How much money do I really need to buy a house?
Down payments, Earnest Money, Upfront Appraisal Fees, Homeowners Insurance, and the dreaded Closing Costs are all expenses faced by buyers when purchasing a home. How much money do you really need to buy a house?
Deciding if you are ready to buy a house? The days of Zero Downpayment Loans have been gone for a few years. There are still some programs left which offer down payment assistance but most programs still require a contribution from the buyer. Mortgage officers provide great knowledge of the special programs including the Dakota County Bond Program. Also, the Veterans Loan, known as a VA loan does still offer a true Zero Downpayment loan.
Special down payment assistance programs aside, the standard options for down payments are 3.5% for an FHA loan and 5%, 10% or 20% down payment on a Conventional Loan. The calculation of the down payment is straight forward, simply the purchase price multiplied by the percentage you plan to put down.
Closing Costs are the second portion of money needed to buy a house and the calculation of these costs is more elusive.
Closing Costs are often estimated to be 3% of the purchase price of your home. I like to explain it this way:
The first 1% is usually your Loan Origination Fee. This fee pays the mortgage company for the work they do setting up your mortgage, the loan officer and processor have a share of this fee.
I refer to the second 1% as government and processing fees. Included in this portion are mortgage registered taxes, title updating fees, appraisal fees, title company fees, recording fees and such.
The final 1% is money the mortgage company collects from you to start and fund your escrow account. The escrow account funding is approximately 5 months worth of property taxes, three months of insurance and one full year of homeowner’s insurance.
The % amounts are just estimates and when the price of a home is lower than $200,000 the closing costs are higher than 3%. This happens because many of the closing costs are fixed costs, so as the price of the home goes down the percentage associated with those costs is higher.
Now for some good news! It is possible to ask the Sellers of the property you are purchasing to pay for some or all of your closing costs. Mortgages have certain restrictions and limitations about Sellers paying your closing costs, but most allow up to 3% of the purchase price to be paid by the Sellers of the home.
You are rolling in the closing costs and really self-financing them into your purchase. If a Seller will accept a $200,000 offer and pay 3% ($6000) towards your closing costs, then it’s fair to assume you could have purchased the home for $194,000 if you were to pay for your own closing costs.
Today’s interest rates are at all time lows, making this closing cost self-finance practice very affordable and popular.
If you negotiate the closing costs into the price of the home, the total amount of money needed to buy a home is just 3.5% of the purchase price. Mortgage programs including FHA and VA allow the 3.5% or a portion of it to be Gift Funds. When you receive gift funds it must be from a Parent, Grandparent, or other type of Significant Relationship and the donor must sign a gift letter confirming the funds as a gift.
Buying a home in Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, Rosemount, Burnsville, Farmington, Savage and Prior Lake is more affordable now than ever before. The affordability is based on Home Prices and Mortgage Interest Rates. Get started today!
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Working with Sheryl has been great. She's extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the buying and selling process and is able to give expert advise. She and her staff are very organized and do a wonderful job of keeping us informed of all the moving parts. We appreciate the work of Sheryl and all the others who have helped us with this process."
Sheryl became my listing agent when a previous agent and I agreed to "part ways" after 3 months. After interviewing 7+ agents, I decided to engage Sheryl and her team in the sale of my home. The data driven process her team employs, the technology driven marketing approach and her knowledge of how the twin cities market was shifting/changing, were the decision points for me to engage Sheryl. Other agents I interviewed talked about their marketing approaches and use of technology. Sheryl's team delivers the cutting edge approach that worked. I saw the results of all of those decision points with the quick sale and closing of my property. Would I use Sheryl and her team again? Absolutely. Would I recommend Sheryl and her team to others? Without hesitation.
Selling my house with Sheryl has been a wonderful experience. She did an excellent job communicating the top things I could fix and touch up that would make my home the most appealing to any potential buyer. She was professional and thoughtful in every aspect from staging the home to our asking price. She was also very receptive my opinions and ideas. Throughout the process I was at ease that I was moving in the right direction and Sheryl was advocating for me. I have to say, Sheryl really shined when it came time to negotiate with the buyer on price and repairs. She had ideas and tactics that demonstrated her ability to 'think outside the box' and made it easy to offer something to the other party without feeling like we got the short end. It's also been a delight to work with Sheryl's team, everyone responds timely and respectfully and I've never felt uncomfortable asking any question. They've made the whole house selling process a breeze :)
Sheryl is a wonderful realtor. So easy to work with because she is an EXPERT in real estate. She really knows the market. She walked us through every step in the process. This is the 3rd home we have sold and it was by far the best experience!
