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Your Savings and Down Payment

Your First Step Toward Buying a Home

When preparing to buy a home, the first thing many homebuyers do is look at the real estate ads in newspapers, magazines and listings on the Internet. Some potential buyers read how-to articles like this one. The next thing you should do - before you call on an ad, before you talk to a REALTOR®, before you shop for interest rates - is look at your savings.

Why?

Because determining how much money you have available for down payment and closing costs affects almost every aspect of buying a home - including how you write your purchase offer, the loan programs you qualify for, and shopping for interest rates.

Mortgage Programs

If you only have enough available for a minimum down payment, your choices of loan program will be limited to only a few types of mortgages. If someone is giving you a gift for all or part of the down payment, your options are also limited. If you have enough for the down payment, but need the lender or seller to cover all or part of your closing costs, this further limits your options. If you borrow all or a portion of the down payment from your 401K or retirement plan, different loan programs have different rules on how you qualify.

Of course, if you have enough for a large down payment, then you have lots of choices.

Your loan choices include such varied programs as conventional fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages, buydowns, VA, FHA, graduated payment mortgages and all the varieties of each.

Shopping for Rates

A very important reason you need to have at least some idea of your down payment is for shopping for interest rates. Some loan programs charge a slightly higher interest rate for minimal down payments. Plus, the interest rates for different loan programs are not the same. For example, conventional, VA, and FHA all offer fixed rate loans. However, the rates vary from one program to another.

If you shop lenders by phone, the loan officer will be able to tell you which programs fit and quote your rates accordingly. However, if you are shopping on the Internet, you have to develop some idea of your loan program on your own.

Writing Your Offer

Another reason you need to have a clue about your down payment is because it affects how you write your offer to purchase a home. Not only are you required to put your down payment information in the offer, but also different loan programs have different rules that also affect how you write your offer. This is especially important when dealing with FHA and VA loans.

If you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs, you have to be certain your loan program allows what you are asking. For smaller down payments, lenders allow the seller to pay less closing costs than for larger down payments. Some loan programs will allow a seller to pay certain types of costs, but not others.

Finally, your down payment also affects your ability to qualify for a loan. When you make a small down payment, lenders are fairly strict about having you conform to their underwriting guidelines. For larger down payments, they will tend to make allowances or exceptions to the rules.

Conclusion

As you can see, the down payment affects every choice you make when you buy a home. Although you should look at ads, familiarize yourself with neighborhoods, learn about prices, and read as much as you can - when you get ready to take action - the first thing you should do is figure out how much money you have available for the purchase.

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Testimonials

HI My name is Steve Woodhatch from Sydney Australia.I have bought and sold many properties right across Australia. I am writing of my experience with Dan Reedy from MORE Property. I bought 3 properties from Dan Reedy,and had never bought in USA or knew much about Kansas City Mo,till I heard Dan Reedys radio show. After listening and thought this guy knows what he is talking about I dropped him an email,and made the long trip From Australia to Kansas City mo. I also went to about 4 other states and spoke and looked at many properties,but I found Dan to be the most ethical and Knowledgable as regards the many different markets in Kansas city from Properties in the hood right up to the most expensive suburbs.I will be buying more from Dan. And his wife Nancy is very proficient in accounts and the rental side of the buisness which is one of the most important parts of owning Real estate. Kind Regards Steve Woodhatch Sydney,Australia Steve Woodhatch
It is with much pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation regarding Dan Reedy and his agency, MORE KC. As an overseas investor, finding excellent management was crucial for me, and I feel very fortunate to have Dan and his team looking after my properties. He and his wife Nancy offer a complete real estate service, ranging from rehabbing, to carrying our repairs, finding tenants, and managing the tenancies. Dan is an excellent communicator, which is of paramount importance to the overseas investor. Whenever I have cause to email him, he invariably replies on the same day, and more often within the hour. If urgent repairs need to be carried out, Dan always manages to sort things out immediately, and I always receive his friendly email saying ‘all done’ once things are back in order. Nancy runs the rental side of things like clockwork, with rental statements always delivered on time. The Property Ware software used by MORE KC is brilliant, and because Nancy and her team are vigilant about keeping it up-to-date, owners can log in at any time to check on the current state of bills, repairs, payments, leases etc. I have no hesitation in recommending MORE KC to any property investor, and particularly to out-of-state and overseas investors, who can feel confident that their properties are in good hands. Yours sincerely, Diana Masters Diane Masters
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Dan Reedy 816-767-1188

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