First time home buyers: The Low down

For all of you first time homebuyers out there looking to navigate the home buying process those of us at CondoDomain have some helpful hints, important dates and information to share with you.

First and foremost, make sure you work out all of the kinks when it comes to mortgage financing. Find a great Boston mortgage broker who knows what they’re doing, can help you get a plan together given your financial needs and can explain the entire process in English, not finance lingo (We can help you with this!). There are now financing options that allow buyers to put less than the traditional 20% of the purchase price as your down payment. The FHA (Fair Housing Administration) offers a program where you can put as little as 3.5% down and MA Housing allows you to put as little as 5% down. With smaller down payments, buying a home has become much easier but with these programs come regulations and restrictions so make sure you’re working with people who ask the right questions. For example, % owner occupancy has become a very important component when it comes to financing. Make sure the building you are looking to purchase a unit in has a high rate of owner occupancy of 70% or higher if you’re looking to finance through FHA or MA Housing.

When you find a property you have an interest in pursuing, have your mortgage broker run the numbers to give you a sense of what your monthly mortgage payments would be like. Be sure to consider all of the costs associated with the unit- condo fees as well as expenses that would not be covered by your condo fee. Get comfortable with the numbers as part of your preparation to purchase.

Be aware of what closing costs will amount to between lender’s fees and real estate attorney’s fees and know that a home inspection usually costs around $450 dollars for your average Boston condo. The upside to the buying process is the money you’ll get back however. By choosing CondoDomain Boston to represent you- you’ll be getting your cash back refund at the end of the transaction! We’ll share our commission with you, offsetting some of these costs and making the whole buying process worth your while.

As a reminder, in order to be eligible for the first time or repeat homebuyer’s tax credit you must have your home under contract (meaning you’ve signed the purchase and sale agreement) by April 30, 2010 and have closed on your home on or before June 30, 2010. This gives you a solid month of search time to find the right place. So take advantage of the nice weather, visit open houses and let those of us at CondoDomain help you to set up appointments and check out properties.

For any questions regarding the home buying process or help with your search give me a call at 339.223.2827.

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