Sheryl's market research was developed into a very effective marketing strategy for the sale of our house. The combination of solid research and excellent communication skills resulted in good decisions during the sales process. Finally, Sheryl's recent sales performance in a challenging sales environment reflects her tireless work ethic and is the definitive reason to recommend Sheryl to any client.
Sheryl has helped us get our home ready for the market place. She gives great advice and has wonderful marketing ideas. I’m using her as my agent for finding my next home. She is a great listener and is very accommodating to my schedule.
Although I was inundated with mail from realtors trying to convince me that they were the right choice for me, I was most impressed with the continuing market statistics that I received from Sheryl Petrashek. Trying to market a home long distance (I had moved out-of-state) I knew was going to be difficult. Once I talked to Sheryl however, I felt much relieved. It seemed like it was not only possible, but it could be done with out a lot of pain and anguish on my part. Sheryl came through 110% every day! She was better than her word! She kept me constantly updated and as we made strategic decisions together, it confirmed my opinion of her, she is a professional. I would have missed out on selling my house at this time if I had not chosen Sheryl.
We connected with Sheryl Petrashek from the start. She deftly guided us through the pricing and preparation decisions that streamlined the process and left us very happy clients. We would not hesitate to recommend Sheryl to a friend for selling or buying a home. The best summary is she does what she says she will do, and conducts herself in a very professional and friendly manner.
Sheryl Petrashek is a top notch Real Estate Agent! She made the entire selling process go very smoothly and when things didn't make sense Sheryl was always there to explain and she made me feel very comfortable through the process. She knows the business very well! I will be recommending Sheryl to friends and family!
Working with Sheryl and her entire team has been a wonderful experience. We are so thankful for their knowledge, experience and willingness to help. It is clear that Sheryl loves what she does and she does it well! Sheryl was highly recommended to us and we will be happy to recommend her to our family and friends.
Sheryl and I have crossed paths several times over the years. We have worked on numerous transactions & they have all gone very smoothly. Her expertise in new construction made the process so easy & seamless. She is professional, honest & likeable. It's no surprise that a good portion of her business is repeat customers & referrals. I highly recommend Sheryl!
Sheryl sold our home after the market crash. She was professional, enthusiastic, and, most importantly, knowledgeable. She was able to explain the intricacies of the offer and counter offer, the inspection, the bank's opinions. She knew my neighborhood, and had actually sold homes there before selling mine. She goes above and beyond in every area. I even recommended her to my cousin when she sold her lake property. I only have good things to say about Sheryl.
I was introduced to Sheryl a couple years ago when we purchased a new home. I am very impressed with her knowledge, professionalism and work ethic and I have recommended her to many friends. Sheryl always has a strong grasp of current market conditions and will take the time to share her knowledge and guide you through the buying/selling process.
I have worked with at least a dozen realtors over as many years in MN and none has shown the marketing acumen that Sheryl and her team applied to the sale of our townhome. I feel like I have received white glove service. Sheryl must have been developing her marketing strategies for some time. They report regularly on competition in the area so that I can stay informed and are not shy about telling me what I need to do to actually sell. Most importantly, they don't just rely on the internet or street sign to sell the property. They use their analytical capability to review data from the MLS and elsewhere and tailor postcard mailings and email campaigns to the most likely buyer (in my case it was reverse prospecting people who had...) My past brokers have done ok - they made sales - sometimes very good sales - but I felt like it had very little relation to their marketing capability (several of these are good friends now, in spite of my experience) Sheryl and her team earn their fee through intelligent and aggressive salesman(woman)ship.
My fiancé and I had a great experience working with Sheryl! We started out looking at used houses in the Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville area and eventually settled on purchasing a new house in Lakeville. Her wide breadth of knowledge for both used and new houses really helped us feel comfortable in the decisions that we were making. She was always available for questions and was exceptionally helpful in helping us through a miscommunication that came up with the developer and the city. We highly recommend Sheryl as a realtor!
We learned of Sheryl Petrashek through some previous neighbors of ours. They sold their house in a few days in, what was at the time, not a great market. They said more than once that Sheryl was amazing. Well, let’s see… We first met with Sheryl in early April. What was scheduled to be an hour and a half visit ended up being 3 hours. She was so willing to spend as much time as needed with us to answer all of our questions about selling our house. She left us with a list of tasks to tackle, but we knew she knew what sold houses. We made it through the list in about a month, listed our home, and it sold within 36 hours! We were so thrilled that our home sold so quickly. Sheryl knew the market in our area like the back of her hand and her suggestions for upgrades, decluttering, and staging were on point! We were also busy on the flip side of the coin looking for a new home in Hudson, WI. We found an agent located in Minnesota and also licensed in Wisconsin. We had some challenges and Sheryl even stepped in to help us overcome those challenges. Sheryl welcomed the challenge to work with a Wisconsin-licensed partner in her office to see if she could help us find the home of our dreams. It was seamless for us. On both sides of our realty experience, Sheryl’s response time was incredible. Sheryl and her assistant, Laura were in complete lockstep and never did a phone call or email go unanswered for longer than an hour. We were kept up to date every step of the way. Sheryl was never pushy and always thought of us first. She asked us the right questions to help guide us through the process. Sheryl is an amazing person and a top-notch realtor. We highly recommend Sheryl for any realty needs!
