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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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Cindy Paterson 
Email- cindypaterson.realtor@gmail.com
Cell: 405-473-3239
Metro Brokers Of Oklahoma
Office: 405-520-8963
Fax: 405-703-3255
License #138626

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Testimonials

Cindy is the utmost professional bringing all her expertise but also a personable, friendly perspective during a house hunt. She helped us look ALL DAY LONG and gave us terrific advice and feedback. She helped us purchase our dream house and we highly recommend her. We hope to stay in this home forever but if we ever did move again, there would be no doubt who to call. Julia Wagner Leinen
Cindy was such a blessing to my husband and I when we were looking to buy our first house. She carefully sought out houses and neighborhoods that's would fit our needs. She gave us multiple options and was always available when we had questions. When we finally decided on a house, she did an awesome job communicating with the sellers, and working out a great deal for us! I thought buying a home would be so stressful and hard because we are young and don't know much about real estate. But with Cindy, it was a breeze and an exciting process! I can't think of anyone else I would rather have partnered with when looking for a home for my family! Mike and Kaci Moore
Cindy is a superb realtor and guided us through every step of the home-buying process with the upmost professionalism. She was easy to reach and always kept us updated on the status of our paperwork. We couldn't be more be pleased with Cindy and recommend her without hesitation to anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. Brian and Maria Sargent
Cindy was so easy to talk to & made us feel comfortable as she walked us through the processes step by step. She updated our education on Oklahoma properties. When I was fretful, she would remind me that God would lead us to the right place. After a snafoo after closing, she jumped at the chance to make things right. Thank you, Cindy! Don and Sue Ann Wagner
I know she's my mom, but she worked her hinny off helping Brandon I buy a house in 2013! She was so patient and helpful! Brandon and I didn't know the first thing about buying a house, credit, or anything and she walked is through it! Brandon and Ashley Kirby
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