Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs? | MyKCM

Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it’s not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that’s important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage.

What Are Closing Costs?

According to Trulia,

When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.”

For those who buy a $250,000 home, for example, that amount could be between $5,000 and $12,500 in closing fees. Keep in mind, if you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,

Closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.

 Trulia gives more great advice, saying,

“There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.

The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You’ll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to discuss the homebuying process, to be sure your plan includes budgeting for what you need to purchase your dream home – without any surprises!

Thinking about buying a home? Download my free Buyers Guide, “Things to consider when buying a home”.

Dani

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments? | MyKCM

Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today.

1. How much do you really need for a down payment?

There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Mae shows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 – 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.How Much Do You Know About Down Payments? | MyKCMThere are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that provide 0% down payment options too.

We’ve mentioned recently that you don’t need to come up with a 20% down payment to buy, and we’ve also shared how quickly you can save for a 3% or 10% down payment, depending on where you live. If you’re planning to put down just 3%, the research shows it may be possible in most states to have enough saved for a down payment in less than a year. That puts homeownership in a much closer reach for many potential buyers, maybe even you!

2. How can I get help with my down payment?

Regardless of the loans available, many buyers still need assistance with a down payment. The great news is, there are a lot of ways to tap into down payment assistance options. Here are just a couple of them:

Assistance from Family Members

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said, “a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members.” They also mentioned, “the average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800…They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.

That means one of the ways to find help with a down payment is to accept a gift from a family member. If this is an option for you, make sure you talk to your loan officer before you accept the money, to ensure you document the process the way it is required by your loan. This way, it will be received properly and you can still potentially qualify.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

The reality is, not everyone has a loved one or a family member who can provide help with a down payment. There are, however, more than 2,500 down payment assistance programs available (by local areas like city, county, or neighborhood), and some of them are even specifically for first-time buyers.

The gap, as mentioned in the same survey, is “only 23% of consumers are familiar with low down payment programs.”

That’s why it is so important to get familiar with these options by doing your homework before you plan to buy a home. Determine what is available in the area where you ultimately want to live, so you have all the details you need to take advantage of the down payment assistance option that is best for your family.

Bottom Line

If buying a home is one of your long-term goals, you may be able to get there sooner than you think by tapping into one of the many down payment assistance programs available.

Are you thinking about buying a home? Download my free Buyers Guide, “Things to consider when buying a home”.

Dani

How Home Appraisers Determine Value

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What is an Appraisal?

A home appraisal is an unbiased estimate of the true (or fair market) value of what a home is worth. Appraisals are conducted by highly-trained professionals who are licensed and/or certified to determine the value of a home fairly, objectively and without bias in the state where the property is located.

Once a buyer and seller agree on a sales price, the contract is then sent to the lender for the loan approval process. One of the first things the lender will do is to order an independent appraisal. The appraiser will use local data to determine a value for the subject property. The primary purpose is to protect the lender in the event of borrower default by ensuring that the property is actually worth what the buyer is willing to pay, but this also protects the buyer from overpaying as well.

Determining Value

The process appraisers use to determine value is relatively simple, yet not easy. They start by searching for comparable local properties which have closed recently. They choose the three or more which most closely match the subject property and use them for comparison. Since these comparable homes have closed recently, they are assumed to represent market value.

Appraisers are looking at the home’s physical characteristics such as age, square footage, the number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, location, and view, as well as the observable condition. The appraiser does not evaluate the homes décor, furnishings, or anything not affixed to the property.

Once the appraiser has the comparable properties identified, they will then compare the subject property to them. They will add or subtract value for size, location, amenities, features, upgrades and so on until they have a value for the subject property. This is then reported to the lender in the form of a final appraisal.

There are a few things a homeowner can do to assure that the appraisal represents the properties highest values.

  • Make repairs to known maintenance items such as leaky faucets, cracks in the walls or ceilings, broken windows, etc.
  • Have a professional home inspection to detect maintenance issues before selling your home. This will help not only with an appraisal but with negotiating with a buyer.
  • A clean house leaves a positive impression on anyone, including an appraiser. De-clutter, clean the kitchen and baths and make sure appliances are clean and in working order.
  • Spruce up the curb appeal of your home. Clean up overgrown landscaping, repair broken items such as a garage door, make sure gutters are clean and attached to the house.
  • Provide the appraiser with a list of updates and improvements. Include dates, brands, and cost of improvements. A new roof or insulation may be overlooked if not pointed out.
  • Note any changes in your neighborhood that may increase value such as new roads, schools, or entertainment venues.
  • The newer your home appears to be, regardless of its actual age, the better. Updated carpet, tile windows, and other permanent fixtures will increase the value of your home in the eyes of an appraiser.

Ready to make a move? Contact me for a no obligation consultation, and we can discuss the value of your home and marketing options.

Dani