Chesterfield Federal Credit Union can help you every step of the way.
Chesterfield Federal Credit Union offers a variety of calculators to help you determine exactly what costs you can expect with a home mortgage so you can determine what you can afford. Knowing how much you can afford helps with your home search.
Before you go shopping for your home, you need to know how much money you have available to spend. Chesterfield Federal Credit Union has partnered with LenderSelect Mortgage, who can help you determine how much home you can afford, then "put it in writing” in a mortgage pre-approval letter. Even if you contact a real estate agent first, the agent will urge you to have a mortgage pre-approval letter so they know which price range of homes to show you.
Want better buying power? Go a step further and get complete approval for financing before making an offer on a house. Having a full approval in advance can help you get the best deal possible, even if you plan to make a small down payment. Provide a written confirmation of this approval when the offer is made and you will be perceived as solid as a cash buyer.
LenderSelect Mortgage offers excellent rates on mortgage loans. You can apply for your loan onlineOpens in New Window, or contact Marlon White at 804-616-4414.
A real estate agent is a person who acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of real estate. They have tools to help find the perfect house for you, have experience with the sales process and can help guide you through making your offer and signing your contract.
Once you find the house you want to purchase, your real estate agent will prepare an offer. Offers typically have at least three components: the purchase price, the closing date, and how long the offer is good for. To determine an appropriate offering price, you agent will probably look at "comps” – similar houses that have sold in the neighborhood. Other considerations are how long the house has been on the market and whether there are other buyers making competing offers.
In a slow housing market, it is common to offer less than the asking price. Conversely, in a hot market, where it is not unusual for there to be multiple offers on one house, it is common to offer more than the asking price.
Many offers have additional components, such as seller concessions, inclusions, and contingencies. Seller concessions are costs that the seller pays for the buyer, which reduce the amount of money the seller receives. Typical concessions include closing costs and cash back for repairs or renovations. Inclusions refer to what stays in the house. If you want the appliances, blinds, chandeliers, or anything else, make sure to put it in the offer. Contingencies are conditions that must be met in order for the sale to go through. A home inspection, financing, and an appraisal are common contingencies.
Once the offer is written, your agent will present it to the seller. Along with the offer, it is customary to give the seller earnest money, also called a good faith deposit. Usually the amount is between 1-3% of the offered purchase price, but customs vary from place to place. This money is part of the down payment and shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the house. The money should go in an escrow account, not given directly to the seller. The seller will accept, counter, or reject the offer. If the seller accepts the offer, the house is taken off the market and you are under contract. The only way to legally cancel the contract is if a contingency is not met. Otherwise, if you walk away from the house, you lose your earnest money deposit.
When sellers counter, usually it is with a higher purchase price but they can also counter on the closing date, concessions, inclusions, and contingencies. You can accept their counter or respond with your own. If you do not get the first house you put an offer on, try not to get discouraged. There are likely many houses out there that meet your needs.
Closing is the day that the mortgage is finalized and the title of the house is transferred to you. In many states, closing is handled by the title company. If not, it may be handled by a closing company or attorney. You will need to bring photo identification and a cashier’s check for the amount you are paying for closing costs and the down payment.
There will be a lot of paperwork to sign but do not feel rushed. You have a right to review the documents at least 24 hours before closing. Make sure that you understand them. You may want to hire a real estate lawyer to accompany you to closing and explain what everything means. The documents you will be signing include the:
If you see any unexpected fees or the mortgage terms are vastly different from what you discussed, don’t just sign the documents – ask the lender to explain them.
After you get through the mountain of the paperwork, you will receive the keys to your new home. You are now a homeowner!
Once you close on your house, don't forget about saving money on your home insurance with Chesterfield Federal Credit Union. Our TruStage Home Insurance program offers great rates on home insurance through trusted agencies such as Liberty Mutual.
First Time Home-buyer's GuideOpens in New Window (PDF eBook)