I want to buy a home. What's my first step?
We believe that your very first step in the home buying process is to make a prioritized list of what you want and need out of a new home. Distinguish between what you really need versus what you want. Once you have an idea of what you're looking for, your next step is to contact an experienced real estate professional. Your Realtor can find several homes that match your wish list, and then you can begin looking at them!
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects you in the event of a title dispute. Title disputes can occur if someone else claims ownership of the land you just purchased, or if someone demands payment for an preexisting mortage on the property you just purchased. Title insurance protects you from any problems that may arise or could already exist in your title.
How long does the negotiation process take?
Honestly, the negotiation process takes as long as you need it to. It can be as brief as a couple of weeks, or as long as a few months. It all depends on how long it takes you and the seller to come to an agreement.
How much money do I need for a down payment?
The amount you will need to offer for a down payment will depend greatly on a number of factors, especially the type of loan you get. Some loans require a minimum down payment of at least 5-10% of the price of the home, whereas others require zero down payment. It all depends on your income level, debt-to-income ratio, and your credit score.
What costs will I be responsible for?
As the buyer, you will typically be responsible for hiring the home inspector and the appraiser. You will also need to provide the earnest money, and (of course) the down payment.
Wait, what is "earnest money"?
Earnest money is a check you provide up front that shows the seller you are serious about purchasing their home. Earnest money amounts typically range from about $500-$2,000. There's no hard and fast rule for determining how much earnest money you should provide, but typically higher-priced homes require a greater amount of earnest money. The earnest money you provide in the beginning will count towards your closing costs at the end.
What is the difference between a home inspector and a home appraiser?
A home inspector examines the home and provides a complete and thorough description of its strongest and weakest points. The inspector can point out issues that you may want to have fixed or repaired before you close on the home (i.e., before those repairs become your responsibility). The home appraiser, on the other hand, provides a professional estimate of how much the home is worth, so you'll have an idea of how much will be appropriate to pay for it. Both of these professional opinions will be valuable assets for you.
What will my closing costs cover?
Closing costs typically cover the the fees the lender and title company charge to cover their time and energy of helping you close on a home. These can include anything from the fee for checking your credit report to inspecting your title to make sure the property doesn't come with any unpaid mortgages or tax liens.
Why do I need to hire a Realtor?
Buying a home is a complex process. A professional real estate broker can guide you through the process, helping make sure everything is done right the first time and taking a lot of the stress off of your shoulders. Plus, the real estate commission costs are typically covered in the seller's contract, so hiring a professional to help you in your home search shouldn't cost you anything extra. If you're searching for a new home at the Lake of the Ozarks, we would be honored to help you!
Do you have another question? We're happy to help! Give us a call today at (573) 302-2390.
Real Estate Lake of the Ozarks : Find Your Dream Home Now!
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Fran Campbell Team
Lake of the Ozarks BEST Realtor