It might seem like a simple, self-explanatory question, but it’s one that I’m asked most frequently by new homebuyers. Honestly, there are plenty of steps involved in the home buying process. Many people, especially new buyers, are likely to overlook some of the steps that must be taken, to buy a home. So, to help ease the process, I have created this list of the most common steps that buyers must take when purchasing a home.
Please keep in mind that these aren’t all of the steps involved in a home purchase. You will have various requirements that come from your mortgage lender. You will have to provide things like verification of employment and tax returns. In this article, we will specifically look at the financial end in terms of upfront money you’ll need to buy a home.
1. A PRE-APPROVAL FROM A MORTGAGE LENDER
Buying a home means getting a mortgage. It also means knowing how much you are going to be able to spend towards a new home. The first step in attaining a mortgage is going to be a Pre-Approval. You might be scratching your head wondering what a pre-approval is, but don’t worry it’s as simple as it sounds.
I work with an excellent group of mortgage lenders that will walk you through all of the necessary steps to get pre-approved for whatever you can afford. They will also help you understand all of the borrowing options and programs that are available to you as a future home owner regardless of what your financial situation is like.
The lender will run your credit, and after the credit check, they will discuss your financial situation with you, to determine what your eligibility looks like. They will work with you as you go through the buying process, after you’ve found the house you want to buy. They will also issue you a pre-approval letter that we include in an offer to show the amount of money you have available to buy a home.
2. THE IMPORTANCE OF EARNEST MONEY
Earnest money is the upfront money that you’re able to provide when you are buying a home. This is your way of saying that you’re serious, so you are willing to hand the seller this money along with your offer. It’s similar to the idea of a deposit, which shows your true intentions in purchasing a home.
In a lot of cases, earnest money tends to equal 1% of the home’s purchase price. If you close on the home, the money you put up as earnest money will be credited towards the home. If the contract to purchase the home is terminated during the inspection phase or the in the loan objection deadline, in most cases, you receive the earnest money back. If it goes further than that, and you are deeper into the process when you terminate the process, it will be much more difficult to get the money back, if it is possible at all. All earnest money is kept at the title company for safekeeping.
3. A DOWN PAYMENT
Once you have a Pre-Approval from our lender they will be able to give you an idea of the type of down payment that you would need when you’re ready to purchase the home. There are a number of programs and loan types. Some of them offer 100% financing and they do not require a down payment. Our lenders will take your situation into account when they talk to you about your potential down payment, and the program that will service your future mortgage.
In most cases, down payments range from as low as 3-5% and as high as 20%. A lot of this depends on your current situation. For example, if you’re purchasing a second home a lender might want you to have a larger down payment. Also, if you’re buying a more expensive home, lenders tend to want at least a 10% down payment, though this varies based on numerous factors and each situation. Your lender will be able to work with you and my team to ensure that you get what you can afford without having to sacrifice your needs.
4. CLOSING COST FEES
Standard fees from the mortgage company, when you close on a home, are between 1% and 4% of the amount of the loan. These fees cover the origination of the loan and various other costs involving loan generation. Based on the type of loan you decide on, your loan officer should be able to inform you about the costs associated with closing.
We can also negotiate some or all of the closing costs with the seller when you’re in the negotiation phase of buying a home. Eager sellers are sometimes more than willing to contribute to closing costs if it means selling their home. This has a lot to do with how quickly homes are selling and whether or not a particular home is receiving a lot of offers. In our experience, most sellers are receptive to helping with costs, and it never hurts to ask, either way.
5. MONEY FOR A HOME INSPECTOR
Once you have a contract to purchase a home, you need to bring in a home inspector to make sure the home is as good as it looks. Depending on the price of the inspector, average home inspections range from $250 to $600 or more, depending on a variety of factors including the size of the home and how much work is involved in the inspection process. My team can set you up with an inspector that will offer a fair rate and give you a clear picture of anything wrong with the home. Some buyers need to consider other inspectors that handle things like wells, septic inspections, or even mold or pests. These aren’t necessary in every case, but if they are in yours, you will want to make sure to have the money for the inspection because it’s better to have it and know what you’re buying rather than finding out later. Inspections need to be done in a reasonable time frame, usually within 10 days, but this can be renegotiated based on the number of inspections that need done.
TO WRAP THINGS UP
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments a person can make. You can’t return it to the store if you decide you’ve found one you like better or if you’ve developed buyer’s remorse. So, the best thing you can do is research, talk with your family, and be sure that everyone is satisfied with the home you choose. Choosing me as your realtor ensures that you have someone that will help you with every step of the way. The things I can help with include you working with my fabulous lender, and working with inspectors I can recommend to scour your future home to ensure it’s safe and will provide years of happiness for your family.
Once you have these things and you’ve made the decision to Contact Me to find your new family home, you’re good to go. Those five monetary needs will set you on a course to buying a new home!
The right real estate team makes your home buying process easier than you could ever imagine. My team will work tirelessly to find you the home of your dreams, and we won’t stop until you’re moving in! We will be here to answer questions, handle any problems, and to make the process of buying a home easier and less stressful. I want to make your home buying process a breeze.