Down Payment

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.
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Loan Origination Fees

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.
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Hiring a Mover

Moving to new home can be a stressful process. If you plan on hiring a professional moving company, here are a few things to look for:
- Verify that you mover is licensed.
- Get a written estimate.
- Check with the Transportation Division or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about rates, liability and insurance.
- Get a written contract and review the contract closely before you sign. (include method and terms of payment)
- During unloading, check the goods carefully before signing off on their condition. Do not sign any receipt that does not document all missing or damaged goods.
- Be prepared to make the payment for the move. Many movers require the charges to be paid in cash or by certified check. Do not assume that you can pay with a credit card.
- Immediately address any complaints to the moving company. If the complaint is unresolved, contact the appropriate agencies.
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Foreclosure Options

A foreclosure property is a home that has been repossessed by the lender because the owners failed to pay the mortgage. Thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year. Economic conditions affect the number of foreclosures, too. Many people lose their homes due to job loss, credit problems or unexpected expenses. It is wise to be cautious when considering a foreclosure. Many experts, in fact, advise inexperienced buyers to hire an expert to take them through the process. It is important to have the house thoroughly inspected and to be sure that any liens, undisclosed mortgages or court judgments are cleared or at least disclosed.
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Insurance Cost

Be sure to shop around among several insurance companies. Also, consider the cost of insurance when you look at homes. Newer homes and homes constructed with materials like brick tend to have lower premiums. Think about avoiding areas prone to natural disasters, like flooding. Choose a home with a fire hydrant or a fire department nearby.
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Settlement Procedures Act

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.
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