Closing Costs To Consider When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MI

Closing Costs To Consider When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MI

Closing Costs To Consider When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MI

Buying a home in Farmington Hills MI involves more money out-of-pocket than just the down payment. There are also closing costs to consider. Closing costs refer to the charges and fees that are paid when a house purchase is finalized.

Typically, the buyer’s closing costs include mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, appraisal fees, property taxes, reserves to set up escrow, and various fees that lenders typically charge, among others – while the seller covers ownership transfer fees and pays a commission to their real estate agent.

Farmington Hills MI Homes for Sale

The total cost can often come as a shock to first-time homebuyers who may only be looking at coming up with the amount of their down payment. Understanding what closing costs cover and budgeting for them will smooth out the final stretch of the home buying process. Lender fees can be the most significant of all closing costs.

How much can a buyer expect to pay?

Average closing costs for the buyer will typically run between 2% and 5% of the loan amount.  On a $300,000 home purchase, for example, you could expect to pay from $6,000 to $15,000 In closing costs. Much depends on the points and origination fees a lender charges to make the loan. The points, together with any origination fee will be included in the Origination Charges section of your Loan Estimate.

The government requires lenders to list closing costs and the amount of cash you’ll need to have on hand at the time of settlement on every mortgage applicant’s Loan Estimate. The lender should provide the loan estimate to potential borrowers within three days of submitting an application. The Loan Estimate details the terms of your loan, including:

  • Expenses, with clear “yes” or “no” answers to important questions, such as whether each amount can increase after closing, whether your loan includes a prepayment penalty or a balloon payment, and which expenses are included in your escrow account 
  • The projected monthly mortgage payment, including taxes, insurance, and other assessments 
  • Estimated closing costs and the amount of cash you’ll need to have on hand at the time of settlement 
  • Information on services you can, and cannot, shop for — such as pest inspections, survey fees, and the home appraisal 

The Closing Disclosure provides the same information as the Loan Estimate but in final form. This means that it contains the locked-in costs of your loan and the specific amount you’ll need to pay at closing. You’ll receive this document three days before your scheduled loan closing.

Non-recurring and recurring closing costs 

There are over 35 closing cost items that you may be required to pay, which can be separated into two categories: non-recurring and recurring:

Non-recurring closing costs are paid once at closing and never again. Non-recurring closing costs are the fees that most mortgage borrowers are familiar with and may include the following items: 

  • Title policy
  • Escrow or closing
  • Appraisal
  • Credit report
  • Notary
  • Wire fees
  • Courier and delivery
  • Attorney fees
  • Endorsements
  • Recording
  • Jurisdictional transfer taxes
  • Home protection plan
  • Natural hazard disclosure
  • Home inspection
  • Fees paid to the lender in conjunction with the loan 

Although non-recurring closing costs are set by the specific service provider, you may be able to comparison shop and negotiate some of the fees to lower your closing costs.   

Recurring closing costs are those charges that you will pay again and again. They are paid either monthly or yearly as time goes on. Recurring closing costs include items such as:  

  • Fire insurance premium
  • Flood insurance (if required in your area)
  • Property taxes
  • Mutual or private mortgage insurance premiums
  • Prepaid interest
  • HOA fees

You will be required to pay a portion of these ongoing expenses when the loan closes. Additionally, depending on the time of year your loan closes and your local property tax rate, the amount of property tax you are required to pay at closing can be significant, especially if your loan closes earlier in the year and you’re required to pay several months of property taxes in advance.

If you are required to use an impound or escrow account after your loan closes for your mortgage payment, property tax, homeowners insurance, and other expenses, you may also be required to pre-pay certain expenses. These additional recurring closing costs are due at closing.   

Seller Credit  

Buyers with limited funds can utilize a Seller Credit to help significantly reduce their out-of-pocket costs and enable them to purchase a property they would be unable to buy otherwise. A seller credit also referred to as: sales concessions, seller paid costs, or seller contributions –  is money the seller gives the buyer to pay for closing costs. Some or all of the closing costs, including your property taxes and personal hazard/fire insurance, may be paid for by the seller. 

If the seller pays all your closing costs, you will only pay your down payment. By law, the seller cannot pay for any portion of your down payment. Also, homebuyers cannot receive cash from the seller – not even one dollar.

In order to get a seller credit, you must have it included in your Purchase and Sale Agreement.  The lender doesn’t handle the negotiation of a seller credit. Ask your Farmington Hills MI REALTORⓇ to negotiate it for you (it’s part of the price negotiation of the home).  

A seller credit allows the buyer to finance his closing costs into the new loan amount. The lender must approve the credit and the home’s value must merit the increase in the sale price as determined by an appraisal. Be sure to always check with your lender before you negotiate an offer that involves a seller credit because the lender might not allow it.

