Buying can seem daunting, especially when there are so many little things to do. So, let’s talk about what to expect. Before you begin looking at homes, you will need to do 2 important things.
1) Talk to a Lender. A mortgage lender will run your credit against your income and tell you how much you qualify for.
2) Save your money!! You will need to make an investment in your future home. This up front fee is known as a downpayment, but there are other items you’ll want to pay for to make sure you’re buying the best home you can afford.
Once you have these two items, you can call a realtor to begin looking inside homes. When you go under contract (that means you’ve made an offer on a place that has been accepted), you will submit something called Earnest Money.
This is typically a couple thousand dollars written in a check, that gets held by the local title company. These funds apply toward your downpayment.
You’ll have two other upfront costs once you’re under contract and these are very important.
1) Home Inspection: In our area, a home inspection can run anywhere from $300-700 based on the square footage of your house. It’s a good idea to have at least $500 saved for this. And believe us, it’s always a wise idea to have a home inspection.
2) Appraisal: Your lender will order an appraisal, which is a report of valuation on your home. Depending on your type of loan and how big your down payment is, there will be a certain value your home needs to meet to close the loan. Expect to pay $750 for this report.
How much do I really need for a down payment?
Most first time home buyers qualify for FHA loans, which require 3.5% of purchase price as a down payment. So, on a $150,000 home, an FHA down payment would be $5,250. In our area, there is also a Rural Development loan that you can qualify for with as little as 2% down. Every buyer has a unique financial map, so be sure to ask your lender about all of your options.
Now that you know what to expect, you should not make any huge changes while under contract. Changes such as getting married or divorced, quitting your job, buying a new car, or overdrafts on your bank accounts can all disqualify you from your home loan.
Once you’re prepared, the home buying process is less daunting, and you’ll impress your realtor. Happy hunting!