Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

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Park Ridge

6 Home Buying Myths Debunked

The more you know, the better decisions you will make.  

Here are 6 common home buying myths that, unfortunately, many people believe to be true.  Some of them were relevant many years ago, but today's marketplace has its own nuances and best practices, and the home buying process is constantly changing.

Remember that your real estate agent is an expert in the home buying process and can answer any questions you have. Don't hesitate to ask for explanations.

Myth #1:  You Need 20% Down Payment To Buy

There are lots of loan programs out there that require anywhere from 3% to 10% down.  As a matter of fact, the average down payment for all mortgage loans last year was 7-8%.  Most mortgage lenders require a down payment of at least 3%. FHA loans (mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration) require a down payment of at least 3.5%. Depending on your credit history, the type of dwelling and your reason for buying, the minimum down payment could be anywhere from 3% to 20%, or possibly even more for a second home or investment property purchase.

FTC Warning About Growing Home Mortgage Closing Phishing SCAM

The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to consumers of a growing mortgage closing phishing scam that could leave buyers with no down payment.

Scammers are hacking into e-mail accounts of buyers, real estate agents and/or title companies in order to access information about the closing date. They then send an e-mail to the buyer and pose as either the real estate agent or the title company.  In the e-mail, scammers will say there’s been a “last minute change” to the wiring instructions for the funds for the closing and instruct buyers to send the funds to a different account.  Of course, this account belongs to the scammers.  If you send money there, you will not get it back.

If you are buying a home and get an email with money wiring instructions . . . do not follow through.  Your real estate agent and/or title company will not ask you to send financial information over an email.  Email is not a secure way to send financial information of any kind.

To avoid becoming a victim to this scam, as well as other email phishing scams, take note of the following tips from the FTC:

Planning to Sell Your Home Soon? Do This First

Put on your 'buyer hat' and walk through each room of your house with a notebook and a critical eye.  Make a list of all the items that need to be repaired or replaced, and also include things you can do to make your home more appealing.

Evaluate every area of your home, inside and out.  Be honest with yourself.  If you were looking to buy in your neighborhood, what would you think about your house?

For example, start in the entryway and ask yourself these questions: