Most Common Buyer Questions

1. What to do first when you want to buy a home.


Buyers with pre-approved loans carry and advantage over the competition, as they demonstrate credibility as a legitimate buying prospect. Try to time the pre-approval date as close to the date of the offer as possible. Some lenders will carry out the underwriting before the house is under contract, which can also shorten the closing time and make it more attractive to the seller.

2. How much money do I need for a downpayment?

MOST OFTEN 3.5% to 5% down.

The most common answer is 3.5% to 5% of the purchase price. FHA loans require 3.5%. Some conventional loans only require 5% down. Veterans are usually eligible for a VA loan, which requires no money down. Properties in rural areas are generally qualified for a USDA loan, which also requires no money down.

3. What all additional costs are there when buying a home?


EARNEST MONEY is not necessarily a fee, but it is something to be aware of because you will need the funds ready when you submit an offer. Earnest money is buyers proof that they want to purchase the home. This protects the seller's interests while they take their house off of the market. In Indiana, the earnest money is usually around 1% of the purchase price of a home. A home priced at $250,000 would typically ask $2,500 for earnest money. This $2,500 is credited back to the buyer at closing.  

HOME INSPECTION The home inspection is an essential home buying step. In most states, our real estate contracts offer an inspection period for the homebuyer to have the property inspected by a professional. The real estate inspector will determine whether any problems that need to be addressed before moving forward with the home purchase. In Indiana, this fee is usually around $300-$500, depending on the size of the home. Some specific inspectors specialize in certain parts of the house. You may also need to hire an additional inspector who specializes in one of the following industries below, based on the home you are buying.

MOVING EXPENSES This is an expense that varies for everyone but is often overlooked by first-time homebuyers. The costs of movers are optional; however, there are several other fees associated with the actual move itself. Storage fees, packing supplies, boxes, truck rental, and travel expenses, especially for long-distance moves.  

CLOSING COSTS This is usually the second largest out of pocket expense for a home buyer. Most of the fees involved in closing costs are associated with the preparation of your mortgage and title work. Often buyers will ask for closing cost assistance from the sellers when purchasing. 

4. How much do I have to pay a REALTOR® as a homebuyer?

In most cases, you do not have to pay; you're REALTOR® anything to help you purchase a home. The seller/s will pay their REALTOR® a fee (average 6-7%), and then that listing pays the buyers agent for bringing the buyer and facilitating the transaction (average 3-3.5%).


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