Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo?
Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process. To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.
Freddie Mac has compiled a more exhaustive glossary of terms in their “My Home” section of their website.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is a broader measure of your cost for borrowing money or a “mortgage“. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. Because these costs are rolled in, the APR is usually higher than your interest rate.
Appraisal – A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of sales of similar properties. It is a necessary step in getting your financing secured as it validates the home’s worth to you and your lender.
Closing Costs – The costs to complete the real estate transaction. Costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.
Credit Score – A number ranging from 300-850, that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score, the better, but many buyers believe they need at least a 780 score to qualify when, in actuality, over 55% of approved loans had a score below 750.
Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo?
Discount Points – A point equals 1% of your loan (1 point on a $200,000 loan = $2,000). You can pay points to buy down your mortgage interest rate. It’s essentially an upfront interest payment to lock in a lower rate for your mortgage.
Down Payment – This is a portion of the cost of your home that you pay upfront to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments are typically 3 to 20% of the purchase price of the home. There are zero-down programs available through VA loans for Veterans, as well as USDA loans for rural areas of the country. Eighty percent of first-time buyers put less than 20% down last month.
Escrow – The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing. It can also be an account held by the lender (or servicer) into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.
Fixed-Rate Mortgages – A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change for the entire term of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are typically 15 or 30 years.
Home Inspection – A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation.
Mortgage Rate – The interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your house. The lower the rate, the better. Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have hovered between 4 and 4.25% for most of 2017.
Pre-Approval Letter – A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer. Having a pre-approval letter in hand while shopping for homes can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.
Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo?
Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If you make a down payment lower than 20% on your conventional loan, your lender will require PMI, typically at a rate of .51%. PMI serves as an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage and can be cancelled from your payment once you reach 20% equity in your home. For more information on how PMI can impact your monthly housing cost, click here.
Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. Real estate professionals are there to help you through the confusing paperwork, to help you find your dream home, to negotiate any of the details that come up, and to help make sure that you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market. Real estate professionals can refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers along with other specialists that you will need throughout the home-buying process.
The best way to ensure that your home-buying process is a confident one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher,’ and who puts your family’s needs first.
Want to Buy a New Home? Find New Home Builds in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The most up to date info in one search.
As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.
Lower-priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.
If you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation!
The average homeowner gained approximately $14,900 in equity during the past year. Compared to Q3 2016, negative equity decreased 22% from 3.2 million homes, or 6.3% of all mortgaged properties. U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all homeowners) have seen their equity increase by a total of $870.6 billion since Q3 2016, an increase of 11.8%, year-over-year.
One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.
The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for their Confidence Index.
There’s a lot of discussion about the current state of housing affordability for both first-time and move-up buyers. Much of the narrative is tarnished with a negative slant.
Historically Speaking, There’s No Housing Bubble! Let’s break this down. From 1975 to 1990, home values trended at standard 5% annual growth. In 1990, when the US entered into a recession, new construction prices fell.
Low Housing Inventory Results in Double Digit Price Increases. If you are a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’. This allows you to build equity in your home. You can tap into this equity later in life if you choose. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.
Each year, most homeowners wait until the spring to sell their houses because they believe that they can get a better deal during the normal spring buyer’s
Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes.
The inventory of homes for sale has fallen year-over-year for the last 28 months and has had an upward impact on home prices.
We’re sharing some very exciting news today for First Time Homebuyers! New California State Programs are making homeownership a reality for first time homebuyers. Owned a home in the past?
Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!
That headline might be a little aggressive; however, as August 2017’s housing market data begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY!