Reach out today to learn the ins and outs of buying a home from one of our Twin Cities realtors!

1. How long does it take to buy a house?

From the date you get an offer accepted on your dream home, it typically takes 30-45 days to complete the transaction.

2. How much money do I need to buy a home?

  • Earnest Money - A deposit (1% - 2%) you make when you submit your offer to show a seller you are serious about the home. This will be applied to your down payment or closing costs.
  • Down Payment - A percentage of the purchase price that you will pay at closing
  • Closing Costs - Typically 3% of the purchase price to cover lender charges, title company fees, processing expenses, etc. 

3. What kind of loan do I want?

  • Conventional Loans - Conventional loans have down-payments that can range from 3% to 20%. 
  • FHA Loans - Insured by the Federal House Administration, these loans start with down-payments as low as 3.5%. 
  • DVA Loans - US Veterans may be able to qualify for a loan with a down-payment as little as 0%. 
  • Still not sure? Ask the experts. We can help connect you with experienced lenders who are able to answer all of your questions about home loans. 

4. How do I pick a lender?

  • We recommend interviewing 2-3 lenders to find the right fit for you.
  • A local, reputable lender is typically best.
  • Ask friends & family for a referral to a lender they have had a good experience with.
  • Ask the experts. We can recommend our "go-to" lenders who have great testimonials from our clients.

5. Should I buy Single-Family or Multi-Family?

This is different for everyone! If you are interested in earning rental income to pay your mortgage, a duplex may be a great fit for you! Many of our agents have personal experience owning multi-family homes and would be thrilled to discuss their experience with you!

6. What should I know about mortgages?

  • Down payments typically range from 3% to 20% of the purchase price.
  • If your down payment is less than 20%, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance until you've put 20% equity into your home.
  • Your lender will go through each option in depth with you to find the best fit.

7. Why should I buy instead of rent?

  • A mortgage payment may be less than a rent payment and helps you build equity. 
  • The value of your home will likely go up over time. 
  • You will have a space to make your own. 
  • You will qualify for more income tax deductions as a homeowner.

8. What if I have had bad credit?

You may qualify for a loan backed by the Federal House Administration. The program will insure your loan, so your lender can offer you a better deal and a lower downpayment.

9. What if I don't have much for a downpayment?

  • There are different ways we can work with what you have!
  • FHA Loans require 3.5% downpayment, versus conventional loans up to 20%.
  • At times, sellers will pay up to 3% of a buyer's closing costs, which helps keep money in your pocket at the closing table!

10. What does "contingent" mean?

When a house for sale has received and accepted an offer, but additional criteria must be met before finalizing the deal.

11. What is an appraisal?

  • An appraisal is a value established by an unbiased third party to ensure you're not "over-borrowing" money from the bank.
  • An appraiser will inspect the property's condition, features, and comparable properties nearby to determine an opinion of value.

12. Who pays for an appraisal?

The buyer pays for the appraisal. This may happen at closing, or your lender will have you pay for it upfront. Appraisals cost about $500+ on a single-family home.

13. Who pays the realtor?

The seller's agent earns a commission from selling the house and splits their earnings with the buyer's agent. This is typically 6%-7% of the sales price in the Twin Cities market. Buyer's agents typically earn a 2.7% commission.

Example: 6% listing agent commission = 3.3% Seller's Agent Commission + 2.7% Buyer's Agent Commission

14. Should I get an inspection? 

  • Yes! Inspections can save you tons of money in the long run. Once you have your inspection, your realtor can negotiate on your behalf to get things fixed before you move in. 
  • Inspections can cost $500-$1000 depending on the services requested. We can recommend a few of our trusted inspectors to help you throughout the inspection process.
  • We highly recommend testing for radon and getting the sewer scoped.