There’s one aspect of the home buying process that doesn’t get as much attention, but is critical to a homebuyer–the COST of buying a home. Buyers typically focus on the price of the home they’re looking for without considering what it will cost them to purchase that home. Sadly, some realtors also fail to advise and counsel their buyers on this important part of the purchase process, and that’s when unexpected surprises may turn up at closing time. Many buyers, especially first-timers, fail to factor in the costs associated with obtaining a mortgage and all the other costs such as taxes, escrow, fees, etc. that come into play on the closing statement.
Some of these fees are fixed, some are not. Some could be paid by the seller, some cannot. This is why it is so important for you, the buyer, to compare lenders, insurance agents, etc. Get at least two quotes and be sure you receive a Good Faith Estimate that details the estimated closing costs, fees, taxes, etc. Your realtor should be able to refer you if you don’t know who to ask.
Remember to include Homeowner’s Association fees also, if the house you’re considering has a mandatory HOA. Some subdivisions are subject to multiple HOA’s and these fees can add up! There are always fees to transfer the property into a new owner’s name and these fees vary. Then there are the annual assessments. In a neighborhood with multiple HOA’s this can be a significant expense, so be sure you factor those fees into your budget as a cost not only of buying the home but of owning it, and eventually selling it.
Bottom line–these costs are not going away and they’re only going to increase. If you’re considering/thinking about buying a home, it’s time to get in the game! Activity in the San Antonio market is picking up. Many of my realtor friends have said this is the busiest January they’ve ever had! Mortgage rates are starting to slowly increase. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you to buy a home, and the less home you’ll be able to buy for the same amount of money.
If buying a home is part of your plan for 2011, start the process ASAP! Buying a home is a different process today than it was 3-5 years ago. It takes time, it takes credit, and it takes money! To make things happen smoothly it also takes the participation and cooperation of qualified professional realtors, lenders, escrow agents, and others. Get started and good luck on your journey to homeownership! I would love to be part of your team–give me a call or contact me at [email protected]
Certified Residential Specialist