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How To Get Started As A First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a huge accomplishment! If you’re in the information-gathering phase of buying your first home, it may seem overwhelming – there are many moving parts when it comes to buying a home. It’s a good idea to figure out the tedious loan and financial aspects of buying a home before scrolling through my home search website looking for your dream home.  

Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions I get from first-time home buyers.

How Much Do I Need For A Down Payment?

Gone are the days when homebuyers needed to shell out 20% for a down payment. Today, more lending options allow for more flexibility, especially for first-time home buyers.

An FHA loan is the most commonly used loan for a first-time home purchase. FHA loans only require a down payment of 3.5%. In Corpus Christi, where the average home sale price is $250,000, according to CCAR, that ends up being about $8,750.  

If you or your spouse served in the military, you might be eligible for a VA loan. With a VA loan, there is no down payment required!

Before you get too excited, check out the requirements in detail by visiting the VA website.

You could look into a conventional loan if you have the cash and a high enough credit score. The down payment amount can be as low as 5%, and the interest rate and fees on a conventional loan are typically lower than other loan types.

The state of Texas sometimes offers down payment assistance to first-time home buyers. This is a grant-funded program, so once the funding runs out, they pause it. There are maximum income requirements and home purchase price limits, but if you are eligible, this would be an excellent way to get into a home of your own. You can read more about it here..

What Are Closing Costs?

Not only is a buyer responsible for a down payment, but they also have to cover closing costs. And I hate to tell you that closing costs can add up to another 3% of the home’s purchase price. The good news is, during the negotiation process, the buyer can ask the seller to help cover some of those costs.

What do closing costs cover? Here are just some of the fees you’ll be charged:

  • Title transfer fee
  • Credit check fee
  • Underwriting fee
  • HOA transfer fees
  • Title insurance
  • Loan origination fee
  • Home appraisal fee
  • Prepaid taxes or insurance

While there are a lot of fees that need to be covered, notice that real estate commissions are not included. That’s because the seller is responsible for paying both the buyer and seller’s agents – that means my services are free for you!

Do I Really Need A Real Estate Agent?

Yes, you really need a real estate agent. Real estate agents do so much more than show houses. We work for you and with you to make your first-time home-buying experience a positive one.

The real estate market has been a roller coaster lately, but a good agent stays on top of all the changes and will be able to strategize your home search with you. We know when a seller is asking too much for their home and can advocate on your behalf if something goes wrong during the transaction. We also work closely with other real estate industry professionals like lenders, escrow officers, and home inspectors, who will work together to get you into a home that fits your needs.

Ready To Buy A Home In Corpus Christi?

Whether you’re ready to get out and start looking at homes, or you’d like some more information about the process, I am here for you! You can contact me by clicking here to get started.

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