Top 10 – 1. What’s the first step of the home buying process?
Answer: The decision and commitment to buy a home. Then Mortgage Pre-Approval, so you know what you can afford, unless you are paying cash.
Top 10 – 2. How Long Does it Take To Buy a Home?
Answer: Around 45 days after you have chosen the right home. With our team you can close as little as 25 days, if that is your goal.
Top 10 – 3. What Does A REALTOR® Do?
Answer: Almost everything. They will walk you through every part of the home buying process. They will educate and inform you of all your options. They will represent you throughout the transaction and beyond. A REALTOR® is regulated by the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics. A real estate agent does not. It is recommended that you work with a licensed REALTOR® to avoid potential problems.
Top 10 – 4. How Much Do I Have To Pay a REALTOR® as a Homebuyer?
Answer: Nothing. The sellers pays their REALTOR® a fee, and then that REALTOR® pays the buyers agent for bringing the buyer and facilitating the transaction.
Top 10 – 5. Who else do i need to buy a home?
Answer: A Mortgage broker, a Real Estate lawyer, a Home Inspector, a Title company and a Survey company. Ask your REALTOR® for recommendations.
Top 10 – 6. What’s Your Best Advice for First-Time Homebuyers?
Answer: Trust the Professionals. Beware of advice from people who do not work in the industry. Real estate is a popular topic and almost everyone feels like they have some great insight to offer. In reality, the people who know best are the people that work in the business. Good REALTORS® have sold hundreds (maybe thousands) of properties. We know what to expect and what to look out for. Be confident in your decisions and trust the professionals.
Top 10 – 7. What Kind of Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Home?
Answer: 640+. A 640 credit score, or higher, is recommended, although higher credit score offers better lending terms. There are some lenders who will approve buyers with a 580 score, sometimes even lower. Your loan officer will be the best source to give you a current answer for today’s lending requirements.
Top 10 – 8. How Much Money Do I Need for a Downpayment?
Answer: It depends on your loan type. A healthy downpayment of 20% of the purchase price is recommended. It will also save you PMI (private mortgage insurance), which increases your monthly mortgage payment with about 8 – 10 % until you reach 20 – 80 equity to mortgage ratio, at which point your PMI goes away. Most common however, for first time home buyers is a downpayment of 3% to 5% of the purchase price. FHA loans just dropped their requirement from 3.5% to 3.0%. There are also some conventional loans that only require 3% down. Veterans are usually eligible for a VA loan, which requires no money down. Properties in rural areas are usually eligible for a USDA loan, which also requires no money down. Ask your mortgage broker for more information.
Top 10 – 9. What Other Fees Are There, Besides the Downpayment?
Answer: Mainly loan origination and closing costs. The down payment is usually the largest cost associated with buying a house. Lending fees are the second largest costs to homebuyers. Most lenders will charge between 2% to 4% of the loan amount for loan origination fees, depending on the loan type. Credit Unions usually have lower origination fees – between 0.5% and 1% in most cases. Conventional loans usually have lower loan origination fees, but require more money down. Your loan officer will be able to help you determine how much you can expect to pay towards loan origination and closing costs.
Top 10 – 10. When do I get the keys?
Answer: Under normal circumstances, you will get the keys at the closing. A closing typically takes about an hour. In some cases, the lender will need time to fund the loan and you will need to pick up the keys after the loan has been funded. If you have a Friday evening closing and the loan cannot fund until Monday, you may not get the keys until Monday. Make sure to coordinate your closing to get the keys on the same day, if that is what you need.