I won't repeat what the other professionals have shared regarding your primary question. Instead, here are my â€œTop 4â€ suggestions as you move forward with your quest for homeownership:
1) Find a professional RealtorÂ® to work with to protect you interests.
Simply put, your RealtorÂ® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process. One of the key advantages of involving your RealtorÂ® is access to seasoned Mortgage Broker/Bankers with a track record of getting the job done. You can check to make sure an Agent is a RealtorÂ® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O
2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion).
You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
3) Make sure you obtain access to your local AND regional RealtorÂ® MLS data via an automated search your RealtorÂ® should most certainly create for you; here's why:
MLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
4) Avoid Dual Agency!
There are specific duties an Agent must provide. When one individual represents both Buyer and Seller conflict between two of the most important duties occur.
Absolutely!! There are loans with as little as 3% down payment. This loan requires a minimum credit score of 720.
We also have 5% down payment programs and 3.5% down payment FHA loans.
There are also loans available that will give you 3% toward your down payment and closing costs (as long as you meet the income requirements).
All of these loans require mortgage insurance.
You are in luck! My office is located in Fremont and I would be happy to meet you after 5pm or the weekends to discuss in greater detail.
You can reach me at email@example.com
A condo is a whole different animal, however when it comes to purchasing a home. For FHA, you want to make sure the complex is FHA approved before purchasing (your realor can look this up, or I can as well). You also want to check the owner-occupanycy of the complex as well (50% or better).
For a conventional lender, you will want to check owner occupancy too - it should be over 50% with 20% down, most MI companies prefer 70% -- but we do have a mortgage insurance lender that will insure the loan down to 50%.
Owner occupancy is important to lenders with condo's as a complex that is predominantly rentals will often suffer with vacancies, late HOA payments and more, making it a higher risk for lenders.
Condos are getting better, but when the recession hit, they were the first to default. When they defaulted and were sold short or foreclosed upon, many HOA's suffered - some to the point of complete failure. When an HOA fails, the complex is not taken care of - landscaping, repairs, leaks, and even the insurance can be cancelled. Luckily, most were able to survive, but lenders still look at them as higher risk. You want to make sure that both your realtor and your lender do the homework first when buying a condo.
If all the homework is done and everything else looks good, then by all means jump in. The economy is turning to the good and that could mean some good appreciation in most areas - especially a city like Fremont.
Iâ€™d recommend you start by talking to:
John J Dutra, Sr. Loan Consultant
RPM | MORTGAGE
39644 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94539
CA DRE License # 00823740
NMLS # 248841
You may also consider City of Fremont's 'Below Market Price (BMP) Homeownership Program', here is the link from City of Fremont website :
Though homes under that program are limited it is something to consider.
We as Realtor can inform you on those homes availability.
In recent past I have seen buyers, borrowers are benefiting with lower down payment program and keeping their monthly payments somewhat similar to their rent payment.
Based on market conditions in terms of demand and supply of homes and getting into a contract could change when you enter into a market.
FHA provides loans for first time buyer with as little as 3% down
If you are interested in a condo you will need to make sure the complex is FHA approved.
There are also conventional loans with as little as 5% to 10% down.
(this program is for very highly qualified buyers)
The CalHFA program offers first time buyer loans with little or even no down payment.
Best of luck to you.
Kawain Payne, Realtor
Interesting at how often buyers ask this question.....it may have been the requirement decades ago, but there are different kinds of loans for different types of purchases by people at different income levels and credit scores.
The first thing you should do is talk with a lender -- be it at your local bank or credit union or an independent mortgage broker who can prequalify you for a loan. And no, 20% down payment is not always a prerequisite for a single family home (condo or townhouse).
Good luck to you.
There are loans out there that do not require 20% down. I would check with your preferred loan officer and ask. If you do not have a loan officer, I have one I can refer to you.
You will need more than 150k to purchase a condo in Fremont.