Ellen was a wonderful realtor to work with. Refreshing approach to selling homes. She believes the home will sell itself. No fluff no stuff. She is honest and straight forward. We appreciated this about her. She made herself available to us from the start and never let up all the way through closing. She was informative about the area since we were moving from out of state and this was a big help. Our daughter recommended her because she had been her buyer's agent. I appreciated how she had helped my daughter with the purchase of her 1st home. So Ellen thank you on two counts!.Happy Home Owner for Ellen Hough
Our experience with Ellen Hough as our realtor was wonderful. Moving can be a stressful time especially if you are moving from another state. Ellen was very helpful and very knowledgeable about this area. She went above and beyond our expectations. She was always there for us if we had any questions or concerns and made us feel like we were her only clients! Ellen Hough did a outstanding job and I would recommend you to use her as your Realtor.Noi L. for Ellen Hough
Ellen is without a doubt the BEST agent we've ever had the pleasure of doing business with. Not only did she take us around to numerous (14+) houses in the Jacksonville, NC area, she was extremely honest. Ellen was straight forward with her opinions of the places she was showing and we were so happy to have someone so open and helpful. She stuck with us through six weeks of a battle to buy a "short sale" and then put up no fight when we backed out of the short sale and moved on to the home we did eventually buy.
I look forward to all of our future business with Ellen and her wonderful team at EXIT Independence Realty. She's not only our buying agent but her company is also our property manager for our rental property. She's amazing. You'll love her...happy home buying!Nikki L. for Ellen Hough
When preparing to buy a home, the first thing many homebuyers do is look at the real estate ads in newspapers, magazines and listings on the Internet. Some potential buyers read how-to articles like this one. The next thing you should do - before you call on an ad, before you talk to a REALTOR®, before you shop for interest rates - is look at your savings.
Because determining how much money you have available for down payment and closing costs affects almost every aspect of buying a home - including how you write your purchase offer, the loan programs you qualify for, and shopping for interest rates.
If you only have enough available for a minimum down payment, your choices of loan program will be limited to only a few types of mortgages. If someone is giving you a gift for all or part of the down payment, your options are also limited. If you have enough for the down payment, but need the lender or seller to cover all or part of your closing costs, this further limits your options. If you borrow all or a portion of the down payment from your 401K or retirement plan, different loan programs have different rules on how you qualify.
Of course, if you have enough for a large down payment, then you have lots of choices.
Your loan choices include such varied programs as conventional fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages, buydowns, VA, FHA, graduated payment mortgages and all the varieties of each.
Shopping for Rates
A very important reason you need to have at least some idea of your down payment is for shopping for interest rates. Some loan programs charge a slightly higher interest rate for minimal down payments. Plus, the interest rates for different loan programs are not the same. For example, conventional, VA, and FHA all offer fixed rate loans. However, the rates vary from one program to another.
If you shop lenders by phone, the loan officer will be able to tell you which programs fit and quote your rates accordingly. However, if you are shopping on the Internet, you have to develop some idea of your loan program on your own.
Writing Your Offer
Another reason you need to have a clue about your down payment is because it affects how you write your offer to purchase a home. Not only are you required to put your down payment information in the offer, but also different loan programs have different rules that also affect how you write your offer. This is especially important when dealing with FHA and VA loans.
If you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs, you have to be certain your loan program allows what you are asking. For smaller down payments, lenders allow the seller to pay less closing costs than for larger down payments. Some loan programs will allow a seller to pay certain types of costs, but not others.
Finally, your down payment also affects your ability to qualify for a loan. When you make a small down payment, lenders are fairly strict about having you conform to their underwriting guidelines. For larger down payments, they will tend to make allowances or exceptions to the rules.
As you can see, the down payment affects every choice you make when you buy a home. Although you should look at ads, familiarize yourself with neighborhoods, learn about prices, and read as much as you can - when you get ready to take action - the first thing you should do is figure out how much money you have available for the purchase.