Save time, stress, and money by getting pre-approved for a mortgage before starting to look for homes. You won’t waste time looking at homes you can’t afford, and sellers’ realtors are more likely to negotiate and accept offers from a pre-approved buyer.
Closing costs are fees assessed at the closing of a real estate transaction, i.e., when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or seller.
Closing costs vary widely based on where you live and the property you buy. They often include such things as a loan origination fee which lenders charge for processing the loan paperwork for you, attorney’s fees, discount points which are fees you pay in exchange for a lower interest rate, appraisal fees, and title insurance which protects the lender in case the title isn’t clean.
Typically, home buyers will pay between 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing fees. So, if your home cost $150,000, you might pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs. On average, buyers pay roughly $3,700 in closing fees, according to a recent survey.
Lenders are required by law to give you a Loan Estimate within three days of receiving your loan application, which will include an estimate of your closing costs.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of most major home systems and appliances. Home warranty costs average $350 to $500 for a basic warranty and $100 to $300 more for a warranty with extra protection.
Unexpected repair and/or replacement costs can be a strain to your budget. A home warranty helps eliminate this potential source of financial stress.
Especially for older homes with older appliances and systems, buyers should consider requesting a home warranty from the sellers as part of the negotiation process.
Click below to determine the size of your monthly mortgage payment.
Buying your first home is an exciting life event, but you also need to be prepared. Here are some steps we recommend:
- Use our mortgage calculator to figure out what your monthly payments will be.
- Research the other costs of homeownership, including real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, maintenance costs, and homeowner or condo association fees. Keep in mind that the interest portion of your mortgage payments and real estate taxes are generally tax-deductible. Overall, the federal government recommends that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs.
- Get a free annual credit report and comb through it for errors and unresolved issues. Credit history problems or the inability to make a substantial down payment can stop your plans to buy a home.
- Collect all the documents your bank will need to approve a mortgage, such as recent pay stubs, bank account and brokerage statements, W-2s, tax returns for the past 2 years, statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past 2 years.
- The Federal Housing Administration has a program that insures the mortgages of many first-time homebuyers. Because of this guarantee, lenders will be more likely to give you a loan, and the FHA requires a down payment of just 3.5% from first-time homebuyers.