Lenders limit what the buyer and a seller credit can pay for. For example, the lender might limit your credit to 3% of the purchase price if you’re financing 100% of the purchase price. Or, depending on your FICO score and the amount of your down payment, the lender might allow a seller to credit you as much as 6% of the purchase price. 

Help with closing costs 

There are also grants and loans available to help with closing costs. If you qualify, you could receive thousands of dollars to help with your mortgage costs. Oftentimes, closing cost assistance is offered by a HUD-approved local or state housing commission, or a mortgage lender. These agencies set aside a certain amount of funds for closing cost grants for low-to-moderate-income borrowers.

Check out the resources below to locate and learn about programs you may qualify for:

Requirements to qualify for closing cost assistance vary by program, and income caps and maximum loan amounts are common. You don’t always have to be a first-time homebuyer to get financial aid.

Many programs are available to repeat buyers or former homeowners who haven’t owned property in the last 3 years. 

Partner with Highly-rated Farmington Hills MI REALTOR -Tom Gilliam

With over 20 years of real estate experience, Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted Farmington Hills MI REALTORⓇ – offering his guidance and expertise to area home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust.

Farmington Hills MI Homes for Sale

You can be assured that Tom will protect your best interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you towards the best results possible. Get the process started today by contacting Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch with him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Farmington Hills MI

 

Article sources:

Oakland County MI First-time Home Buyers: FHA Loans 101

Oakland County MI First-time Home Buyers: FHA Loans 101

 Oakland County MI First-time Home Buyers: FHA Loans 101

While most people consider homeownership the American dream, many are not able to qualify for a conventional loan, which is a type of mortgage loan that’s not insured or guaranteed by the government. Unlike conventional loans, FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and help to take some of the risk from lenders and place it on the government for higher-risk borrowers. Although the government insures the loans, they are actually offered by FHA-approved mortgage lenders.

The FHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), offers a wide range of loans to help different groups of people. FHA loans are helpful for Oakland County MI home buyers with limited savings and/or lower credit scores as they allow for down payments as low as 3.5% and a 580 FICO.  These types of loans are not only for first-time home buyers. Repeat buyers can get an FHA loan as long as they use it to buy a primary residence. FHA loans can also be used to refinance your home or for repairs on an older home.  

How FHA Loans Work

The Federal Housing Administration’s flexible underwriting standards allow borrowers who may not have stellar credit, high incomes, and/or cash savings the opportunity to become homeowners. With an FHA loan, borrowers must pay mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan. The cost of insuring your loan is generally higher than with conventional mortgages, and you can expect to pay higher mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) each month. Government-guaranteed mortgages are not available on high-priced homes, and you can see the cap in your area using the online tool on HUD’s website.

The differences between an FHA loan and a conventional loan 

When buying a home in Oakland County MI, It’s easier to qualify for an FHA loan than for a conventional loan, which is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. FHA loans require mortgage insurance regardless of the down payment amount, compared to conventional loans where you need mortgage insurance for down payments under 20%. FHA mortgage insurance payments will be the same regardless of your credit score.

FHA loans

  • More rigid property standards
  • Lower credit scores allowed 
  • Somewhat higher down payment needed
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required for down payments of less than 20%

Conventional loans

  • Higher credit score needed (at least 620)
  • Slightly smaller down payments allowed
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required for down payments of less than 20%
  • More liberal property standards

One of the biggest advantages of an FHA loan is that only a 3.5% down payment is required for a home loan purchase (with a minimum 580 credit score). This is a lot less than other conventional types, which will ask anywhere from 5 to 20%. It’s worth noting that If you were to combine the FHA loan with a down payment assistance program, it could potentially mean that you would only need to put 0.5% down.

With an FHA loan, the down payment doesn’t have to come directly from the borrower; It can come from a family member, employer, or charitable organization as a gift. Also, if you prepay your mortgage before a certain amount of time, many conventional lenders will charge a prepayment penalty. With an FHA loan, there is no penalty for prepayment.

FHA loan limits for Oakland County MI in 2021

No matter which type of FHA loan you’re seeking, there will be limits on the mortgage amount. These limits vary by county. Limits for FHA Loans in Oakland County, Michigan range from $356,362 for a 1 living-unit home to $685,400 for 4 living-units.   

The different types of FHA loans

Loan qualification guidelines are fairly similar across the various types of FHA loans available:

