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FAQ: Important Housing Questions Everyone Has

If you're entering the housing market soon, you'll probably have a lot of the same questions as other people. House of Hope compiled questions that people are frequently asking to better provide for our audience. 


What credit score do I need to buy a house? 

The credit score needed to buy a house typically falls within the range of 620 to 720 or higher. However, specific requirements can vary among lenders, and a higher credit score often improves your chances of securing favorable mortgage terms. 

What are closing costs and how expensive are they? 

Closing costs are fees and expenses associated with finalizing a real estate transaction. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the home's purchase price, but the exact amount varies based on factors like location, loan type, and the specific terms of the deal. 

What questions should you ask when buying a home? 

When buying a home, important questions to ask include: 
  • What is the property's purchase price? 
  • What are the property taxes? 
  • What are the homeowners association (HOA) fees? 
  • What is the neighborhood like? 
  • What are the nearby amenities and services? 
  • Are there any upcoming developments or changes in the area? 
  • What is the condition of the property, and are there any known issues? 
  • How old are the major systems (roof, HVAC, plumbing)? 
  • What is the school district and nearby schools' ratings? 

These questions help gather essential information to make an informed home-buying decision. 

Are there disadvantages to homeownership? 

Yes, homeownership has potential disadvantages, including ongoing maintenance costs, property taxes, and the responsibility for repairs. Additionally, market fluctuations can impact property values, and selling a home may take time and incur costs. 

Is buying a home a good investment?  

Buying a home can be a good investment, offering potential for equity growth and long-term financial stability. However, it depends on various factors such as market conditions, location, and individual financial goals.

What are the benefits to renting?  

In addition to flexibility and lower upfront costs, renting provides the advantage of not being tied to a long-term mortgage commitment.

Renters typically enjoy the convenience of having maintenance tasks handled by landlords, allowing for a more carefree living experience.

Additionally, renting can be an attractive option for those who prioritize mobility and are not ready for the responsibilities associated with homeownership. 

For additional information about the benefits of renting, check out our article about renting vs owning.

What are 3 things you need to buy a house?  

Firstly, a substantial down payment is crucial, often ranging from 3% to 20% of the home's purchase price, depending on the loan type.

Secondly, maintaining a good credit score, ideally above 620, increases your likelihood of securing favorable mortgage terms.  

Lastly, obtaining a pre-approval from a mortgage lender involves a detailed financial assessment, providing you with a clear understanding of the loan amount you qualify for before house hunting. 

What is the first thing you should do when preparing to buy a house?  

The first thing to do when preparing to buy a house is to evaluate your finances, including your income, savings, debts, and credit score, to determine how much of a loan you can afford.

Our article, The House Buying Process, goes more into depth on this topic. 

How much should I save for a deposit for a home? 

The amount you should save for a deposit for a home can vary based on several factors, including the price of the home you intend to buy, the type of mortgage you qualify for, and the requirements set by lenders. However, a common guideline is to aim for a deposit of around 20% of the home's purchase price. 

What are good government programs for housing assistance? 

Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HOME provides grants to state and local governments to fund a wide range of affordable housing initiatives, including rental assistance, rehabilitation, and homeownership assistance. 

How can I calculate my mortgage payment? 

You can use online mortgage calculators or consult with a mortgage professional to get a more accurate estimate of your monthly mortgage payment. These tools often take into account additional factors like property taxes, insurance, and any applicable HOA fees.