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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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Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. We have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. We would love to hear from you and tell you how we can serve all your real estate needs.

Tom Scrocco And Randy Isaacs
Realtor - Associates
Coldwell Banker Sunset Strip
 PLEASE CALL US ANYTIME:
310-259-7355 and 310-435-1494

RandyAndTomHomes@gmail.com
BRE: 01245433, BRE: 01252713

Testimonials

From our first meeting Tom and Randy presented a perfect combination of professionalism and personal warmth. Their knowledge of the real estate business is comprehensive, and their concern for my particular needs was exemplary. They guided me through the entire process in language that made things clear to me, and through the entire process to the closing of escrow were available with expert advice and instructions. I cannot recommend them highly enough. C. Steven Smith, Producer
Randy and Tom- “It was a pleasure doing business with you. You made a difficult situation easy and painless! And we couldn't be happier with the price you obtained. Very good job!! We've already recommended you once and will certainly do it again. You were professional, caring, understanding and supportive. We thank YOU from the bottom of OUR hearts! Thank you for getting the best deal for us, including the 60 day stay. We could not have asked for more!” David and Rachelle, Producer
Tom/Randy/Cameron: Thank you all for handling the sale of my parents house in such a professional manner. The Escrow went extremely smoothly without any hitches at all. The personalized attention and advice I got throughout the entire process was second to none.You guys truly are the best. When the time comes for me to sell my own property, I will definitely know who to call. A special thanks to Randy for listening to and working with me through all the “family drama” regarding the sale. Thanks again. Cheryl Marlowe, Traffic Manager KTLA
Tom and Randy...Thank you for the BRILLIANT job you did selling our duplex!...You two possess a unique combination of razor-sharp professionalism and comforting human warmth. You were the best advocates anyone could ever want, and you obtained a better sale than we could ever have imagined. Kristin and Patrick
When we decided to sell our house we met with several real estate agents and it was clear from our first meeting that Randy and Tom were the right choice. They were professional, courteous, and extremely familiar with the local real estate market. During our time working with them on selling our house we found them to be honest, reliable, informative, persistent and always professional. We would use them again in a heartbeat and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a professional real estate partner. Megan Riley Grant, Executive Producer Monster, Andrew Grant, Writer
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