Cities understand your needs and work to make the buying process as easy as possible. There are a wide array of programs available to homebuyers, and our Agents will be happy to assist in whatever way possible.

Call Distinctive Properties, Inc., at (509) 783-1431 for assistance in finding your “Dream Home” or visit for listings of ALL of the homes listed in the MLS for Tri-Cities, Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Burbank, Benton City and the outlying areas in Benton and Franklin Counties.


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