  • Fixed-rate loans – Available in fixed-rate terms between 15 and 30 years, FHA mortgages come with a low down payment advantage- one of the lowest on the market.
  • Adjustable-rate loans – An FHA adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) comes with an interest rate that “adjusts” over the loan’s term; generally increasing. Many people are drawn to ARM mortgages because they offer initial rates significantly lower than a fixed-rate product.
  • FHA 245(a) loan – An FHA 245(a) loan packs a fixed rate graduated-payment mortgage, also known as a “growing equity mortgage.” Graduated payment mortgages structure your monthly payment to scheduled increases over the life of your loan. As your loan amortizes, you’ll reach a point in time when your equity starts gaining traction. These mortgages are set up in 30-year terms, but it’s not uncommon to pay off the loan early depending on which graduated plan you choose.
  • FHA energy efficient mortgage – The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program is a financing add-on that allows FHA borrowers to roll the cost of approved energy efficiency upgrades into their home loan. Homebuyers commonly use this program to update their home’s windows, HVAC systems, and insulation.
  • FHA loans for mobile homes – It is possible to use an FHA loan to finance a manufactured or mobile home, but finding a lender willing to approve financing may take a few tries.  
  • FHA loans for condos – Many are surprised to find that they can purchase a condo using the FHA loan. Since some condo associations enforce rules regarding property sales and improvements, however, there are some restrictions when it comes to using your FHA loan for a condo.
  • FHA 203(k) – Compared to other types of FHA products, 203(k) loans offer the opportunity for buyers to purchase fixer-uppers while financing additional funds for home repairs and renovations into the mortgage.
  • FHA reverse mortgage (HECM) – FHA Reverse mortgages are used as a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). This allows a qualified homeowner to receive monthly cash disbursements by liquidating the equity they’ve built up in their home.

How to qualify for an FHA loan

Getting prequalified for an HOA loan is a simple and quick process, and can even be done over the phone. Your loan officer will require information about your basic finances, such as debt, income, and assets.  After running these numbers and evaluating them, he/she can tell you an amount you may qualify to borrow. To be eligible for an FHA loan, borrowers must meet the following lending criteria:

  • A FICO score of 500 to 579 with 10 percent down or a FICO score of 580 or higher with 3.5 percent down.
  • Verifiable employment history for the last two years.
  • Income is verifiable through pay stubs, federal tax returns, and bank statements.
  • The loan is used for a primary residence.
  • The property is appraised by an FHA-approved appraiser and meets HUD property guidelines.
  • Your front-end debt ratio (monthly mortgage payments) should not exceed 31% of your gross monthly income.
  • Your back-end debt ratio (mortgage, plus all monthly debt payments) should not exceed 43% of your gross monthly income. (Lenders may allow a ratio of up to 50% in some cases).
  • If you’ve had a bankruptcy, you will need to wait 12 months to two years to apply, or three years after a foreclosure. (Lenders may make exceptions on waiting periods for borrowers with extenuating circumstances).

Your credit score

The minimum credit score for an FHA loan is 500. If your score falls between 500 and 579, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but you’ll need to make a larger down payment. Again, these are FHA guidelines — individual lenders can opt to require a higher minimum credit score.

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

The FHA requires a DTI of less than 50, meaning that your total monthly debt payments can’t be more than 50% of your pretax income. This includes debts that you aren’t actively paying off.

FHA closing costs

FHA closing costs include the mortgage insurance (MIP), lender and third-party fees, and prepaid items that are due when signing your mortgage paperwork. Here’s the breakdown:

  • FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP) totals 1.75% of your loan amount, due at closing. You can also finance this charge as a part of your loan. You’ll also find that an additional ongoing FHA MIP of 0.45% to 1.05% is built into your monthly payment. While the rate remains the same for the life of the loan, the premium is adjusted annually based on the remaining principal loan balance.
  • Lender fees typically include an origination fee, underwriting fee, document preparation fee, supplemental loan origination fee (for FHA 203(k) renovation loans only), and interest rate lock fee.
  • You may also decide to buy discount points (a prepaid interest that lowers your loan’s interest rate), which will be listed as a lender fee.
  • Third-party fees include fees for services offered by other providers and could include Title insurance policy premium (for the lender and an option for the buyer to purchase as well), notary fee, credit report fee, Recording fees, appraisal fee, courier fee, attorney fees, and flood certification fee.
  • Prepaid items are fees that are paid in advance, with some shared between buyer and sellers such as tax and insurance escrow deposit, flood and hazard insurance premiums, real estate taxes, and per diem interest.

In summary 

Whether an FHA loan vs a conventional loan is the better choice, when buying a home in Oakland County MI, really depends on the situation as each borrower, financial situation, and home are different. Likewise, each loan has its benefits. An FHA loan is more flexible to obtain, but no matter how large your down payment, you will have to pay mortgage insurance. Whereas, a conventional loan requires a higher credit score and more money down, but doesn’t have as many provisions. You’ll want to speak with your mortgage professional to discuss which loan makes more sense for your individual financial situation and needs.

Partner with award-winning Oakland County MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Oakland MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to both home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, he will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and guide you towards a smooth and successful transaction.   