I would like to THANK YOU for working with me to sell my property. Being in a different state, I thought that it might be a bit tough for me to sell my property but you always went that extra mile to ensure that things were taken care of. You gained my trust from fixing minor repairs to working with renters for showings when needed. I appreciate with the service you provided to sell my property and am definitely glad that it was done without me having to feel like I needed to fly out to do anything.
Sheryl was a true professional helping me sell my home in a fast and efficient manner. I had an offer within 10 days of listing my home and sold at the price that I wanted. In particular, she spent a great deal of time upfront helping me understand the market and getting my home ready to put on the market. She always responded back within hours and is one of the hardest working real estate agents you'll ever find.
Sheryl Petrashek is an amazing Realtor to have representing you. Sheryl not only helped us sell our home by working with us to create cost effective ways to maximize the value of our home. But she also helped us build our dream home. With the expected hiccups in a build, Sheryl helped keep the builder moving forward on our behalf and helped keep us focused on the end goal of our new home. I would strongly recommend Sheryl Petrashek as she will work so hard to help you sell your house and/or find your next home.
Sheryl is the definition of a professional realtor. She loves what she does for a living and it is evident in every phase of the buying or selling process. When we sold our home with Sheryl, she did a very extensive market analysis, provided input on how to ready our home for sale and communicated feedback each time we had a showing. When we had to make a price adjustment while selling, Sheryl provided hard data as to why that was necessary. Sheryl is a wonderful communicator and knows the business inside and out. I recommend her without reservation for any real estate needs.
A friend told me about Sheryl after I asked him to help me find an agent who can help sell my home. I worked with another agent before her, but got no result. Sheryl came in, gave me a professional assessment of what ‘s needed to market my home successfully. Her and her highly motivated support staff got involved and listed my home in every medium available. Sheryl made frequent follow-up with agents showing my home, and routinely adjusted her marketing strategy to move the house. At the end I got competing offers. Sheryl total involvement along the way was priceless, therefore I highly recommend her and her tireless team to anyone who is looking to sell their home.
We tried selling our house by owner first, then after 40 stressful days, I called Sheryl. We've known her reputation and felt it would be smart to connect with her and see what she brings to the table. The first thing she suggested was raising our price, take new pictures, stage the house and a few other things. As soon as she left, we knew we were in the hands of a true professional. Sheryl's extensive marketing and local connections soon found an offer after just 5 days back on the market. She managed this transaction with the highest level of professionalism and kept the stress down, always looking out for our best interest. If you want to work with the best in the business, call Sheryl!
This was our second house with Sheryl, she's done a fantastic job both times. She and Bo are very knowledgeable about the sale and purchase of homes. We will definitely be using them again for the third house! Thanks again Bo and Sheryl!
I am proud to not only call Sheryl Petrashek my agent, but now also a friend. I remember the day we met to talk through the details of selling my home. Sheryl knew I was a bit emotional about moving but also helped me keep the end goal in perspective throughout the process. The way that she is connected in the area, understands the market and knows how to navigate every part of the selling and buying process is impressive. She listened to my situation, what my kids I were looking for in my new house and then helped me find it. Sheryl’s approach to explaining the process and helping me think through next steps couldn’t have been more spot on. From start to finish Sheryl has always considered what’s best for my family and I and for that I am truly grateful!
I have bought and sold three houses in Dakota County since 1992. I have never had such a great experience with an agent. The whole process from first interview, to closing was absolutely smooth and easy for me, because of Sheryl Petrashek and her staff. They never failed to keep me up on progress, and reassured me when I got nervous!
From the moment we met Sheryl, we liked her. She has a personality that sets you at ease and a professionalism and knowledge that give you loads of confidence in her guidance. Our home values had been negatively impacted by neighborhood foreclosures and lack of comps, but Sheryl put her real estate expertise to use and was able to market our home in such an amazing way that we were able to sell our home for much more than we had hoped! (We had two offers in four days– one for asking price and one for more than asking!) I might also add that we were out of town for much of the time due to a work relocation, and Sheryl kept a close eye on all of the details in our absence and made sure everything ran smoothly. We would definitely recommend Sheryl Petrashek for any of your real estate needs. She is the complete package– friendly, professional, knowledgable, and detail oriented.
