In Miami, as in many parts of the country, it has truly become a buyer’s market. The low price of homes and different government assistance programs has enticed first time home buyers to jump into the housing market head first and take on home moving like never before. While homeownership is exciting, it is a commitment that should not be entered into lightly.
Our Miami movers have helped many families move in and out of their homes over the last year and we want to provide prospective homeowners with pertinent information that will support informed decisions and economical choices.
There is a lot to learn when it comes to buying a home and American Van Lines Miami movers has seen many house moves, both successful and unfavorable. We have compiled information and resources that will help you start the journey with your wits about you. If you’re thinking about buying a home, you should consider the following:
• Budget – Before you contact a lender or go house hunting, create a budget and decide on a comfortable monthly payment. Even if you qualify for more than you expected, stick to the price range that is within your budget and try not to deviate from this price. Home moving is exciting, and it’s easy to get carried away.
• Taxes – Property taxes vary from district to district, keep this in mind and always ask what the taxes are when considering your home. These fees will greatly impact your mortgage payments. Our Miami movers suggest visiting your county’s website for information on property taxes for the current tax year.
Government Assistance Programs
There are different assistant programs available through the county where you are purchasing your home and also state assistantship programs that can cover portions or the entire expense of your down payment and/or closing costs. Visit your county and state websites for more information.
Unbeknownst to many first time home buyers there are a few upfront fees that you have to pay before signing your closing statement.
• Down payment – Conventional loans require at least 20% down. At the moment, Florida FHA loans require 3.5 % down, but this may change in the coming months. Visit the US Department of Urban Development (HUD) for more information.
• Appraisal fees – The value of your prospective home must be assessed before purchase so that your lender knows its limit on the amount of money to lend on the home. Most lenders will not give you more money than the home is worth.
• Inspections – Although inspections are not mandatory for most lenders it is strongly suggested. A home may seem fine at first sight, but an inspection can reveal many defects that an untrained eye cannot see. Inspection reports can also give you leverage in negotiating the price of the property.
• Closing costs – These are the fees due at closing. These fees cover various fees such as payment to the title company, your Realtor, Mortgage Company and other expenses. A common practice is to ask the seller to contribute 6% toward closing costs which in most cases covers all or most expenses.
Choosing a Lender (Bank)
Research & compare lenders before making a decision. Ask to be briefed on lending policies and ask as many questions as possible. Here are a few questions to get you started.
1. Interest rates – Compare your lender’s rates against the national average to ensure you’re getting a fair mortgage rate.
2. Monthly payments – Get estimates of your total monthly mortgage including taxes, insurance, principle and interest.
3. PMI – Also known as Primary Mortgage Insurance, PMI is the lender’s protection in case you default on your loan and can no longer make monthly payments. If you are able to put 20% down, you may not be required to purchase PMI. This fee is typically paid monthly and can be removed after you have paid enough towards the principal to cover the 20%. Remember, you must contact your lender to request the PMI is removed from your monthly payments. Most people forget or fail to make this request.
4. Hidden fees – Ask about any other possible hidden monthly charges.
5. Loan Application – The loan application seems like a mountain of paperwork. Review everything before signing and what you do not understand, review with your lender in detail so there are no surprises at closing.
Homeowner’s insurance is a requirement when borrowing funds from a lending institution. SHOP AROUND!!! Every company has different rates; do not go with the first quote you receive.
Information builds a society of informed consumers. American Van Lines, your primary Miami Movers hope to arm you with the information you need to be successful in your journey toward homeownership.
Visit your premier Miami movers frequently for more moving tips that will save you a lot in the long run. For affordable moving and storage options that are second to none, there is only one, American Van Lines.