What’s the first step of the home buying process?

Answer: The Mortgage Pre-Approval.

Unless you are paying cash for a house, you will need to get a mortgage. In order to refine your home search and know how much home you can afford, you will need to get pre-approved for a loan. This is the first-step in the home buying process.

How Long Until the Closing Date?

Answer: Around 30 days

The timeline for finding a house varies from client to client. Once you find a house and have an accepted offer, it will normally take around 30 days to close if all goes right.

What Does an Agent Do?

Answer: Almost everything.

Having an agent on your side is the most valuable asset when buying a home. They will walk you through every aspect of the home buying process, educate, and inform you of all your options.

How Much Do I Have To Pay a An Agent as a Homebuyer?

Answer: Nothing

In most cases, you do not have to pay your agent anything to help you purchase a home. The sellers pay their agent a fee, and then that listing agent pays the buyer’s agent for bringing the buyer and facilitating the transaction.

What’s Your Best Advice for First-Time Homebuyers?

Answer: Trust Us.

Beware of advice from people who do not work in the industry. Real Estate is a popular topic and almost everyone feels like they have some great insight to offer. In reality, the people who know best are the people that work in the business. Good real estate agents have sold hundreds of properties and truly understand Real Estate. Be confident in your decisions and trust the professionals.

What Kind of Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Home?

Answer: 620+

A 620 credit score, or higher, is recommended. Obviously the higher credit score you have offers better lending terms. This is an ever evolving topic, however, as loan requirements are constantly changing. There are some lenders who will approve buyers with a 580 score, sometimes even lower. Your loan officer will be the best source to give you a current answer for today’s lending requirements.

How Much Money Do I Need for a Down Payment?

Answer: It depends on your loan type. Usually 3% to 5% down.

The most common answer is 3% to 5% of the purchase price. FHA loans require anywhere from 3.5% to 3.0%. Conventional loans typically require 5% down. Veterans are usually eligible for a VA loan, which requires no money down. Properties in rural areas are usually eligible for a USDA loan, which also requires no money down.

What Other Fees Are There, Besides the Down Payment?

Answer: Mainly loan origination and closing costs.

The down payment is usually the largest cost associated with buying a house. Lending fees are the second largest costs to homebuyers. Most lenders will charge between 2% to 4% of the loan amount for loan origination fees, depending on the loan type. Conventional loans usually have lower loan origination fees, but require more money down. Your loan officer will be able to help you determine how much you can expect to pay towards loan origination and closing costs.

When do I get the keys?

Answer: At Closing

Under normal circumstances, you will get the keys at the closing. A closing typically takes about an hour. In some cases, the lender will need time to fund the loan and you will need to pick up the keys after the loan has been funded. If you have a Friday evening closing and the loan cannot fund until Monday, you may not get the keys until Monday. Make sure to coordinate your closing to get the keys on the same day, if that is what you need.