This is my second time working with Sheryl and she was every bit as thorough and knowledgable as she was when I worked with her the first time in 2006. It’s clear she really knows the process and had everything covered before anything ever occurred to me to ask her about. I’ll definitely look her up the next time I need anything handled in the realm of real estate, and certainly I’ll refer people I know to her as well!
Sheryl is a fantastic realtor. She always vey helpful at trying to find the perfect house you have in mind and then she will go the extra mile to make sure you get that perfect home. I have had the opportunity to work with Sheryl several times and each time I have been completely satisfied. This last home we bought required a lot of time and Sheryl was always great at keeping us informed of how things were coming along and explaining why it was taking so long. I always had lots of questions and Sheryl always knew the answer. Thanks Sheryl....you are the best!!! I will always recommend you to everyone that is going to be either purchasing or selling a home.
Sheryl has been everything I would have hoped in a realtor when we decided to buy our home. She came highly recommended from a co-worker, and I can definitely see why. Even though I am sure Sheryl has numerous clients she is working with, she always makes me feel like I am her only client. She worked day and night to help my husband and I find the perfect home, and we did! And even after that, she checked in with us to make sure we didn’t have any questions and we knew what the next steps would be. I cannot say enough how much easier our home buying process was because she was our realtor. She gets two huge thumbs up!
I could not have been more impressed with Sheryl (and also her husband Bo). This duo was super helpful, not only with their knowledge of the area, schools, and neighborhoods; but also with being able to understand our taste and lead us to the perfect home and community! They are by far the best experience we have had with a realtor. They were patient, responsive, always flexible and available, but most importantly they were a lot of fun to work with.
Sheryl has been a godsend to us in the last few months. Not only has she helped us sell our old home in LESS THAN A WEEK, she is also helping us in the process of building our new home. Sheryl is everything you want in a realtor: personable, knowledgeable, honest, a great communicator and she has great integrity. She hasn't just been our realtor but she's also become a friend; it says a lot when you look forward to meetings and conversations with your realtor! If you want someone you can trust who will also make the process fun you need Sheryl!
I have had the best experience with Sheryl buying my house. It’s a very exciting time and also a big decision of my life, but she made it sound really fun and simple to me, always gave me feedback on things that made so much sense and made it so easy for me to make my decision. Very knowledgeable, pleasant individual to work with and I am so grateful. Thanks Sheryl.
Sheryl and Bo went above and beyond expectation with ideas, personal attention and services for enhancing my buying experience on both the buying and selling side of the equation. They were organized, professional and set expectations that ultimately proved to be spot on.
Sheryl Petrashek has been our realtor for many years. She has helped us with several real estate transactions, both buying and selling. Sheryl is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and very professional. We would highly recommend her to everyone. She and her wonderful team have gone above and beyond to ensure a very smooth process with each of our real estate transactions.
She was communicative, efficient and worked very hard to help us sell our home! Our townhouse sold faster than we thought and we got what we wanted for it. She was very helpful!!
Sheryl and her team helped us sell a difficult piece of property, a condominium we owned for quite awhile. They were wonderful! Her team handled the complicated sale extremely well! They were always responsive and thoughtful. Sheryl especially, helped walk us through the process and always communicated what the next steps would be so we could stay prepared. I really felt that they put our needs first and they did it with a smile. Even though they were busy, we always felt like we were their only clients. Sheryl was the perfect Realtor to sell our home. We will definitely use her again for our future real estate needs and we would recommend everyone we know to her and her team.
We have used Sheryl to sell and buy two homes in the last 15 years and have found her to be the ultimate professional. From tips on preparing our home right down to negotiating a PA. She was always a phone call away. We have also referred her to two different family members over the years and would not hesitate to refer her again.
I had a great experience with Sheryl and her entire team. She was available for questions anytime I had them and was flexible in scheduling time to view properties. I'd highly recommend her to anyone else I know that is purchasing a home as her knowledge and expertise made my home buying experience fun, exciting and most of all, painless. Aaron, Maple Grove
It was so nice to work with good people like the Petrashek family. From our first contact, their understanding, patience and promptness in answering our many questions was so appreciated. This was our first experience in selling a home and the Petrashek's made it a very satisfying experience. We will recommend them to all our Minnesota friends.
