Buying a home is an important decision, and it can be an overwhelming process. That’s why we’ve created this blog – to help homebuyers with all of their buying questions. From figuring out what the first step is to figuring out what fees to expect, we’ve got you covered. In addition, we can provide insights on the current market, will offer advice on different home buying programs, as well as step-by-step guidance on what to do once you find a home that you like. So, whether you’re just starting the process, or are nearing the end, make sure to read below for all the nitty-gritty need-to-knows.
First off, you should know that now is a great time to make an offer on a house in Dallas-Fort Worth. While housing prices in D-FW have held strong, year over year, they have come down from their very high peaks earlier in the year by as much as 30 percent or more in some areas – and continued to drop dramatically just this past month.
In fact, the average sales price in Rockwall County fell $30,000 dollars between November and December 2022. In Kaufman County, average prices fell by about $11,000. In Collin County, prices dropped about $20,000 dollars on the average home sale and in Dallas County, average home prices dropped a whopping $60,000 just between November and December, according to the most recent statistics out by NTREIS.
Buyers would be well-served to put in offers right now – even if you think you will not get it, chances are pretty good that you just might secure that dream home you’ve been hoping for!
Now, let’s dig in to those burning questions you have about first steps, loans, down payments, and more…
When buying a home, it’s important to have a plan and stick to it. The first step is to create a budget and get an accurate estimate of what you can afford. In order to do so, first get pre-approved for a 15-year or 30-year, Fixed-rate Conventional Loan or FHA/VA Loan (the most common loan types). Lenders will look at your income, assets, debt ratio, and credit score to decide which loan you qualify for. A credit score of 620 or higher is recommended for conventional loans, although you can still qualify for certain loans with scores ranging in the 500s. Your mortgage payment should be no more than 25% of your monthly paychecks. Finally, be patient – the timing of finding and closing on a house varies due to a variety of factors.
The sum of your down payment depends on the type of loan you have and your current financial situation. Conventional loans typically range from 10% to 20% of the purchase price. However, the average is simply a benchmark as it’s possible for certain home buyers to put down as low as 3.5%. FHA loans tend to range between 3% to 5%, but keep in mind lower rates like these require mortgage insurance to protect against losses. VA loans are available for veterans and don’t require any money down. Young adults and first-time home buyers typically prefer down payments at lower rates, while older demographics tend to reach the 20% threshold.
When it comes to home buying programs, there are a variety of options available. It’s important to research what’s out there so that you can find the right home buying program. Some of the most common options include VA loans, USDA loans, and FHA loans. The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) both offer first-time home buyer assistance programs for moderate to low-income home buyers. Some benefits of these programs include down payment and closing cost assistance, as well as mortgage interest deductions. To make sure everything goes smoothly, make sure to ask your lender about the best home buying programs for you before making any decisions. Also, Bank of America and other lenders are offering new programs such as the Community Affordable Loan Solution with zero down, zero closing costs and that requires no minimum credit score or mortgage insurance. Find out if you qualify.
When buying a home, it’s important to be aware of all the fees that come with the territory. Some of the most common fees include property taxes, HOA dues, and closing costs. By understanding these expenses, you can budget for them and save money on your home purchase. Make sure to budget for these fees in addition to your down payment and mortgage at the start of the home buying process. Review your monthly spending habits to gain an understanding of exactly what you can afford. Additionally, be sure to ask your real estate agent about any other fees that may be applicable to your home purchase.
Buying a home is an important decision, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly. By working with a realtor, you’ll reduce the amount of stress and maximize your chances of finding the right home. Not to mention, REALTORS have access to a wide range of resources, which they can use to help you find the perfect home. Some of these resources include access to databases of homes for sale, real estate agent training, knowing about off-market properties and more. Select a REALTOR that will understand the area in which you are searching, keep you within your budget, and negotiate effectively on your behalf. When choosing a realtor, be sure to ask around for recommendations and search for testimonials. At M&D Real Estate, all of our agents are seasoned professionals with a wealth of experience and testimonials, who are knowledgeable, and can will get you the best deal and help you put in the best, winning offer.
Once you find a home that meets all your requirements, tour the property to ensure everything is in good condition. Even if the property appears to be in perfect condition online, you should confirm that assumption with your own eyes. Also, take some time to explore the surrounding area, taking into account traffic and local amenities. Now it’s time to make an offer! Speak with your realtor about comparable listings in the area to place a competitive offer. Make sure to include any applicable contingencies to protect yourself from complications. Your offer may be accepted, rejected, or countered, so allow your realtor to help you negotiate the best deal possible. Once your offer is accepted, you may proceed to the closing, where you must sign the necessary documents and become an official homeowner!
Buying a home is an important decision and deserves careful consideration. By reading through this blog, you should now have an answer to some of the most common questions home buyers have throughout the process. We hope to have alleviated some of the stress that comes with the uncertainty surrounding home buying. Interested in starting the home buying process today?
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