Buying a home is a tried and trusted way to put down roots for your family and build wealth. However, it's a significant investment, and before it's down, you may be surprised by all the fees, points, and other funds you have to pour into that investment. Our REALTORS® know that last-minute surprises are never pleasant, which is why first-time homebuyers should thoroughly understand what closing costs to expect and who is expected to pay them. This is crucial because it is the buyer's responsibility to pay for many of the expenses.
Closing Costs for Sellers
Prorated property taxes owed, as well as any transfer taxes, are the seller's responsibility. Likewise, the seller is responsible for paying the agent commission, which is usually anywhere from 5% to 8% of the sales price, title insurance, any HOA fees owed, their attorney fees, closing credits, and any escrow money they owe to the buyer.
Closing Costs for Buyers
Buyers will have to shell out money for originating and processing the loan. Origination fees are typically 1% of the total amount of the loan. The bank will also add an application fee, which is usually around $300.
A potentially very advantageous fee that is optional is to buy points which allow buyers to reduce the long-term interest rate and thus the total amount they will pay for the loan. Points usually go for about 1% of the total loan value and allow buyers to receive a .25% reduction in the rate for every point they buy.
Buyers will also have to pay for the appraisal fee, which is usually between $300-500 dollars, $20-30 for a credit report, tax service fees, mortgage insurance, homeowner's insurance, property tax, and HOA dues. With the inclusion of HOA dues and mortgage insurance, these additional costs can easily add several thousand dollars to the home's purchase price.
It's Not Nailed Down Until It's Nailed Down
It's not nailed down and determined who's going to pay what costs until it is spelled out in the contract. Buyers should always make sure that the responsibility for payment is clearly defined and assigned in the contract. Buyers should always work closely with their real estate agent, attorney, and lender to confirm that everything is lined up and that everyone knows who's paying what and how much they're paying. The more open the communication, the less likely surprises will pop up and risk sinking the deal.
Ways to Save a Buck
Where there's a will, there's always a way to save money. It's possible to find mortgage lenders that don't charge origination fees. You can also find down-payment assistance programs and grants to cover closing costs. And, it's almost always possible to include the closing costs into the loan and pay these off over time. However, the disadvantage to this strategy is that you will end up paying them back with interest; thus, they will cost you more if you don't pay them off right away.
We know you have lots of questions about buying a home. We invite you to contact us to learn more about the closing costs associated with the Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale you have your eye on. We will be happy to give you the answers you need to make the best decision for your goals.
The time has finally arrived when you're ready to purchase a home. You found the perfect property, your finances are in order, and you're ready to make an offer. There's only one problem, so is every other buyer that's looking for their dream home. In a seller's market, our REALTORS® can help you move to the front of the line.
In a seller's market, buyers outnumber available homes for sale. Buyers often face bidding wars and full-price offers for Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale that don't sit on the market very long. You need to make your offer stand out so sellers will take notice!
If you're thinking about buying or selling on Long Island, contact us for information and prices on available properties that meet your needs.
Moving to a new city is an exciting time. A whole new place to explore, new friends to make, and new experiences to have. But it can also feel scary and a lot out of your comfort zone. Where will your new favorite pizza place be? Who will you go to yoga class with on Tuesday nights? It will take a little planning and a willingness to explore, but these tips will have your new city feeling like home in no time. Our REALTORS® are experts in the area and can help you to make the transition as simple as possible.
Make the most of your first few weeks and months in your new city. Trying just a few of these tips can help you feel like a local before you know it.
If you have any questions about things to do in your new town or you would like to learn more about homes for sale in your area, contact us for more information.
Our real estate agents are here to help you through every aspect of buying a home. From planning out your approach to finding your dream property, making a bid, and getting to closing day, we'll be there. And we know getting the right home begins months in advance.
The better a buyer is prepared, the easier it is to get through the process smoothly.
Any major goal has to be broken down into concrete steps you can take action on. The sooner you do this, the easier it is to clarify and navigate the journey ahead. It's essential to recognize and institute "good habits" related to home buying as soon as you can.
Which habits are the most important? These will get you on the right track:
A good real estate agent is the concierge who can guide and advise you from start to finish. With our team, you get exceptional customer service along with deep local insight.
Contact us when you're ready to start your Long Island home search.
Buying your first house is an exciting time and often filled with thoughts of new furniture, gallons of paint, and hardwood floors. It is wise to prepare for unexpected issues that can occur during the first year of homeownership.
That's especially true if you're used to the renter's life. There are plenty of things to consider when you--instead of a landlord--are responsible for maintenance of your new digs.
Don't panic. It just takes planning, and a willingness to embrace the inevitable surprises that come with owning a home. Our REALTORS® are here to help you make a seamless transition into your first year of owning a home.;
Shopping with the Future in Mind
One of the best things about moving from renting to owning is that your stuff now has a long-term home, too. For many first-time homeowners, that presents the opportunity to upgrade from the thrifty furnishings of an apartment to something more permanent for your own home. It's essential to keep an eye on finances during your first year, but that doesn't mean you can't pick up some new furnishings or decorative items for your home.
Maintenance Takes Time and Money
In the past, you may have called your landlord when there was an issue with your rental property. Now, you're responsible for maintaining your home. There are plenty of minor maintenance issues you can tackle DIY or contract out for a reasonable fee, but eventually, there will be bigger issues that may carry a more significant cost and require the help of an expert.
An Emergency Fund Is Your Friend
Since you can't always predict when a significant maintenance issue will pop up, it's crucial to have an emergency fund. Set aside some extra cash whenever you can, so that when something big arises – like roof or plumbing issues – you'll be able to cover it without breaking your budget. If there's a maintenance emergency, you'll be happy that you have some funds ready to address it quickly.
Renovations May Have to Wait
It's perfectly normal to dream about the upgrades that you'll make to your new home, but the first year isn't always the best time to tackle big renovation projects. Take some time to get used to owning a home, get comfortable with your budget, and decide which renovation projects are right for the home.
Prepare for the Cost of Utilities
Heating and cooling an apartment may not cost a ton, but some utility costs may increase when you make the upgrade to owning. Be prepared for extra monthly expenses, especially when it comes to heating and cooling.
Setting Priorities Is Crucial
Whether we're talking maintenance, renovation projects, or anything else around the house, setting priorities makes life much easier when owning a home. Make the most of your budget by prioritizing maintenance issues and projects. The to-do list never really ends, but for many, that is part of the joy of owning a home.
Are you a renter, and still searching for the right home to call your own? Our team is here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we help both new and experienced buyers find their ideal home.