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  • Eva Swersey

First-Time Home Buyers: The #1 Question To Ask Your Realtor

First-Time Home Buyers: The #1 Question You Should Ask Your Realtor

Stepping into the world of homeownership for the first time? It's a thrilling journey but can come with its fair share of questions. Most first-time buyers focus on the basics: location, price, and how to finance their dream home.

However, there's one essential question that often slips through the cracks:

How much will it actually cost to buy a new home? 

It's not just about the sticker price. The real cost of buying a home includes more than the down payment and monthly mortgage.

Here’s a breakdown of some costs you might not have thought about:

  • Property Taxes: This is based on your home’s value and varies by location. It’s an annual cost that can significantly impact your budget.

  • Homeowners Insurance: This covers your home against various risks. The cost depends on your home’s size, location, and your coverage choices.

  • Appraisal Fees: During the mortgage process, lenders need to confirm the home's value. The appraisal fee can vary but is a critical part of securing your loan (often included in closing costs).

  • Home Inspections: Before you sign on the dotted line, a professional home inspection is key. It helps unearth any hidden issues. The cost? It varies based on property size and location.

  • HOA and Condo Fees: If you’re eyeing a place in a planned community or condo, remember the monthly or annual fees for upkeep and amenities.

  • Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): This shows you’re serious about the purchase. In Virginia, it’s 1-3% of the home’s purchase price, secured in an escrow account shortly after the contract is ratified. And remember, it goes towards your down payment at settlement.

  • Downpayment: This isn’t the total cost of the home but a part of it. Depending on your loan and finances, this could range from 3% to 20% of the home's value. And for veterans, VA loans offer a 0% down payment option.

  • Closing Costs: In Virginia, expect these to be between 2-5% of your loan amount. For a $200,000 mortgage, it averages around $3,425. This includes both lender and third-party fees, like loan origination, appraisal, survey fees, title insurance, and taxes.

Need help determining what it will actually cost to purchase your new home? I’d love to guide you through the process! Schedule a complimentary 30-minute chat, and I’ll answer any questions you have about the process! 

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