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Homes For Sale In Ohio - Special Concerns in Buying Homes for Sale in Ohio - Financing, Legal Concerns, Resources

homebuyers realtor services bill

Dense in population and rich in business, Ohio’s towns and cities remain popular destinations to homebuyers. Whether buying their first house down the street or migrating from elsewhere, those looking for homes for sale in Ohio should consider the following tips as they work toward a purchase.

Financing

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is a valuable stop for Ohio homebuyers, especially those with particular financial needs.

OHFA’s First Time Homebuyer caters to low-to-moderate incomes. To apply for this program, the homebuyer must have a fair or better credit score, and a signed purchase and sale agreement for a property of no more than two acres. Government aid insures that these loans are some of the best on the market, featuring below market 30-year fixed rates.

Ohio graduates have access to their Grants for Grads program, which offers 2.5% of an initial down payment for first-time, Ohio-educated graduates. Modeled as a 0% interest loan, the debt is forgiven if the graduate lives in Ohio for the following five years. There is a shrinking window on this loan, however: applicants must apply within 18 months of college graduation.

Additional funds are also available to homebuyers in Ohio “target areas”—low income or underdeveloped areas in the Ohio area. This program’s goal is to simultaneously renew struggling neighborhoods while allowing growing residents to affordably live near their parent community. Twenty-one of Ohio’s counties contain low income target areas, listed in this PDF from OHFA.

Legal Concerns

The legal peculiarities of purchasing homes for sale in Ohio center on required brokerage services and the rights of consumers to waive these services. In Winter 2005, the Ohio Association of Realtors (OAR) formed a task force to investigate this issue, ultimately advising that a bill be passed which created required brokerage services which could be waived if the interested buyer was uninterested. A full copy of their letter is available at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The OAR bill requires that realtors demonstrate loyalty to their clients’ interests. If an Ohio homebuyer feels that their realtor is not representing their interests first, then they have legal recourse through this bill. Included in this representation is expert advisement to the client—explaining difficult and important transactions thoroughly and without pretense.

Note that this advisement is not required, and that homebuyers have the right to waive these requirements with any Ohio realtor.

The full text of these laws are available online. Realtor duties can be found here, while details of the waiver can be found here.

Resources

A variety of resources exist to make purchasing homes for sale in Ohio easier.

The Ohio license center provides a database of every registered realtor in Ohio. Users of this database can search for their realtors to make sure that they are not falling victim to a housing scam.

The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing provides news, links, and a thorough homebuyers’ guide. The guide in particular is a must-have for first time homebuyers, as it contains checklists and “how-to”s on every step of the process.

Lastly, a variety of search engines allow homebuyers to sift through homes for sale in Ohio based on price, location, and other criteria:

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