Whether you are ready to buy a home in Oakland County MI or its time to list your your current property, feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch with him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

 

 

Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

Key Real Estate Roles When Buying or Selling a Farmington Hills MI Home

There are many types of professionals that work within the real estate industry. Knowing the key real estate roles and what they offer can be very helpful if you’re looking to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI or sell your existing property. In this article, we are going to discuss the similarities and differences of the different real estate roles, including real estate agents, brokers, REALTORS®, listing agents, and buyers’ agents, and how they each can bring value to a transaction: 

What Is a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is an industry professional who serves as the facilitator of real estate transactions. Agents are licensed salespersons and cannot work independently. Real estate agents work for brokers or agencies and are normally paid on a commission basis, which is a percentage of the sale price of a property. The employing broker is responsible for a real estate agents’ actions and requirements for a real estate salesperson license vary from state to state.

Real estate agents are ultimately responsible for bringing buyers and sellers together and for carrying offers and counteroffers between each party along with any queries they may have. An agent will work with another agent once an offer is accepted, guide clients through the process of filling out paperwork, and make sure their clients are aware of any requirements to complete the sale, such as home inspections, moving, and important dates like the closing.  

What is a real estate broker?

A real estate broker is a step above a real estate agent. A broker typically will have more training and subject-matter education than an agent (but not always) and will typically handle some of the more technical aspects of a real estate transaction. A broker can work independently or hire real estate agents to work under them.

Brokers who work with buyers normally look for properties that match the criteria set forth by their clients, conduct negotiations, prepare offers, and help the buyers with any other issues leading up to the closing date. Sellers’ brokers determine market values of their clients’ properties, list and show properties, communicate with sellers about offers, and assist in the offer process. A broker associate is a real estate broker who works for another real estate broker or a brokerage firm.

Although brokers can work for themselves, they may choose to join a larger real estate network. Some pay a flat fee to the employing broker and some earn a percentage of each transaction. Brokers receive a commission once a sale is completed.  The listing agreement or contract generally outlines how much of a percentage of the sale will go to the broker.

What is a REALTOR®?

Not all real estate agents or real estate brokers are REALTORS®. Although the word “realtor” is commonly confused with that of “real estate agent,” the designation is open to a variety of professions within the real estate industry. A REALTOR® can include residential and commercial real estate agents, brokers, property managers, appraisers, and other real estate professionals.

“REALTOR®” is a title that means the individual belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is bound by an extensive code of ethics, is an expert in their field, and pays annual dues.  REALTORS® are expected to be honest and transparent with their clients, avoid exaggeration and misrepresentation, and always conduct business with their clients’ best interest in mind.  

What Is a listing agent?

A listing agent can be a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Listing agents owe a fiduciary responsibility to the seller under a listing agreement and must protect that interest. In other words, the agent must put your interests first.  Listing agents have a comprehensive understanding of how the real estate market works and how to market and price a property effectively. 

Their responsibilities include listing the property on various listing services; negotiating prices, contingencies, and conditions on behalf of the seller; scheduling showings, pricing and advertising the property; property, and help with the closing paperwork.

Most listing agents require sellers to sign exclusive selling agreements. By doing so, the agent secures a commission for his or her brokerage upon closing. The brokerage then shares a portion of the commission with the agent. 

What is a buyer’s agent?

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who guides a buyer through the process of purchasing a home. A buyer’s agent has a legal obligation to protect the interests of the buyer and work to ensure they are getting the best deal possible. Although there are some real estate agents who specialize in working with buyers, most agents work as either a buyer’s agent or listing agent, depending on the specific transaction. 

A buyer’s agent is responsible for acting as a resource for their clients by guiding them through each step of the home buying process. They find listings for the buyer, schedule showings, negotiate with the listing agent, recommend other real estate professionals such as real estate attorneys, inspectors, etc.; and guide and advise the buyer through closing.

Typically, it’s the seller who pays the commission for both the buyer’s agent and listing agent. If buyers are unable to find a home to purchase, the buyer’s agent doesn’t get paid.

The takeaway

Whether you are buying a home in Farmington Hills MI or it’s time to list your property, knowing the types of real estate professionals can help you make informed decisions. For example, when you hire a real estate agent, you may also want to dig into the real estate broker’s reputation, since that’s who the agent works for.

You may also prefer to work with a REALTOR® since they are held to a high ethical standard. Regardless of the type of real estate professional you work with, make sure they are experienced, knowledgeable, skilled, appropriately licensed, and have a stellar reputation.

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, he will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure the best results possible. 

Feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch with him by email.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI

The Closing Process When Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI: A real estate closing, also called a settlement, is the process of transferring ownership of a home from the seller to the buyer. In the context of real estate, “closing” is basically synonymous with “signing.” Reviewing and signing documents is the bulk of what a home buyer does during this process. But that’s not all that happens.

Summary: Come closing day, the buyer and seller will sign all the necessary papers to officially seal the deal; the property title and ownership get transferred from the seller to the buyer; the home buyer will sign a variety of documents prepared by the escrow/closing agent and will also pay whatever closing costs are due; and agent commissions and other funds are distributed by the escrow agent. 

The closing process is usually managed by an escrow agent and sometimes an attorney who specializes in handling real estate closings and preparing the related documents. In some states, the home buyer and seller can close separately at different dates and times. While in other states, both parties must attend closing at the same time and sit at the same table with their respective real estate agents and/or attorneys. 

