Local Professional Advice
What is the first step in the home buying process?
Your first step would be to get pre-approved for a mortgage. I can provide you with several lenders and their contact information so that you can complete this first step with ease. Of course, I encourage you to do your own research on different loan programs and companies available.
Getting pre-approved will tell you what your budget is so that we don't look at anything we cannot afford. It also gives you a ticket to look at any home since often times, sellers will not let buyers into their homes without a pre-approval first.
What is Earnest Money?
I explain earnest money as being similar to promise money. It is money that the buyer offers up front for a home to show the seller that they are sincere in their intent to buy the home. This benefits both the buyer and seller.
I encourage earnest money of 1-3% of the purchase price. In a buyers’ market, less earnest money is demanded. When there is a high demand for homes in a sellers’ market, more earnest money is sometimes demanded by sellers.
If all goes according to plan and the home closes, the earnest money may be applied to the down payment of the home, closing costs, or returned to the buyer at close.