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Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Can I determine how much I can afford to spend for a home?

Yes, online mortgage calculators are available be found at:  www.ginniemae.gov/2_prequal/intro_questions.asp?Section=YPTH

2. Where can I get a free credit report?

You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 credit repositories once a year. There will be a small charge if you choose to also purchase your credit score. However, the scores provided to a consumer may differ from those provided to a lender when accessing your credit.

You can obtain your free credit report at: www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp or call 1-877-322-8228.

3. Where can I find local real estate listings?

Local real estate listings can be found by accessing a multi list service provided by the local realtors association.

In Luzerne County the site may be accessed by going to:
www.flexmls.com/cgi-bin/mainmenu.cgi?cmd=url+pubweb/index.html&no_html_header=true&entity=gwbar.

4. Where can I find local rental listings?

Local rental listings can be found in local newspapers and also by going to an online resource called Craigslist.  To find rental listings on Craigslist go to the link below.
http://scranton.craigslist.org/.

5. How do I locate a home to buy outside of my region?

One resource to utilize for finding a home outside the region would be Craigslist.  This online resource provides a variety of locations throughout the nation to search for a home to buy or rent.  To go to Craigslist click on:  www.craigslist.org/about/sites.

6. How do I locate a rental property outside of my region?

One resource to utilize for finding a home outside the region would be Craigslist.  This online resource provides a variety of locations throughout the nation to search for a home to buy or rent.  To go to Craigslist click on:  www.craigslist.org/about/sites.

Local realtors could also provide insight into buying a home in another area of the state or country. Contact the local realtors association in:

Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors
22 Pierce St
Kingston, PA 18704
570-283-2111

Greater Hazleton Association of Realtors
903 W 5th St
Hazleton PA 18201
570-454-2211
Fax: 570-454-9767

7. How do I know how to determine if a builder is reputable?

A few questions to ask should be:
How long have you been in business?
Are you licensed?

Also check out this information at: www.remodeling101.com/contractor_selection.html.

8. Where can I find information about home warranties?

Home warranty information may be obtained from a realtor or also from HUD.  To find out more information about home warranties contact HUD at: www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/mhs/prod03.cfm or your local realtor association.

Greater Wilkes-Barre Association of Realtors
22 Pierce St
Kingston, PA 18704
570-283-2111

Greater Hazleton Association of Realtors
903 W 5th St
Hazleton PA 18201
570-454-2211
Fax: 570-454-9767

9. How do I determine if I should refinance my home?

Determining to refinance is a decision that should not be taken lightly. You as a consumer need to do your homework to determine if this is the best choice for you.  A resource to utilize is on HUD’s website:
www.hud.gov/buying/refinance.cfm.

10. Are there any resources to help people in financial difficulties?

Yes. Go to HUD’S website for recommendations on how to get help when in financial difficulties.  www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/econ/econ.cfm.

Information can also be obtained through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency at: www.phfa.org/applications/counseling_agencies.aspx#section1options.

11. Who do I contact if I can’t pay my utility bills?

www.puc.state.pa.us/General/consumer_ed/energy_asst_progs.aspx.

12. How do I know if a lender is utilizing predatory practices?

One determinant could be if a lender is saying guaranteed approval or no income verification is required.  This is an indicator that the lender is not concerned about whether the applicant can afford the loan payment.

You can also check out information from the National Association of Realtors at: 
www.realtor.org/home_buyers_and_sellers/how_to_avoid_predatory_lending#problems.

13. How do I determine who the building inspector is for my community?

Building inspectors for each municipality can be found on our Builders and Developers page.

14. What permits are needed to remodel my home?

Zoning officials for your specific municipality can be found on our Builders and Developers page.

15. How do I locate information about rehabbing my home?

Information can be found on HUD’s website at: www.hud.gov/improvements/index.cfm.

16. How do I find federal programs for first-time buyers?

HUD offers several programs for first-time home buyers. They can be accessed at: www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm.

17. How do I find state programs for first-time buyers?

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has many programs for first-time homebuyers. Go to: www.phfa.org/consumers/homebuyers/where.aspx.

18. What are some of the fees involved with buying a home?

(Coming soon.)

19. How would I find a university located in my county?

Visit our School District Information page.

20. How do I contact my county commissioners?

Go to our Luzerne County profile page.

21. How do I determine what school district I live in?

Visit our School District Information page.

22. How do I locate a private or technical school in my area?

Visit our School District Information page.

23. Should I rent or buy a home?

The decision to buy or rent a home is one that can be reached after careful evaluation.  There are some agencies that can help a consumer determine which choice is best.  Go to: www.phfa.org/applications/counseling_agencies.aspx.

24. How do I contact my local municipality?

Go to our Municipal Information page.

 

 
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