If you’ve found an agent, have qualified for a mortgage and have made an offer on your first house, well done! You have nearly accomplished the dream of home ownership. There is much to learn when you’re in the process of buying for the first time. Partnering with a reliable lending company like Sun West Mortgage can help you be prepared for what’s to come, and having an idea of what lies ahead can help get you ready for the next phase of buying a house.
Fees to Consider
Your home will be the most expensive thing you own. Sun West Mortgage is there to help you with the actual price of the house, but the home buying process requires some fees that you might not know about beforehand.
- Home inspection. Some states do not require an inspection, some do. Check whether your state does and know how much it will cost. While home inspections can be pricey, the potential thousands of dollars they can save make them worth every penny.
- Down payment. There are down payment assistance programs out there for first-time home buyers. If you do not qualify for one of these, expect to pay between 5% and 20% of the total cost of your home.
- Closing costs. Sometimes you can negotiate for the seller to pay closing costs, but if not, expect to pay an additional 2% to 5% of your home’s total price.
Held in Suspense
Congratulations! The seller has accepted your offer. There is a lot that needs to happen between your offer being accepted and getting the keys to your new house.
Know that this part of the process can be the scariest because there is potential for things to go very badly in a hurry. You may need to walk away from this offer. Pending an appraisal, funding going through and home inspection, defects or problems may be found that are too big for you to ignore. For example:
- The inspection finds hazardous or very expensive problems like mold, extreme termite damage or a crumbling foundation.
- The appraisal comes back much lower than the offer you made. If this is the case, unless the seller is willing to lower their price, you are responsible for paying the difference in your down payment.
- Funding does not pull through. This can either be on your part or the seller’s, but from time to time mistakes are made. It could be that you or the seller were not qualified for as much as you thought. If this happens, contact your mortgage lender to get it straightened out.
Generally, it takes about 30 days for the house to close. This can feel like an eternity while you’re waiting, and be prepared for some anxiety. But if your new home has been cleared by the inspector, appraiser and bank, you’re in the clear! It’s time for the next steps.
- Packing. Get all your belongings together and put them in boxes. There are some great packing tips available to make your life easier, so read up on them.
- Reserve a truck. Whether you’re hiring a company or not, be sure to reserve a truck for the day of your move. Call ahead a week in advance to be sure that your reservation is still valid and ready for you.
- Change of address cards. Send out change of address cards and make sure to notify the post office to forward any mail to you.
- Return any cable or security equipment. Don’t forget to cancel any subscriptions you might have with cable or security companies and to return any leased equipment.
Pop open a bottle of champagne and clink glasses; you’ve done it! Enjoy the rewarding life ahead of you as a homeowner.