Frequently Asked First Time Homebuyer Questions
We receive a wide variety of questions, stories and interest in a variety of aspects of real estate, planning and those related to mortgage and finance. Below are the most frequently asked first time homebuyer questions we receive from a pool of over 100 guests.
Q: What kind of credit do I need to get a home? Should I wait until I’m over 700?
A: The best thing for a Seattle first time home buyer wondering about credit would be to meet with a qualified lender to best determine an action plan and take a closer look at your situation and goals. Fact: Once you’re at a 720 you’ll qualify for the best rates typically, however if you’re at a 660 for example and it’s the best decision to purchase a home for you and/or your family and everything else is in order then maybe that’s a good plan. Connect with one of our preferred lenders here.
Q: What happens if I see a home and want to make an offer?
A: You’ll want to discuss your goals with your Agent or Julian. There are several factors to keep at the forefront such as: 1) What is your absolute highest offer for your budget and heart? 2) What terms are you willing to sacrifice or which are most important to you? 3) Are your finances ready for this offer to position you well? And there are several other factors to consider with the Seattle market, whether you’re a first time home buyer, or have been through the process before.
Q: What type of timeframes are typically recommended for closing times?
A: This will depend on the type of financing you are considering or if you’re an all Cash buyer. Typical Closing times were 30 days or less prior to Oct 2015, however an update to transaction processes have pushed this to 35 to 40-day Closes. Also, if you’re a Cash buyer you can Close in 10 days perhaps! Certain types of loans such as some FHA programs and VA loans take a bit longer. You’ll definitely want to connect with your preferred lender on this topic.
Q: How will I know about any issues large or small about the home I’m interested in and how is this handled?
A: Most homes listed will have something called a ‘Form 17’ Seller’s Disclosure Statement that will share a variety of items about the home to the Seller’s best knowledge. This can be accessed by your Agent as part of the offer process and is usually available through the seller’s agent prior to being under contract. Outside of this, you’ll be conducting a full inspection carried out by the Home Inspector you hire after receiving Mutual Acceptance on your offer.
Q: How will I know if the neighborhood is adequate and/or safe for my family and/or myself?
A: There are many resources available to the public for exactly this subject since each neighborhood is unique. For better peace of mind having a local expert on your side who possesses knowledge of the neighborhoods or areas you’re interested in is priceless. Visit citydata.com for more detailed info but each specific area is unique.
Q: What would help me best in determining which areas I should be home searching in?
A: This is far beyond researching statistics and looking online, you need to visit these locations you’re intersted in and see the type of homes you’re considering first hand. Make a list of the Top five to ten wishes you have for your next home and weigh the importance of these as relevant to the type of home and the location in order of significance.
Q: How are commissions typically paid to a buyer’s agent and how is this handled?
A: Prior to listing their home, the Seller will have determined the commission allotted to both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Typically in King County and much of Western Washington the average commission rate for homes between $250,000 and $800,000 is 6-percent, split evenly amongst the agencies. Commissions are paid via the escrow agency at the time of closing, paid directly to the agency/firms, then to your agent.
There are many more questions about first time home buyer mortgages in the Seattle area, and we’ll have answers to each and every one of them at one of our workshops.
Hope to see you soon! Feel free to call directly too!