Frequently asked questions
- What are the steps to buying a home
1. You get pre-approved
This will let you know how much home you can afford
2. Find a Home
3. Once you find your dream home, Submit an offer
4. Once the offer is accepted, an inspection is ordered
5. The lender orders appraisal
6. We go to title company and transfer title (also known as closing)
- How much can I afford?
Before you start shopping for your new home, it's important to get an idea of how much a lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $200,000 home, but lenders may think you're only good for $100,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you've been at your current job.
On the other hand, sometimes a bank will give you a loan for more house than you really want to pay for. Just like with the purchase of a new car, you'll want to look at the house's total cost, not just the monthly payment. Of course, looking at the monthly payment is also important, along with how much down payment you can afford, how high the property taxes are in your chosen neighborhood, how much insurance will cost, how much you anticipate spending to maintain or improve the house, and how much your closing costs will be.
- Are there any upfront costs when buying a home?
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 $100to $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. Lenders backed by the government can seek less, if you qualify. FHA has a program where you are only required to make a 3.5 percent down payment, where as the USDA has a program that requires no money down.
- Where does my credit score fit in with all of this?
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. Your credit score will influence the amount of interest you will pay on the loan.
- How much money will I need down?
This is completely dependent on the type of loan you have. Some loans (USDA and VA) require no money down. While FHA loans require 3.5% down.
- What is the first time home buyers program?
There are several programs available for First Time home buyers. These programs are administered by Federal housing administration, the U.S Department of Veteran affairs, The U.S. Department of Agriculture and MHDC. These programs in tale very low down payments, while some have no down payments. Contact Martina to discuss which program may be right for you.
- How long does it take from start to finish
Depending on the type of loan you have, anywhere from 30 - 45 days. Government based loans can take up to 45 days, while conventional loans can take up to 30 days.
- Why should I buy instead of rent?
A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you'll enjoy having something that's all yours - a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.
- How much home can I afford