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good list of questions.
no. Why? Because the Rethuglicans are gonna control the election.
At closing, you will be required to sign a document that allows the lender to pull your tax returns. It is best to give them this information upfront. I cannot imagine there are loans out there that would not require tax returns unless you are putting a 50%ish down payment. Of course, the best way to find out is to ask your banker/lender. If you do not have one, your Realtor can probably suggest one.
Your best resource for rental values is a Realtor that works in your area
I would hire a buyer agent to go to work for you. Most builders build in a 3-4% commission for buyers who use an agent for the buyers benefit. Many times a buyer agent will save you not only on the initial price but can negotiate on your behalf when you go to the design center where you will not only pack your colors but will contract for the extras and upgrades. This is an area where builders really make the majority of their profits. It is not unusual for buyers to spend an additional 10-20% of the sales price on marked up upgrades and finishes.
To use an old saying, a picture is worth 1,000 words and that is especially true when a home is shown online. With thousands of homes to look at as a buyer browses, The ones with bad pictures are getting short shift and being dumped into the out bin. Shockingly, there are homes online with no picture or just an artists rendering. Lazy. With digital cameras so cheap, it stumps me why a realtor would do this.
That all depends........in todays market, it is a price war and a beauty contest. Price your home lower than the comps in your area, have it looking great and have a reliable agent to handle the myriad of details for you. Then, just like in the Army, hurry up and wait.
I believe now is a great time to buy but you have to look hard at your situation. If you think you will have to leave the country within 2 years, rent. Longer that 2 years you can probably buy now and MAYBE break even after the two year mark. If I had a crystal ball, I would be a gazillionaire.