When you’re buying a home, it can be difficult to estimate all of the costs involved. While some of our clients want to make a 20% down payment in order to eliminate PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), others need to put down as little money as possible when it comes to closing. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall, here’s a quick guide to determining your costs!
We’re often asked whether 100% financing is still available. This is a type of loan that was more common about 5 years ago, but it’s become a difficult product to find in our current real estate market. These loans are popular among a wide range of buyers – from first time home buyers to divorcees to retirees – because they offer a $0 down payment. These loans do not apply to all homes and all price ranges, so be sure to ask your lender what his/her guidelines include to see if you qualify.
How Much are Typical Down Payments and Closing Costs?
Most home loans require 3.5-5% down payment, which can range from $7,000 to $10,000 for a $200,000 home (depending on whether you choose an FHA or conventional loan). Add buyer closing costs, which generally include a home inspection, attorney fees, flood certificate, appraisal, credit fees, etc. A good rule of thumb for estimate closing costs is about 3% of the purchase price. Based on these costs, you’ll see why 100% financing is so popular among home buyers who don’t have a lot of cash to put down on their new home!
How Can I Reduce My Out-of-Pocket Expenses When Buying a Home?
If you’re considering pre-owned/existing homes, talk with your real estate agent about asking for the seller to pay up to a certain amount of your closing costs on your written offer to purchase. If you’re looking at new construction homes, know that some builders offer incentives to pay partial closing costs if you use their preferred lender and/or attorney. Also, some builders have partnered with lenders to offer 100% financing on their homes. Your loan officer and real estate agent can help you determine which route (100% financing or getting closing costs paid) is best for you.
Options in the Charleston, SC Market
In the $150-200K price range, the local builder Hunter Quinn Homes is currently offering both options as incentives. You can either get:
- Up to $3,000 paid in closing costs when you use the preferred lender (Tricia McCarthy at Starkey Mortgage) and closing attorney (Weeks and Irvine)
- 100% financing through Cameron Smith at Regions Mortgage
You can learn more about their incentives on the Hunter Quinn Homes website.
Or if you’re looking in a different price range and area, contact us to see what your current options are. The best way to estimate your closing costs and to know which type of loan is right for you will be to get pre-approved through a lender. This way, you’ll know what price range you should be looking in, and you’ll have more negotiating power when it comes to making an offer to purchase a home! When you are ready to start searching for Real Estate in Charleston, check out our MLS!