home buying process
first time buyers
why use a realtor
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First Time Buyers


For many people, the thought of buying a home can be frightening. But it is only frightening when you are alone in an unfamiliar place. Well, here's some good news. Home ownership in America is at record levels, with many of them first time buyers, just like you. And the best news, you are not alone. Your MAINGATE associate will lead you through the home buying process, helping you every step of the way. We know what to expect on most occassions, and we will share that experience with you.

You probably have many questions. And every question is a good one. Questions like should you buy now or just keep renting, how much cash will you need, can you do this yourself or do you need a REALTOR, just to name a few. Well, we are glad you asked.

"Why should I buy, instead of rent?"

With every rent check you write, you're helping to build equity in someone else's property, most likely your landlord. That money could be going toward building equity in a home of your own. Today's interest rates are low enough that your house payment could be lower than your current rent payment!

There are many advantages to owning a home, including:

Satisfaction - Home ownership offers special advantages that make life more enjoyable - backyard barbecues, large family gatherings during holidays, a home workshop, a chance to enjoy your family's companionship in the privacy of your own home. You'll love the feeling of having something that's all yours - a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are. A thriving vegetable garden in the backyard, a tiled entryway, a yellow kitchen...when you own, you can do it all your way! But there's more to owning a home than personal satisfaction…

Security - A feeling of security that comes from owning a home and the knowledge that your home is a safeguard against inflation.

Investment - Payments on your mortgage loan mean you are acquiring a major possession; instead of rent, you own more and more. The garden you plant, the permanent improvements you make - all enhance your way of living as well as the value of your home. Another financial plus in owning a home is the possibility its value will go up through the years.

Tax Advantage - Your real estate taxes and the interest on your mortgage are deductible from your income tax. You can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes. And interest will compose nearly all of your monthly payment , for over half the number of years you'll be paying your mortgage. This adds up to hefty savings at the end of each year. And you're also allowed to deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. If you rent, you write your monthly check and it's gone forever.

Financial Independence - Most people start on the road to financial independence through home ownership. Your principal and interest payments remain the same for the full term of your mortgage while your rent usually goes up as the cost of living increases.

Environment - Your children grow up in the neighborhood of your choice.

Cash Equity - Better than a savings account, your home can appreciate to keep pace with inflation.

"How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?"

Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money - the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house.

When you make an offer on a home, your real estate broker will put your earnest money into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you.

The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Some types of loans require 10-20% of the purchase price. That's why many first-time homebuyers turn to HUD's FHA for help. FHA loans require only 3% down - and sometimes less.

Closing costs - which you will pay at settlement - average 3-4% of the price of your home. These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won't be caught by surprise. If you buy a HUD home ( ) HUD may pay many of your closing costs.

"Do I Need a REALTOR® ?"

A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes. and make the experience much easier.

Finding the right home is time consuming. With immediate access to homes as soon as they're put on the market, your REALTOR can save you hours of wasted driving-around time.

Real estate has its own language. If you don't know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it's important to work with someone who speaks that language.

REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you've done it before, laws and regulations change. That's why having an expert on your side is critical.

REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they'll every make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you. If you would like more information on the benefits of having a Realtor represent you in the purchase of a new home, contact MAINGATE @ 407-876-7250 or click here!

For specific questions about the home buying process, ask your MAINGATE sales associate.



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