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Down Payments: How Much Money Do I Need To Buy A House?

April 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

When you get ready to buy a house, how do you know how much money you should have ready? Most people know they need a down payment to buy a house. But there are other costs involved as well.

The first check you will write when you make an offer to buy a house is "earnest money." This is to show the seller that you are serious about your offer and wanting to buy the house. Earnest money is put into an escrow account until you find out if your offer is accepted. If it is, it will be put toward your down payment and closing costs. If not, it will be returned. There is not set amount for an earnest money deposit to buy a house.Some states have minimum requirements. There are also amounts that are customary in each local market, but they usually fall between 1 to 3 percent of your offer. If you are making an offer to buy a house that is likely to sell quickly, or if you are making a lower offer, a larger earnest money payment may help get your offer accepted. Your real estate agent should be able to advise you of an appropriate amount.

The next payment is the down payment, which is a percentage of the agreed upon price. The higher your down payment is, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Typically, down payments are 20% of the purchase price for a traditional mortgage. But it is possible to find mortgages requiring 10 - 15% when you buy a house. FHA loans for first-time homebuyers are 3% or less. If your lender accepts a down payment less than 20 percent, they will usually require you to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance which is added to your mortgage payment. This is to protect the lender if you default on the mortgage. PMI can usually be cancelled as soon as you have built up equity equal to 20 percent of your home's purchase price.

The third payment you will make is for the closing costs which cover the paperwork needed to buy a house. This is collected when you sign your final papers for the house. Closing costs are on average between 3 to 4 percent of the purchase price. You should get an estimate of these costs when you apply for a loan. First-time homebuyers may be able to get some of these costs covered by HUD or the seller.

So let's look at numbers. If you are making an offer of $200,000 to buy a house, you will need an initial $2,000 (minimum) in earnest money, $40,000 for a down payment at 20% and $6,000 in closing costs. That's in-pocket money of $48,000. If you are making a purchase with FHA or HUD assistance, that amount can be as low as $14,000.

In my next article, I will talk about where you can find that money to buy a house. Stay tuned.

RH Offers LLC is a professional network of real estate investors specializing in buying homes online, quickly, with no hassles. The company has streamlined the entire home sale process, working nationwide to buy houses in any condition, as is, at a fair offer price. This allows home sellers to avoid listing fees, holding fees, maintenance, ongoing payments, and ongoing stress. Visit the RH Offers website at http://www.rhoffers.com

Source: EzineArticles
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