Buying a Home
Assess Your Finances
There are many factors that play into buying a home. Depending on the type of loan you are seeking, you will need to have a down payment saved—approximately 20% for a conventional 15 or 30-year mortgage. Some buyers may be able to take advantage of VA, FHA or other programs that don’t require as much money up front. You’ll also need to have proof of steady employment and a good credit score to be considered for financing. When determining what you can afford, remember to include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance in your totals.
In today’s competitive market, getting preapproved can give you a leg up on the competition. You’ll have the paperwork necessary to show the seller you can afford to purchase the home and that you intend to follow through with the sale. When looking for a lender, you’ll also want to pay attention to interest rates, as they will play a major role in how much you end up paying for your home. Also remember that there will be fees and closing costs owed at the time of signing. Contact a mortgage lender to start the preapproval process, and use our calculator to determine your estimated payments.
Make an Offer
When you find your dream home, you’ll be ready to make an offer. Working with a real estate agent can help you negotiate a fair price and any conditions necessary for the sale. Once you reach an agreement with the seller, you will make a good faith deposit and apply for a mortgage. Once you are approved, you can start the escrow process which usually takes around 30 days. During this time, the house is taken off the market with the contractual expectation that you will follow through with the purchase, given there are no issues that arise during the inspection. Then it’s closing time! You sign the documents, pay your closing costs and get the keys to your new home.