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FAQ for First-Time Home Buyers

November 2nd, 2021 by tisner

When you read and hear that now is the time to buy a home, but are simply unsure of the process, it may keep you sitting right there in your rental! Let these Frequently Asked Questions help get you moving–to a home of your own!

  • Does my credit need to be perfect?  Not necessarily, but the higher your credit score, the better the loan’s interest rate will be. Lower credit scores could cost thousands over time in higher interest rates. FICO has some tips for improving your credit score. 
  • I am not sure how much house I can afford.  Lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio when deciding to grant a home loan.  Get an idea for yourself by using this handy DTI calculator. 
  • How much money do I need for a down payment?  That depends! Most lenders require 5-20% for a down payment. USDA and FHA offer no- or low-down-payment home loans. Veterans and servicemembers have the benefit of applying for a no-down-payment VA Home Loan through the Veterans Administration as well. 
  • What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and will I have to pay? For most lenders, PMI is a requirement for homebuyers that do not pay a 20% down payment. The cost is normally included in the mortgage payment. 
  • I am pre-approved for a mortgage. Can I make an offer on a house that I love?  Sellers will likely reject an offer that has no lender back-up. Return to the bank and go through the pre-qualification process so you will know just how much you will have to offer on a property. 
  • Are there any tax advantages to owning a home?  While there are many costs associated with homeownership that renters do not have, there are tax credits for some of the taxes you pay, as well as for those who use points to get a lower interest rate. And with rent prices rising, your monthly mortgage payment could be lower than rent! 
  • How long does the whole process take?  A smooth home-buying transaction takes approximately 30-45 days. The time varies as there are so many aspects to the process, and once in a while, there are hurdles to get through.   
  • Who pays closing costs–the seller or the buyer?  In most cases, the buyer pays the closing costs, an expense that can run 3-6% of the cost of the home.  In some instances, however, the seller will offer to help with these costs as an incentive to buy the home. 

If all of your questions are not answered here, call a Realtor® before you begin your home search or mortgage approval. Their experience in helping you find a lender–not to mention your new home–is invaluable. The best thing about getting assistance from a real estate professional is that their services, in almost all cases, are free to the buyer! Now, what are you waiting for? 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

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