Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs
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Who does GIA Real Estate Property Solutions represent?
We are a small, intimate company who have a close relationship with our clients and tenants. Our clients are the property owners while our tenants rent from our clients. The relationship to both parties is important to us. We value this relationship.
Why shouldn’t I manage my home myself?
When you hire us as your property manager you can expect the very best management solutions. We will make every effort to lease your property to the most qualified applicant, but will never lower our standards to fill a vacancy. Our success lies in offering you the reliable, efficient property management service you deserve.
How much is this going to cost me?
At GIA Property Management, we charge a management fee based on a fixed percentage of the collected rent. This fee will vary based on the type of property, location, condition, and number of units. We don't charge for advertising, and we deliver the best marketing of any property manager in Central Texas.
How will my property be marketed?
How do you screen your tenants?
We take this part of our job very seriously. We screen tenants in five steps:
Who holds the security deposit?
All security deposits are held in an escrow account.
When does the owner get his/her check?
We make every effort to insure your funds are received no later than the 15th of each month. Direct deposit is available and preferred.
How often are inspections done on my property?
An initial inspection is done on the property with many photos and documentation. This process protects all parties with the condition of the property. Future inspections will be semi-annually.
Do we accept all properties?
No, we do not accept all properties. We will decide if a property is the right fit for ourselves and the owner of the property on a case by case basis.
How Do I Rent A Property?
You fill out a rental application that will include credit history, prior rental history, income, current employment, and prior criminal history.
How quickly will my application be accepted or turned down?
We process applications on a first come first serve basis and the process usually takes less than three days.
How Do I Pay Rent?
The rental payment will be set up for direct deposit.
Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents can help you narrow your housing options. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends the use of a real estate agent. As your agent we work for you and your interests. Your agent can take your criteria for a home, including cost, neighborhood, schools, home size and amenities, and match it with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which lists all of the homes for sale in a particular area. If you’re purchasing government housing, such as a HUD home, you must have an agent.
Where Do I Find a Loan?
First-time homeowners should consult with several lenders before applying formally for a loan. Every lender offers different interest rates and fees, and those can impact your monthly mortgage payment. By shopping with different lenders you can find the best possible deal. Consult different types of financial institutions, including mortgage brokers, credit unions, traditional banks and government lenders.
Can I Afford a Mortgage?
Before beginning the purchase process, make sure you can afford the home. Most lenders adhere to standards set by Fannie Mae, which buys and sells mortgages on the secondary market. Lenders want to see that your total monthly housing payment is no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income, and that your total monthly debt payments are no more than 36 percent of your total gross monthly income.
What Are the Up-Front Costs?
You are responsible for two upfront costs when you buy a home. First there is earnest money, which is a small deposit that lets the seller know you’re serious about buying the home. Earnest money can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000. The second is the down payment, which is a percentage of the cost of the home. Lenders have different requirements for down payments. Traditional lenders usually seek a down payment of at least 10 percent. Lenders backed by the government can seek less, if you qualify. FHA has a program where you are only required to make a 3 percent down payment.
How Do I Apply?
First-time homebuyers should be prepared to turn in a great deal of documentation when they apply for a mortgage loan. You’ll need personal information, such as Social Security numbers and photo IDs. You must have proof you can afford the home, including bank statements for the past six months, a month’s worth of pay stubs and documentation of all other financial assets. You should also bring documentation on your current credit accounts, tax statements for the past two years and contact information for someone who will verify your employment.
How Does My Credit Score Fit In?
Your credit score has a big influence on whether you’ll be approved to buy your first home. According to the Home Buying Institute, a score of 620 will usually get you in the door with lenders. But to get the best rates, you’ll probably need a score of at least 740 to qualify. Your credit score will influence the amount of interest you will pay on the loan.
What Happens at Closing?
Closing is when you sign all of the loan and ownership paperwork and take over the home. At closing you will be responsible for taking care of some costs, including title insurance and points to lower the interest rate on your mortgage, along with fees for loan origination, loan applications, appraisals, housing surveys and even your first month of homeowner's insurance. These costs can be up to 8 percent of your purchase price.