Even though you and the seller may agree on a closing date, your agent will probably work with your lender and title agency to suggest a timeline that allows them enough time to correctly execute their end of the deal.  

The Steps at Closing

While the logistics mentioned above can vary, the steps at closing are basically the same.  

  • The home buyer will bring a cashier’s check to cover all remaining closing costs and fees. 
  • The property title will be signed over from the homeowner to the buyer, thus transferring ownership.
  • The closing agent (or lawyer or notary) will register the new deed with the appropriate government office. After that, the home buyer will be listed as the official owner of the property. 
  • The respective real estate agent(s) involved in the transaction will receive their commission fees. 
  • The seller will receive any proceeds they earned from the sale, once their mortgage balance and closing costs have been paid off.

Closing day documents

A real estate transaction is a complex process that involves a lot of paperwork, and there are many documents that buyers will need to sign on closing day. Fortunately, the escrow or closing agent will have all of the required documents prepared and ready for the buyer’s signature upon arrival at closing. 

There will be mortgage-related documents, legal disclosures, tax records, and more. It’s not uncommon for buyers to sign their name over a dozen times before all is said and done. Buyers will have to sign the property deed, bill of sale, mortgage agreement and note, transfer tax declaration, and closing disclosure. 

Once the buyer has finished signing all of the closing documents, and all funds have been properly distributed, the deed of ownership will transfer from the homeowner to the buyer. If it is a joint closing, the seller will then hand over the keys. If it is a separate closing, the seller’s agent might deliver the keys (This can vary).

How Farmington Hills MI homebuyers can prepare in the days leading up to closing

Knowing what happens in the days leading up to closing can reduce some of the stress and help ensure a smooth transaction. Here is what you can typically expect to happen: Your mortgage lender will send you a closing disclosure a few days prior to closing. Among other things, the closing disclosure shows how much the buyer has to pay in closing costs. The buyer will then need to obtain a cashier’s check in the amount stated in the closing disclosure.

In some cases, the buyer might wire the money to the title/escrow company, rather than paying by cashier’s check. Typically, the buyer brings a copy of the homeowner’s insurance policy to the closing, or an insurance binder, depending on what the lender requires. During the week prior to closing, last-minute underwriting issues may also be resolved in some cases. 

What Farmington Hills MI homebuyers need to bring on closing day

Buyers need to bring all necessary paperwork with them to closing to make sure nothing is missing, different, or overlooked. Some important documents include: 

  • Cashier’s or certified check – You’ll pay your closing costs with a certified check or a wire transfer from escrow.
  • Proof of homeowners insurance – Lenders require an insurance policy before closing   
  • Photo ID – You’ll need to bring a government-issued identification for the title company.

Closing day check list

Review the following checklist to make sure that you have everything in order so that the closing day process runs as smooth as possible:

  • Contact the closing agent – Once you know who your closing agent is and where they’re located,  contact their offices to see if they have any special instructions for you. They’ll typically have a list of items you’ll need to bring.
  • Review your closing documents – Legally, you should receive your closing documents 3 business days prior to closing. Make sure you read them so you understand what you’re signing and check for any errors. Double-check all of the basics: spelling, numbers, names, etc.  
  • Check the fees – Your most recent loan estimate should be close to your closing disclosure. Some fees may change a little, but there shouldn’t be any big surprises at this stage.
  • Review seller responsibilities – Review your final walk-through checklist to make sure the seller has taken care of all their responsibilities.
  • Be payment ready – Expect to write the check for closing costs. Plan in advance if you are transferring funds from another account so they are cleared.

How much It costs to close on a house in Farmington Hills MI 

Closing costs are the fees that third parties charge and typically include the home inspection fee, premium for homeowners insurance, appraisal fee, credit report charges, attorney expenses, and so forth. Some of these fees, such as earnest money and home inspection fees, will need to be paid before the actual closing day. On average, homebuyers will pay between 3% to 4% of the purchase price of the home in closing fees. For example, if your home costs $300,000, you might pay between $9,000 and $12,000 in closing costs.

The takeaway

Closing on a house in Farmington Hills MI may seem like a cumbersome process, but the toughest part of it is the waiting. If you enlist the help of a skilled Farmington Hills MI REALTOR and other experienced professionals at every stage of the process, you will feel confident and look forward to closing day when you get the keys to your new home!

Partner with award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years, offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust.

As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible. He is able to provide the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and personalized service you need and deserve. If you or someone you know is interested in Farmington Hill MI real estate, feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101

Buying a Home in Farmington Hills MI? Conventional Mortgages 101: This year, you are finally ready to buy a home in Farmington Hills MI. Whether it is your first time or you are an experienced homebuyer, all the mortgage options out there can be overwhelming. Not all home loans are the same and knowing what kind of loan is most appropriate for your particular situation will prepare you for talking to lenders and getting the best deal.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at conventional mortgages so that you can determine whether this type of loan is the right one for you. 

