The first step in buying a home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You can get the ball rolling in the right direction with a pre-approval letter from a lender.

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 down payment requirement and better interest rate. Conversely, home shoppers with lower credit scores may need to bring more money to the table (or accept a higher interest rate) to offset the lender’s risk.

Written offers should stipulate the timeframe in which the seller should respond. Giving them twenty-four hours should be sufficient.

Yes! Home inspections are required if you plan on financing your home with an FHA or VA loan. For other mortgage programs, inspections are not required. However, 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.

When a property is transferred from one owner to another, buyers and sellers incur closing costs. These are usually negotiable items as to who will be responsible for their payment. Examples of closing costs include recording fees, documentary fees, real estate commission, taxes prorations, settlement fees, and title insurance.

It is also referred to as private mortgage insurance (PMI), which covers the lender against the mortgagee. This coverage is typically required on loans where the buyer is borrowing more than 80% of the value of the property.


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