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If you are ‘pre-qualified’ you have determined with a loan officer what price you can afford based on the down payments, your debts, and the amount the mortgage company will approve for your mortgage. Being ‘pre-qualified’ is only a determination of your probable credit. If you are ‘pre-approved’, your credit, employment, and funds have been approved by a lender and makes any offer you make much more attractive to potential sellers.
Closing costs are accumulations of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For buyers, they are usually 4-7% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closings costs you might encounter are application fees, appraisal fee, county taxes, credit report, discount points, documentation fee, escrow fees, homeowners association fees, loan fees, mortgage insurance, origination fees, tax registration, and title insurance.
One point is equal to 1% of the new loan amount. Whenever government regulation, state usury laws, and/or competitive practices prohibit the lender from changing a rate of interest that would make a real estate loan competitive with other fields of investments, the lender must seek some method of increasing the yield for the investors. By charging ‘points’, the lender can bring the real estate loan up to those other investments.
When you make an offer, you will need to put up an earnest money deposit as a sign of good faith that you are seriously interested in buying a home. That deposit becomes a part of the purchase price and is held in a trust account until there is a full acceptance of the offer. Typically an earnest deposit is 5-10% of the offer.
Title insurance protects the named insured against loss of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims, or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.
Refer to this site for more information on tax credit for first-time home buyers.
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