The following update and discussion has been provided by Renee Kunz, office manager at Intero Real Estate in Hollister.
Once you have decided to purchase a home, you are aware that you need a down payment. You are not sure if you need 3 percent, 3.5 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent or no money at all. Most consumers are focused on the down and forget there are other fees associated with buying a home — specifically, closing costs.
What are closing costs? As defined by Freddie Mac, they are:
"Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 percent and 5 percent of your purchase price."
So what does this really mean to you as a buyer and how does it affect you? Fees associated with the purchase of a home include but are not limited too: loan application fee, credit report fee, appraisal fee, all of your due diligent inspection fees to make sure the home will meet your needs, prepaid interest, your home owners insurance premium, prorated property taxes, etc.
The bottom line is you not only need the down payment, you need funds for other costs associated with buying a home as well as reserves. How much more depends — I wish I could be more specific, however, your lender will be able to advise you on all your options.
Purchasing your own home can make it all worthwhile.