  • The majority of home loans are conventional loans
  • Conventional loans typically cost less than FHA loans but they can be harder to qualify for.
  • Conventional loans are not guaranteed in part or in full by the government.
  • Conventional loans are offered by private lenders and may be secured by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mac (government-sponsored entities)  

Conventional loan requirements

Requirements for conventional loans vary by lender, but you typically need to demonstrate credit-worthiness and the ability to make your payment every month. Here are some things that a conventional loan lender might look at:

  • Your credit score. In many cases, the bottom cut-off for conventional loan approvals is a credit score of 620. Though depending on other factors, such as the amount of the mortgage and your income, you may need a higher score to qualify.
  • Your credit history. Mortgage lenders may look more in-depth at your credit than other lenders, and you may be asked to clear up old accounts or negative items before final approval.
  • Your income and debt. The lender wants to ensure that you’re able to pay the required monthly amount. They’ll look at how much you make, as well as how much debt you already have—the ratio of your debt to your income. If your debt is already taking up a large chunk of your income every month, you’re less likely to be able to pay a mortgage and less likely to get approved.
  • The value of the home. Typically, banks won’t approve a loan that’s more than the value of the home in question. You usually have to get the property appraised before a mortgage can be finalized for this reason.

Types of conventional loans 

Conventional loans come in a wide range of types. Here are the five most common forms of conventional financing:

1). Conforming loans

A conforming loan simply means the loan amount falls within maximum limits set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that back most U.S. mortgages. The main difference between Fannie and Freddie comes down to who they buy mortgages from. Fannie Mae mostly buys mortgage loans from commercial banks, while Freddie Mac mostly buys them from smaller banks or “thrift” banks.  Fannie and Freddie must purchase loans that fall within the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is why conventional loan limits exist.  The types of home loans that don’t meet these guidelines are considered non-conforming loans.

The 2021 maximum limit for conforming loans on single-family homes is $548,250 for most counties across the U.S. Conforming loans are best for borrowers with good credit and low debt-to-income ratios who are looking to get a mortgage with a loan amount that doesn’t exceed conforming loan limits.

2). Non-conforming or ‘jumbo’ loans

Also known as non-conforming loans, jumbo loans are conventional mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limits in a given area. Higher-end homes are often associated with this loan type. Because their significantly higher balances don’t conform to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, jumbo loans aren’t eligible for purchase by either entity. 

Jumbo loans differ from high-balance loans, which are conforming loans with higher balances to reflect average home prices in high-cost areas such as several counties throughout New York and California. The conforming loan limit on single-family homes in high-cost areas for 2021 is $822,375. Jumbo loans are best for borrows who are looking to finance the purchase of a home that costs more than the conforming loan limit in their county.

3). Fixed-rate loans

A fixed-rate loan is a type of conventional mortgage that has the same interest rate for the life of the loan and won’t change. The principal and interest portion of your monthly mortgage payment will be the same amount each month. You’ll generally pay more interest with a longer-term loan and interest rates typically are higher than rates on adjustable-rate mortgages. It also takes longer to build equity in your home with a fixed-rate mortgage. This type of conventional loan is best for borrowers who plan to stay in their home for at least seven to 10 years and who prefer predictable, stable mortgage payments, so they can more precisely budget other expenses month to month.   

4). Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs)

Unlike the stability of fixed-rate loans, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have fluctuating interest rates that can go up or down depending on market conditions. Many ARM products have a fixed interest rate for a few years before the loan changes to a variable interest rate for the remainder of the term. For example, if you have a 5/1 ARM, your mortgage rate would be fixed for the first five years and then adjust annually for the remainder of the loan term. 

ARMs typically start out with lower rates than fixed-rate mortgages, but you can expect rates to increase over time. Most ARMs have a lifetime cap of 5%. During the years that the rate adjusts, it can go as high as 5% above the initial fixed-rate, according to the CFPB. Adjustable-rate mortgages are best for borrowers who are comfortable with a certain level of risk. If you don’t plan to stay in your home beyond a few years, an ARM could save you big on interest payments.  

5). Non-qualified mortgages

A Non-qualified mortgage (Non-QM) is a loan that doesn’t meet the standards of a qualified mortgage and uses non-traditional methods of income verification to help a borrower get approved for a home loan. This type of conventional loan caters to borrowers with low credit scores or other unique financial situations such as self-employed borrowers or those who rely on commissions or bonuses for a large portion of their income. Non-qualified mortgages will typically have higher mortgage rates and fees than prime mortgages, which are reserved for buyers with excellent credit scores. 

