Mortgage Fearbuster 16

Posted by  on Jun 10, 2010

Q: I've been pre-approved for a mortgage, but the quoted closing costs are a little more than I planned to pay. I've heard that sellers may be willing to pay part of my closing costs. Should I risk asking this, or should I just bite the bullet and pay more for the place (and mortgage) that I really want?

A: Before breaking your teeth on any bullets, talk with your real estate agent. If there are competing offers for the home you want, and you can afford to pay the closing costs, it may be best to make a standard offer. On the other hand, being pre-qualified gives you an advantage over buyers who don't have their mortgages lined up. Asking sellers to pay some of your closing costs can't hurt; either they'll agree, or counter offer. You also have the option of getting another mortgage quote and seeing if you can't get a better deal. Your decision should be based on your comfort level with negotiating the terms of your offer.

Q: I'm finishing school soon, and don't have much cash. I've stumbled across the coolest little house in a great neighborhood. I wasn't planning to buy right away, but don't want to lose this place. I can easily afford payments with current mortgage rates, but am worried about being cash poor.

A: An FHA mortgage may work for you; you can make a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and FHA allows cash gifts from family, friends, and employers. Down payment assistance may also be offered through state and local home buyer programs; these typically have income and eligibility requirements, but are a great resource for getting into your first home without spending your last cent. Mortgage lenders can provide more information on programs in your area.


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