10 Essential Questions to Start Your Journey
Buying your first home can be overwhelming. There's a lot to know and understand. Here are quick answers to 10 commonly asked questions.
How do I start the home buying process?
Before you start looking at homes it’s important to understand what you can afford and to have a plan. You’ll be working closely with your realtor and your lender. The three of you will be a tight-knit team so the first step is to find your teammates!
Can I buy a home without putting 20% down?
Yes, you can buy a home even if you don't have enough cash to put 20% down. While a 20% down payment is often recommended to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and secure a more favorable mortgage rate, it's not a strict requirement for buying a home. Many homebuyers put down less than 20% and use alternative financing options.
Why should I work with a Realtor® and how do I choose one?
There are a lot of complexities with purchasing a home so it’s important to have someone looking out for you. A real estate agent can help guide you, explain risks, and make sure you’re protected in a contract. Interview a couple of agents – they should be able to explain their value to you.
Do I need to pay my Realtor®?
In Colorado, it’s most common for the seller to pay the commission for both the buyer’s agent as well as the seller’s agent. An agent should discuss terms and be transparent with you on what to expect from the very beginning.
What types of mortgages are available and which one is right for me?
There are many types of loans available and your lender can help you determine which one will fit you the best by looking at things like your income, assets, debt, as well as your location and goals.
What are closing costs and who pays for them?
Closing costs are fees paid to the title company and your lender and are typically paid for by you and the seller. Your loan costs will typically include things like loan origination fees, appraisal fee and escrow. Your title costs include settlement fees and title insurance. I will provide estimates of closing costs so that you know ahead of time how much to expect to pay.
How long does it take to close on a house?
Typically, once all parties have signed a contract, it takes about 30 days to close on a house. There are various factors that can shorten or lengthen this period.
Are there any government programs/incentives for first-time buyers?
There are often government programs and down payments assistance available as well as some lenders also offer incentives.
What are some common pitfalls to avoid when buying a home?
Buying a home can be overwhelming and you don’t always know who to trust or what to consider. Have a trusted team with your realtor and lender who will do their research and give you all the information you need to make the best decision for yourself. They should help you consider neighborhood qualities, potential resale value, hidden costs, loan options, and future needs.
Can I back out of a home purchase contract if I change my mind?
While you cannot back out of a contract if you change your mind, the Colorado purchase contract is very protective. Meaning, there are multiple contingencies that must be met in order to move forward – think of these as checkpoints along the way. At each checkpoint there is an option for termination if something isn’t quite right.