Sheryl was such a pleasure to work with while selling our house and buying a new home. It is clear that she loves what she does and she is very knowledgeable about the market. She gave us some tips about putting our house on the market early in the spring to get a jump start and she was completely right - our house sold in just one day! She made what could have been a completely stressful experience smooth and enjoyable. She was always quick to respond to any questions and always made us feel like we were her most important clients. We highly recommend Sheryl!
Sheryl was such a joy to work with when selling our first home! She made the process very smooth and my husband and I knew we could trust her with every detail. She was upfront and honest so we had very real expectations when listing our home. She exceeds the competitors in marketing and knowledge of the market. We always knew Sheryl was on our side and in every situation she represented us with integrity and professionalism. We would refer all of our family and friends to her and we will definitely be customers of hers again. We had an offer on our home in 3 days and sold our home more quickly than we imagined! Sheryl and her team are wonderful!
Sheryl leveraged her strong knowledge of the real estate marketplace and her negotiation skills to obtain a lucrative price for the home we recently sold and assist us in the purchase of our new home. She took care to ensure that all aspects of the sale and purchase processes kept progressing on a timely basis and handled obstacles skillfully to support our best interest. I would highly recommend Sheryl’s services to anyone and everyone in need of a professional who gets the job done!
Sheryl is a very caring agent.She will do everything she can to help you. She also found us a home. She is the best you can find. Thanks for everything. By the way Bo is great too.
Sheryl - You represent the essence of what we feel a realtor should be. Your commitment to the sale of our home was always present as we felt completely assured that everything was under control. Your knowledge in the market and explanations to our questions were always communicated in a prompt response weather it was directly from you or one of your assistants in your office. Thank you for making us feel as though we were your only client even though we were aware of how perpetually busy you were. We have and will continue to recommend you to everyone we know!! Blessings!
I recently sold my home and used Sheryl and her team as my realtor. Before the transaction was even complete I was already recommending her to my family and friends. She has such a broad understanding of the market and has a passion for what she does. I really appreciated the one on one time she spent with me to explain the market conditions, my home’s value and all of the options available to me. Sheryl is my realtor for life!
After accepting a promotional opportunity in another state, I had no choice but to put my house on the market during the late fall which was by no means ideal. With very few people looking to buy during that time, you can imagine my angst. Sheryl however kept us very informed along the way telling not to panic and gave me great advice on when I should slightly drop the price a bit or when to hold tight. During the winter months when I was no longer in my home, she also made sure to physically check out my house each week to be sure the furnace was still working and no pipes issues. Another huge weight off my shoulders. She also knows her stuff in regards to marketing. She literally spent one afternoon helping me arrange my furniture to make sure my house photographed well for the online photos. She also uses a professional photographer, so the pictures were great!
We did a google search of realtors in our area and that's how we met Sheryl. We knew after our first phone call to her that we wanted her to be our realtor. Sheryl is incredibly patient and good at explaining what to expect in the home selling/buying process. When looking at homes, she took the time to educate us on the pros and cons of each home. She knew what we wanted when we often didn't know what we wanted ourselves. We also had the pleasure of meeting her husband Bo who was equally a joy to meet. We wanted to see a home on short notice and Bo stepped in for Sheryl. Her whole team is wonderful and they were always there to answer our questions. We really enjoyed looking at homes with Sheryl and will miss doing that now that she found us our home. We will definitely suggest her to anyone we know looking to buy/sell a home.
I am beyond delighted with the services I received from Sheryl, and her team! Sheryl’s marketing strategies for the sale of my townhome were incredibly well thought and professional, and as a result, my townhome sold very quickly. In a competitive market, Sheryl ensured that I was able to see new homes as soon as possible during my search for a new home. Sheryl, and her team, remained in constant contact, and they were always there to answer any questions that I had, or schedule a showing at the drop of a hat. The selling, and buying, processes were beyond smooth and I couldn’t be more grateful for the services I received. Sheryl’s years of experience, marketing strategies, and communication made the selling, and buying, processes painless and easy. I would highly recommend Sheryl’s services for your selling and buying needs. Thanks for everything to Sheryl, and team!
Sheryl and Bo are a great team and put together an outstanding marketing plan for our home. The result was seven showings and multiple offers in three days on the market and a sale for more than our asking price. The follow through on the details has been outstanding. We would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a great agent.
Sheryl has been great throughout the entire process of finding and negotiating the purchase of our new home. We feel as though we have always been her top priority. Her responsiveness to our questions and concerns and her dedication to our project has been outstanding. Her knowledge of the local area and the constructions methods and terminology is impressive beyond compare. She has made the entire experience very pleasant and painless. We will highly recommend her to anyone planning to buy a home.