Non-QM loans have gotten a bad rap due to the large number of subprime loans that were doled out before the housing crisis and then went into foreclosure. Thanks to a tightening of federal regulations on the mortgage industry, lenders are now more cautious about who they loan to – non-QM lenders included. But for prospective homebuyers, there are plenty of non-QM lenders who can serve their needs. This type of conventional loan is best for borrowers who have serious blemishes on their credit profile, a DTI ratio above 43% or other unique financial situations, but can comfortably afford a mortgage.

Advantages of conventional loans

Conventional loans usually require less paperwork and can be obtained more quickly than government-insured loans. A conventional loan is a great option if you have a solid credit score and little debt. One of the best advantages of conventional loans is the mortgage insurance (MI). Typical monthly MI for FHA loans is 1.35 percent of the loan amount and in most cases will last for the life of the loan. Whereas typical conventional lending MI can be as low as .50 percent of a loan amount on a 95 percent Loan-To-Value (LTV), depending on your fico score. You can avoid PMI by paying 20% of the loan upfront, which will lower your mortgage payments.  

Conventional loans can be more flexible than FHA or other government-backed loans. Lenders of this type of loan don’t have to follow specific government guidelines, which means they may be able to work with borrowers who don’t fit those requirements. They can also provide mortgages for properties that are more expensive. In most cases, borrowers save money in the long run with a conventional loan because there’s no upfront mortgage insurance fee, and the monthly insurance payments are cheaper. 

Disadvantages of conventional loans

Significant documentation is required with this type of loan to verify income, assets, down payment, and employment. Conventional loans also generally come with a higher bar for approval because they are not guaranteed. Because the lender is taking on all the risk, risk, you may need a higher credit score and stronger debt-to-income ratio to qualify for these loans.

Closing costs on a conventional loan usually must be paid at settlement and can’t be rolled into the mortgage as they can with an FHA loan. Such things as loan origination fees are set by the lender, not the government agency, and may be higher. Additionally, lenders may require processing or application fees not applied with government-insured loans. With a conventional loan, you are also more than likely have to pay PMI if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

The Takeaway

Before you move forward on a mortgage, carefully consider your individual financial situation. Review your circumstances and needs and do your research, so you know which types of mortgage loans are the best fit and most likely to help you reach your goals.

Partner with Award-winning Farmington Hills, MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to home buyers and sellers. Tom understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. As your agent, Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and do whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible.

Tom works hard for his clients and is able to provide the kind of knowledge, skills, dedication, and expertise you need when buying or selling a home. Feel free to reach out to Tom directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MI 

10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MI 

10 Common Buying Mistakes to Avoid When Buying A Home in Farmington Hills MIAre you currently in the market to buy a home in Farmington Hills, MI? If this is your first rodeo as a homebuyer, or if it’s been several years since you last bought a home, knowledge is power. Buying a home comes with many big decisions, and it doesn’t hurt to be mindful of possible pitfalls so you can avoid as many mishaps as possible. Some are minor, some are costly and some even involve buyers purchasing homes that are completely wrong for them.

Here are 10 common home buying mistakes to avoid and and some expert advice to help you on your journey to homeownership:  

1).  House hunting before getting pre-approved  

House shopping can be exhilarating and it can also be taxing, so it’s no surprise that many people want to get going on it right away. However, shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is not a good idea.

Getting pre-approved ensures that you have the financial ability to purchase a home, helps you understand how much home you can afford, and shows sellers that you are serious when making a purchase offer. There’s no need to tour any Farmington Hills MI homes for sale if you don’t know which properties are within your budget.

Sellers are also more likely to consider your purchase offer if they know they are dealing with someone who already has a mortgage pre-approval.

2).  Obtaining a rate quote from only one lender

No two lenders are the same and each one may offer different interest rates, closing costs or other fixed fees. If you don’t shop around, you could miss out on a better deal. By getting quotes from a number of lenders, you’ll be able to choose the one that will save you the most money at the closing table or over the life of the loan.

Pick at least three to five lenders and request quotes on the same day to help you compare apples to apples. According to Freddie Mac, getting a quote from just one additional lender could save you an average of $1,500 over the life of a loan.

Get a quote from 5 different lenders and the average savings doubles. Visit lender websites to learn more about the products they offer and read customer reviews to make sure you’ll be in good hands once the loan closes. Find a lender who is a good fit in costs and in service.  

3). Not checking credit reports and correcting errors

Mortgage lenders will scrutinize your credit reports when deciding whether to approve a loan and at what interest rate. If your credit report contains errors, you might get quoted an interest rate that’s higher than you deserve. That’s why it pays to make sure your credit report is accurate.

You can request a free credit report each year from each of the three main credit bureaus. Errors on your credit reports can cause your credit scores to be lower than they should be, which can affect your chances of getting a loan or credit card and how much interest you pay.

Federal law gives you free access to your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Using the government-mandated AnnualCreditReport.com site is the quickest way, but you can also request them by phone or mail. Disputing any credit report errors and getting those negative items removed can be a quick route to a better score.

