When you turn in your application, you'll be required to pay a loan application fee to cover the costs of underwriting the loan. This fee pays for the home appraisal, a copy of your credit report, and any additional charges that may be necessary. The application fee is generally non-refundable.
You need mortgage insurance only if you plan to make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price of the home. The FHA offers several loan programs that may meet your needs. Ask your lender for details.
When house hunting in warm weather, your primary concern may be air conditioning. But don't forget to consider heating. Don't push your housing budget so close to the maximum of what you can afford that an increase in your heating bill could push you over the financial edge.
Buying a foreclosure property can be risky, especially for the novice. Usually, you buy a foreclosure property as is, which means there is no warranty implied for the condition of the property (in other words, you can't go back to the seller for repairs). The condition of foreclosure properties is usually not known because an inspection of the interior of the house is not possible before the sale. In addition, there may be problems with the title, though that is something you can check out before the purchase.
Start by asking family and friends if they can recommend an agent. Compile a list of several agents and talk to each before choosing one. Look for an agent who listens well and understands your needs, and whose judgment you trust. The ideal agent knows the local area well and has resources and contacts to help you in your search. Overall, you want to choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and can provide all the knowledge and services you need.
If your home inspector discovers a serious problem, another more specific inspection may be recommended. It's a good idea to consider having your home inspected for the presence of a variety of health-related risks like radon gas, asbestos, or possible problems with the water or waste disposal system.
There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. But the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow, and the more equity you'll have. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan. When considering the size of your down payment, consider that you'll also need money for closing costs, moving expenses, and possibly repairs and decorating.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act(RESPA) requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process. By doing so, it protects borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction. For more information on RESPA, call 1-800-217-6970 for a local counseling referral.
This is the most commonly used FHA program. It offers a low down payment, flexible qualifying guidelines, limited lender's fees, and a maximum loan amount.
When buying a house, make sure the purchase and sale agreement specifies all the items to be included in the sale. The seller should be clear about any items (the dining room chandelier, for example) that he does not intend to convey with the property, and the buyer should check carefully during the preclosing inspection to verify that everything that is supposed to be included is still in place.