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Most Common Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step in the homebuying process? 

The first step is to meet with a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help you calculate your budget and position you as a serious buyer.

How much do I need for a down payment? 

Down payment requirements vary by your goals and loan options available. They can vary from 0-25% down. Military buyers can use the VA loan to buy with a true 0% down, first time homebuyers can use the FHA loan to buy with 3.5-5% down, conventional buyers can use the Conventional loan program to buy with 5-25%, and investors can use the Conventional also to buy with 20-25% down. The overwhelming majority of buyers DO NOT buy with 20% down, do not let this myth hold you back. For example the difference between 20% and 10% isn’t as much as you think every month but is a huge amount up front. For only a couple hundreds dollars savings per month on a 20% down loan it will cost you nearly $50,000 more up front on a median priced house. How long would it take for someone to save up an extra $50,000? The smarter choice is the smaller down payment most times. 

What are closing costs and how much should I expect to pay? 

Closing costs include all the costs associated with the home purchase. They typically range from 2% to 4% of the home’s purchase price. They do not include the down payment, they are separate. Your lender will outline all expected closing costs. I also have an app from my escrow company that can give you a very accurate breakdown for everything. I’ve also made an incredibly detailed video about this outlining it all which I have linked in the description of this video. 

How long does it take to close on a home?

It usually comes down to the financing the buyer is using and whether the property is vacant. I have had cash buyers close on vacant properties in a week. I’ve also had financed buyers close on occupied properties in about 45 days. The average closing process takes around 30 to 45 days from the day our offer is accepted to closing. 

Should I buy a home or continue renting? 

It’s impossible to answer this without knowing more about your specific situation and your goals. The decision to buy or rent depends on your personal financial and lifestyle situation, long-term plans, and local housing market conditions. Owning a home builds equity and offers potential tax benefits, while renting provides flexibility. I believe everyone at some point should be a homeowner but it really depends on your current situation. We’d need to discuss this in more detail before I can give you a correct answer. 

What is a home inspection and should I get one? 

A home inspection is a thorough review of the property’s condition done by a licensed professional backed by a physical report. I highly recommended everyone get a home inspection to identify all potential issues unless you are a very experienced real estate investor with a team of contractors. 

Do I need a real estate agent when buying a home? 

It is possible to buy a home without an agent. However having a real estate professional as your partner will provide you valuable expertise, guidance, and negotiation skills to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. As you can see in this guide the value I provide will save you tons of money not just during the purchase but also down the road. And best of all you get all these benefits for free – the seller pays my commission. 

What is a contingency and how does it protect me as the buyer? 

A contingency is a condition that must be met for the sale to proceed. Common contingencies include the home inspection, financing, and appraisal. They protect you from potential risks and allow you to back out of the deal without penalty if the conditions are not met. 

How can I improve my credit score before buying a home?

Firstly, most people I’ve met that assume they have to low of a credit score to purchase are incorrect. Most of them can actually purchase with their current score. However to improve your credit score it’s important to talk with your lender to create a plan. They will tell you specifically what to do like paying bills on time, reducing credit card balances, and avoiding new credit applications. I have had dozens of clients that in less than 3 months have done this with my lender to boost their score and approval amount. 

Can I negotiate the price of a home? 

Absolutely, everything is negotiable. We will craft an offer based on market conditions and comparable sales in the area.

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