Buying A Home
Here are some common questions buyers ask us when they think they are ready to buy a home. Chances are, after reading these you’ll think of some more questions. We can help answer them all!
Can I buy a home before I sell my current home?
Maybe! We can refer you to a lender that will help you determine whether you can get approved for the new mortgage before you actually sell (and pay off) the first one. If not, we can talk through other options like selling your home and lining up the new one simultaneously. We are very comfortable coordinating a back-to- back closing, where you close on the sale of your current home, then very shortly after, close on the purchase of your new home.
How long does it take to buy a home?
We recommend speaking to a lender and working towards getting pre-approved at least 6 months in advance, but once you have that lined up you can usually plan on closing in about 4 weeks from the time we get your new contract signed.
How much money do I need to have for a down payment?
This depends heavily on the type of property and loan you are getting, but our lender partners often have programs in place that require no down payment at all! Loan programs often change, so get in touch with us to talk about your exact situation to find the best fit. Nowadays, a typical down payment is anywhere from 3%, 5%, to 10% or more. Generally speaking, a higher down payment will improve the terms of the loan the bank will offer you.
How early should I start the home buying process?
As soon as you know you want to buy. We recommend speaking to a lender at least 6 months in advance, even more if you have a tricky application or are self-employed. Once you have lined up a pre-approval, your process can move just about as quickly as you want it to.
8. How do I find a good Realtor?
Referrals from friends and family are great, but you should still research and read reviews for anyone you’re considering hiring. You deserve to have a Realtor who responds quickly to you seven days a week, sells real estate full time, and can be as flexible as your schedule requires. This can become a fairly personal process so you want someone whose personality you feel comfortable with since you’ll likely be communicating on an almost daily basis for at least 6 weeks or so! At Bold City Real Estate, our Realtors work to build professional relationships for life, so you’ll hear from us long after you’ve purchased your home and we always want you to
feel comfortable getting back in touch with us about anything you need long after the closing is done.
What kind of credit score do I need to have to get a loan?
A 620 score is usually sufficient for most loan programs, but some of our lenders can write mortgages with scores down to 580 if other factors in the application are favorable. The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate and mortgage terms will be.
What is the first step?
In most cases we recommend speaking to a reputable lender about getting pre-approved as the first step. This is imperative to the search, and even more important if you know you may have a few hiccups in your application to work through or are self-employed.
How do I find a home?
It’s never too early to start researching market trends for areas of town that you’re interested in, but once you are pre-approved your Realtor will use a few different avenues to help you find your next home. Homes listed with Realtors are typically entered in a massive database called the multiple listing service (or MLS). If you aren’t finding what you’re looking for in time, a good Realtor will proactively use other methods to find your next home by knocking on doors or looking for upcoming/off market listings. We take the time to learn what your exact needs are and then stay on the lookout for
potential homes that line up with your ideal criteria.
Who pays the Realtor's fee?
In most cases a buyer does not pay for their Realtor’s commission. In our market, sellers generally hire a Realtor to sell the home with the understanding that the listing agent offers a portion of their commission (often half) to the other Realtor bringing the buyer. This is why a
buyer shouldn’t expect to get a better price on a home by going to a seller directly. The commission is already in the budget so the seller doesn’t save the money in that scenario and the buyer can be left vulnerable.
Can I have a home inspected before I commit to buying it?
Yes. In most cases you’ll have a contractual period of time to perform any inspections you want after you have gone under contract on a home. Your Realtor will talk you through options if problems are discovered during the inspection process, but in most scenarios you have the
opportunity to get out of the contract within a certain time frame if you aren’t comfortable with the condition. Check our Community Resources page for the names and contact info of Home Inspectors we have worked with and vouch for.
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