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Your Savings and Down Payment

Your First Step Toward Buying a Home

When preparing to buy a home, the first thing many homebuyers do is look at the real estate ads in newspapers, magazines and listings on the Internet. Some potential buyers read how-to articles like this one. The next thing you should do - before you call on an ad, before you talk to a REALTOR®, before you shop for interest rates - is look at your savings.

Why?

Because determining how much money you have available for down payment and closing costs affects almost every aspect of buying a home - including how you write your purchase offer, the loan programs you qualify for, and shopping for interest rates.

Mortgage Programs

If you only have enough available for a minimum down payment, your choices of loan program will be limited to only a few types of mortgages. If someone is giving you a gift for all or part of the down payment, your options are also limited. If you have enough for the down payment, but need the lender or seller to cover all or part of your closing costs, this further limits your options. If you borrow all or a portion of the down payment from your 401K or retirement plan, different loan programs have different rules on how you qualify.

Of course, if you have enough for a large down payment, then you have lots of choices.

Your loan choices include such varied programs as conventional fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages, buydowns, VA, FHA, graduated payment mortgages and all the varieties of each.

Shopping for Rates

A very important reason you need to have at least some idea of your down payment is for shopping for interest rates. Some loan programs charge a slightly higher interest rate for minimal down payments. Plus, the interest rates for different loan programs are not the same. For example, conventional, VA, and FHA all offer fixed rate loans. However, the rates vary from one program to another.

If you shop lenders by phone, the loan officer will be able to tell you which programs fit and quote your rates accordingly. However, if you are shopping on the Internet, you have to develop some idea of your loan program on your own.

Writing Your Offer

Another reason you need to have a clue about your down payment is because it affects how you write your offer to purchase a home. Not only are you required to put your down payment information in the offer, but also different loan programs have different rules that also affect how you write your offer. This is especially important when dealing with FHA and VA loans.

If you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs, you have to be certain your loan program allows what you are asking. For smaller down payments, lenders allow the seller to pay less closing costs than for larger down payments. Some loan programs will allow a seller to pay certain types of costs, but not others.

Finally, your down payment also affects your ability to qualify for a loan. When you make a small down payment, lenders are fairly strict about having you conform to their underwriting guidelines. For larger down payments, they will tend to make allowances or exceptions to the rules.

Conclusion

As you can see, the down payment affects every choice you make when you buy a home. Although you should look at ads, familiarize yourself with neighborhoods, learn about prices, and read as much as you can - when you get ready to take action - the first thing you should do is figure out how much money you have available for the purchase.

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BUDDY HARPER TEAM REALTY
5130 Wilkinson Blvd.,
Gastonia, NC 28056
Licensed NC & SC
Phone: 704-879-7155  

Fax:      704-879-7157
Email:bharper1@carolina.rr.com
Direct:  704-747-4016

Testimonials Page

Christyn is the best! She knows her stuff backwards and forwards, is the nicest person you will ever meet, and she will fight to get you the best in any situation. We have worked with her twice and my extended family has relied on her many times over the past few years and we have never been disappointed!  Emily 2-27-19
 
Stacey and I had a wonderful home buying experience working with Christyn Denton. Her knowledge of the Belmont area; her understanding of our home wants, needs and desires; and her professionalism were excellent. We had to find something in a short period of time, and she helped to take away our stress during the process. We highly recommend Christyn for your home buying needs. Sincerely, Mike & Stacey Andrea
Christyn, "I just wanted to take a minute and thank you for all the hard work and effort you put forth in our recently ratified contract. Your professional manner and commitment undoubtedly contributed to the successful conclusion to you or clients offer. If more agents were of your caliber our business would be so much more enjoyable." Tim B
Buddy, We want to thank you for the Excellent service you gave to us in finding our "Dream Home"! We appreciate all the time you spent in negoiations and getting us the best price on the house! Our best regards, Mike & Karen Worrell
Buddy, Thank you for helping us to sell the Stanley house, we really appreciate your hard work and friendship. Jeff & Emily
Buddy, We want to thank you for all your hard work that you did in finding a house for us! We cannot tell you how much we appreciate all the time and effort you put into us! We miss you already. Chan & Natalie
Buddy, I can't tell you how appreciative I am of all you did to help me. I must say, you have made me change my mind about realtors and their integrity. I certainly am convinced of yours! So thanks for all you do and for who you are. May God bless you! M. Hayes
Buddy Thank you so much for all your hard work to help us buy our first house! We really appreciate you going above and beyond for us. Thanks again! Ryan & Lisa
Buddy, thank you so much for all of your help in the past several months! You have been a God send, and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you again, The Devers
Dear Buddy, Not everyone can do what you do. But anyone can see that what you do makes a wonderful difference. Thank you for your involvement and commitment in finding our home. The Green's
I appreciate everything you did for me. I feel like you went above and beyond and I'll never forget it. Thank you! I love my new home, it's perfect. Thank you again for everything! Sincerely, C. Phipps
We would like to thank Buddy Harper for all the time he took with us while we looked at condos all over town. He's like the Energizer bunny, he never runs out of power. He listed our house to sell on Thursday and we had a contract on Saturday. If you are even thinking of selling or buying you need to call the Buddy Harper Team Realty for results! Jimmy and Sandy Carr
Thanks for all your help in making our "dream home" a reality. We really appreciated that you went the extra mile to get us the best price for our home. You are truly a professional. Grant & Tammy Field
In all our dealings with Realtors over the past eight years, we have never met anyone as helpful and energetic as you have been. Without hesitation, we would highly recommend your service to anyone who is looking for an experienced Realtor who cares about getting things done and doing them right! Thanks for taking such good care of us, we couldn't have done it without you! Tisha Jackson
Thank you so much for taking the extra effort to make our first home purchase successful. You were there guiding us through all the crucial and important steps! You really listened to what we wanted in our home and you found exactly what we were looking for - at an amazing price! If we ever outgrow this home, we'll definitely be calling you! Ben and Catherine Hoersch
You made buying a home so easy for my wife and I. We were grateful for how much patience you used in answering all of our questions and taking us to look at so many houses. You never pushed us into looking at something we were not interested in. We strongly recommend you to anyone looking at buying a new home. Matt & Jennifer Keepes
Thank you so much for all you have done for us to make this so easy and stress free. Also, thanks for taking care of all the additional things that had to be done. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Tom & Carol
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