Like careful consumers who are investigating any major purchase, St. Cloud home buyers need to address some of the same basic queries. Among home buyers, those who already own St. Cloud homes may think they have different questions than do first-timers, but even for those who have successfully navigated the process before, if it’s been a while since then, some basics may need refreshing:
1. Should I buy or rent? This is quite rightly the lead question any St. Cloud home buyer needs to answer. It’s not one that many St. Cloud residents who are already home owners spend a lot of time on since the answer for their own family has already been a “yes.” For them, unless some major changes have come to pass, they can safely assume that homeownership is still a no-brainer.
2. How do I get started? There are two good answers here: Get a mortgage pre-approval, and/or tap the services of a greate St. Cloud Realtor®. Although a lender’s pre-approval isn’t a requirement, getting a green light in advance can’t help but create a positive atmosphere with sellers and their representatives. It demonstrates serious intent—and in a competitive situation could even wind up winning the day.
3. What’s the right credit score to buy a house? 620-650. Okay, okay—I know there’s actually no number that’s truly the “right” credit score for all circumstances. It depends on so many possible outside factors that the exceptions are too numerous to list. That 620 number (and higher) does seem to be one that lenders like to see; with 580 the common minimum low down payment FHA qualifier…but that can even be less in order to qualify for the FHA 10% down payment program. The only bullet-proof answer for the “right” credit score is—the best one you can build!
4. How much will the down payment be? This one depends on the St. Cloud property you choose, the home loan you select—and also, to a degree, on how much you want to pay. It used to be common sense that you should pay as much as you can afford in order to minimize the amount of interest you wind up paying over the life of the home loan. But with interest rates as low as they are today, some financial gurus are less confident about that advice: there may be more lucrative ways cash can be put to work.
5. How much do I have to pay my agent? Nothing. The buyer’s agent fee is paid by the seller.
6. Should I use a real estate broker? This answer comes from the HUD.gov website: “Using a real estate broker is a very good idea.” As HUD says, “the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling.”
Needless to say, that last Top Home Buyer FAQ is a personal favorite. It’s really just another way of saying, “call me!”