Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step of the home buying process. Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender starts the ball rolling in the right direction.
From start (searching online) to finish (closing escrow), buying a home takes about 10 to 12 weeks.
However, once a home is selected and the offer is accepted, the average time to complete the escrow period on a home is 30 to 45 days (under normal market conditions). Though, well-prepared home buyers who pay cash have been known to purchase properties faster than that.
Home shoppers pay little or no fees to an agent to buy a home. Usually zero. The Listing brokers represent sellers and charge a fee to represent them and market the property. Agents who represent buyers are compensated by the listing broker for bringing home buyers to the table.
Most loan programs require a FICO score of 620 or better. Borrowers with higher credit scores represent less risk to the lender, often resulting in a lower the down payment requirement and better interest rate.
The national average for down payments is around 11%. That figure includes first time and repeat buyers.
First time homebuyers usually only put down 3 to 5% on a home. That’s because several first-time home buyer programs do not require big down payments. A longtime favorite, the FHA loan, requires 3.5% down. What’s more, some programs allow down payment contributions from family members in the form of a gift.
YES! Not only are they required for FHA or VA financing, but home inspections are highly recommended because they can reveal defects in the home that are not easily detected. Home inspections bring peace of mind to one of the biggest investments of a lifetime.