4).  Buying more home than you can afford

Don’t buy more house than you can reasonably afford. The maximum loan amount on your pre-approval letter doesn’t mean you should look at homes that are priced to match it. The lender may know your income and even your debt-to-income ratio, but that’s all they look at when it comes to monthly expenses.

The lender doesn’t know how much you pay for groceries, gas and insurance, healthcare, school tuition or loans, utilities, and other expenses you might have.  If maxing out the loan amount you qualify for means that you are stretching your monthly budget to the limit, you probably need to find a more affordable home.

Even if you can make your mortgage payments with all of your other monthly expenses, a higher monthly payment can affect other areas of your life. The more money you borrow, the less you’ll be able to put towards important savings such as your 401(k) or emergency fund.

5).  Depleting your savings

One of the biggest mistakes many first-time homebuyers make is spending all or most of their savings on the down payment and closing costs. Some people scrape all their money together to make the 20 percent down payment so they don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance.

This may translate to substantial savings on the monthly mortgage payment, but it’s not worth the risk of living on the edge. Instead, aim to have three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund, even after you close. Depleting your emergency or retirement savings to make a large down payment is a risk best avoided.

6).  Being Unaware of the hidden costs of owning a home

Many first-time home buyers are unaware of the hidden costs of homeownership because they’ve never owned one. When moving from an apartment to a home, there can be some additional costs that you may not have experience paying as a renter.

These hidden costs include higher utility bills, new utilities like trash removal and recycling, property taxes, homeowners insurance, outdoor maintenance and equipment, maintenance and repair, tools for home improvement and maintenance, furniture to fill more space, etc.

Figure out how much each expense will be, add that amount to your savings goal, and have it saved up before you move in.

7).  Believing that you must have a 20% down payment

There’s still a long-standing myth that you need a 20% downpayment in order to buy a home, but that isn’t actually correct. When you make a bigger down payment on your home purchase, you’ll likely get a better mortgage rate and a lower monthly payment, since you’re not borrowing as much. But that doesn’t mean you should hold off purchasing your first home, or upgrading to a new one, until you have a 20% down payment.

You can get a conventional loan with as little as 3% down or a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with just 3.5% down. There are also 0% down payment programs available if you’re in the military, or you’re a low- to moderate-income borrower buying a home in a rural community.

Plus, some first-time buyers may qualify for a down payment assistance program through their state or local housing agency.

8).  Not planning for closing costs

Your down payment isn’t the only upfront cost you’ll have as a homebuyer. With such a big emphasis on the purchase price and the down payment, many people fail to plan for closing costs, which can range from around 3% to 6% of your loan amount. To prepare for closing costs, it helps to know what’s included in this major expense.

Although some of these may not be included in your closing costs, common fees include the appraisal, home inspection, property taxes, title and attorney fees, lender fees, application fee, prepaid interest, loan origination fee, discount points, title search fee, mortgage insurance application fee, upfront mortgage insurance, and lender and owner title insurance.

Other costs and specific mortgage fees will depend on where the home you are buying is located and the type of loan you get.

9).  Changing jobs or having income gaps

In order to qualify for a mortgage, you need to show stable job history and consistent income. Your lender will scrutinize your income and employment history over the last two years to determine whether you have that stability.

If you’ve been in between jobs in the past two years, be prepared to explain why.  If you’re looking to take a new job before closing on your mortgage, be strategic because it may delay your loan approval. Communicate potential job changes to your lender and be prepared tp supply any additional documentation they may request.  

10).  Applying for credit or charging up credit before closing

One important home buying mistake you want to avoid is taking on more debt in the middle of the mortgage lending process. This misstep can quickly derail your loan approval. It’s recommended that borrowers not take on any new debt or apply for a credit card until after closing on their new home. The loan underwriting department at the bank may be checking your credit after you’re approved and before the bank funds your loan.

If you max out your credit card or take out an auto loan before your closing, that debt is factored into your mortgage application. More debt pushes up your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, or the percentage of your gross monthly income used to repay debt. If your DTI ratio exceeds the maximum ratio for your loan program, your loan may not be approved.

Partner with Award-winning Farmington Hills MI REALTOR® – Tom Gilliam   

Tom Gilliam is proud to be a trusted REALTOR® in Farmington Hills MI for the past 20 years – offering his guidance and expertise to buyers and sellers. Tom is able to provide his clients with the kind of knowledge, skills, commitment, and expertise they need and deserve. He also understands that buying or selling a home is a significant financial and life decision and that you are looking for someone you can trust. Tom will protect your interests, advocate for you, negotiate on your behalf, and go the extra mile to ensure a smooth transaction and the best results possible!

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling Farmington Hills MI real estate, feel free to reach out to Tom Gilliam directly at (248) 790-5594 or you can get in touch here.

Tom Gilliam, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Classic
29630 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills 48334
Direct: 248-790-5594
Office: 248-737-6800
Email: Tom @ Homes2MoveYou.com
License #314578 

 

Pin It on Pinterest