Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first step in the home buying process?

1. Determine what your needs are in your new home. Consider factors such as- How big is your family? What neighborhoods do you want to be in? Are schools a factor? What are you willing to compromise on?

2. Calculate what you can afford. How much money do you have saved for a down payment? Have you talked with different lenders to see what you can qualify for? 

3. Get pre-approved. By now you should know what lender you are going to be working with and what you can afford within your perimeters; now all is left is to lock in your interest rate with your lender. This means that if interest rates fall, so does your locked in rate and if interest rates rise, your rate stays the same! 

How much do I need for a down payment?

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always need 20% down. The minimum down payment you need to buy a home is 3.5% down with an FHA loan on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This 3.5% down payment is a factor of the home price on a loan size up to the high-balance FHA county loan limit – which in most places is $417,000. However, it can be higher depending on the area. 

Alternatively, on a conventional loan you need only a 5% down payment on up to a $417,000 loan size. Should your loan size exceed $417,000, another 5% down payment kicks in, for a total of 10% down needed all the way to the maximum conforming loan limit in your county.

Should I get a home inspection?

Yes you should! Just like that old saying “you should never judge a book by its cover,” you should never judge a home by its facade. In your contract you can make the home, roof, and pest inspections contingent on your offer; meaning, if anything comes back that you or the seller aren’t willing to pay for you can get out of your contract no if’s and’s or but’s.

What if my offer is rejected?

If your offer is rejected you are no longer tied to the original offer you sent and can choose to back out completely, accept the sellers new offer, or present a counteroffer.  

What is earnest money?

Earnest money is different from a down payment and often a lot less. It’s basically a good-faith gesture and says to the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home. Next comes signatures, inspections, and financing. The earnest money deposit is usually 1-2% of the home purchase price but ultimately determined by the seller and can sometimes be a flat rate.

How long will it take for my home to close?

The process varies significantly and depends on the state in which you are buying and the type of property you are purchasing. Once the seller has accepted your offer, it takes an average of 30-45 days. FHA and VA loans can take a few additional days, and short sales are notoriously slow, taking an average of 90 to 120 days to close.

What if my offer is rejected?

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