OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

From renters for life to SoCal homeowners

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

When Malibu, CA-based blogger and Mom Tiffanie Anne and her soon-to-be husband Brett started looking for a new place for them and their 1.5 year old daughter, Tenley, the idea of buying a home in Southern California seemed completely out of the picture.

As her apartment hunt grew fiercer — finding a 2 bedroom apartment in the Calabasas / Malibu / Agoura Hills neighborhood area for under $2,400 is no small feat — Tiffanie would religiously check the 5 apartment and real estate apps she had on her phone.

But, it wasn’t until she stumbled across an Open Listings ad on Facebook, found out about our commission refund of up to 50%, and used the “What It’ll Cost” calculator that she realized home ownership would even be a possibility.

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

A personalized look at our “What It’ll Cost” calculator

After taking a look at their finances, Tiffanie and Brett realized that they could use the savings they had initially earmarked for their wedding (they decided to elope instead) and opt to buy their first home instead of rent.

We’re excited to announce that as a part of an ongoing partnership with OL, Tiffanie is documenting every step of her homebuying process.

OL buyer story: Tiffanie & Brett

Tenley & Tiffanie on their house hunt

Follow along on her blog for a real look at what it’s like to be a first-time homebuyer in a competitive market like Southern California while using Open Listings.

The posts:

  • It’s Happening! The Journey Begins
  • [Video] Buying Our First Home in California Part 1: What Are We Looking For?
  • Let’s Move! …But Where in California?
  • House #1? House #2? Which one?!
  • The Winner Is…
  • Open Listings to the Rescue!

Looking to get out of renting and buy your first home? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, get everyday support from our homebuying experts, & save an average of $8,500+ when you buy.

3 Ways To Invest In Real Estate—Even With Limited Funds [Video!]

There are lots of myths surrounding real estate investment and how you can get started. While there are many, here are three ways you can get started—even while trying to build bigger pockets. In this video, I break down three common ways to get started. (And no, none of them include HGTV-style flipping…) 1. Be […]

View the full article: 3 Ways To Invest In Real Estate—Even With Limited Funds [Video!] on The BiggerPockets Blog. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking about refinancing your home? Here are the costs.

Thinking about refinancing your home? Here are the costs.

At some point, most homeowners start to consider refinancing their homes. Whether your end goal is to score a better interest rate, change the length of your loan, or receive a cash advance for the equity you’ve put into the property, refinancing can do a lot to help ease the financial burden of homeownership. But, refinancing your home does come at a cost of its own.

If you’ve been wondering whether refinancing is a viable option for you right now, we’ve laid out some of the most common costs associated with refinancing your home:

What should I expect to pay when refinancing?

When you refinance, you’ll be expected to pay closing costs on the loan — the fees needed to close out your old mortgage and begin your new one. They’ll vary depending on where you live and the company you choose, so be sure to do your research before signing on the dotted line.

However, in general, this is what you can expect to pay:

Loan application fee

Just like when you applied for your first mortgage, you’ll need to pay an application fee. This covers any costs associated with vetting your finances, such as checking your credit score, to see if meet the lender’s criteria to be given a loan. It’s worth noting that, even if your application is denied, you’ll still be on the hook for this fee. $75 – $300

Loan origination fee

This is the cost charged by the lender in order to prepare your new mortgage. Usually, the fee is charged as a percentage of the loan rather than a flat dollar amount. 0% – 1.5% of the loan’s principal value

Points

A point is equal to 1% of your loan’s principle value. Some lenders charge a certain amount of points for making changes to the loan’s original terms, such as reducing the interest rate or paying it off early. 0% – 3% of the loan’s principal value

Home inspection

Sometimes, a lender will require you to have a home inspection to ensure that the property is structurally sound and all its systems are in working order. Depending on the regulations where you live, you may be required to perform additional inspections as well. $200 – $400

Appraisal fee

The bank may require that you hire an appraiser to determine the current fair market value of your home. This may be higher or lower than when you originally bought. However, it will determine that size of the loan that the bank is willing to issue. Typically, they will only issue loans lesser than or equal to the fair market value. $300 – $400

Survey fees

Sometimes, a lender will require that you have survey conducted to verify that the boundaries of your property are properly recorded and that they aren’t being encroached upon by the neighbors. $150 – $300

Insurance policies

In order to grant you a loan, most mortgage companies insist that their investment be protected in the event of an emergency, meaning that they may require you to get homeowners insurance. While you probably already have a policy in place, when refinancing, your lender may require that you get additional coverage, or if needed, supplemental policies for floods, etc. $0 – $1,000

Title search and insurance

If you live in a title state, you’ll need to hire a title company to search court records, prior deeds, and property records. Their job is to ensure that your home’s title has no liens or other encumbrances that will need to be paid off before you can recieve a new mortgage. $700 – $900

Attorney fees

If you do not live in a title state, you’ll need to hire an attorney to conduct those searches on your behalf. $500 – $1,000

Recording fees

When you refinance, the changes to your mortgage have to be made a matter of public record. The fee charged to record this change is determined by your local municipality. $25 – $200

What’s the total cost of refinancing?

Your total cost will vary widely depending on where you live and the terms of both your new and original loans. However, on average, a homeowner can expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 – $5,000 to refinance their home.

If this figure is going to be an issue for you, negotiating with your lender is possible. He or she may be able to cover some of the costs and/or work with you to find a new loan program that better suits your needs.

What is no-cost refinancing?

“No-cost refinancing” is a bit of a misnomer. This process refers to how the fees are charged, rather than the overall cost itself. In a traditional refinancing scenario, the homeowner is expected to pay the above closing costs upfront. With no-cost refinancing, these fees are added on top of the principal value of your new loan, allowing you to pay for them over time.

If you think this may be an option for you, be sure to shop around for lenders who specialize in this type of work. Also, be aware that the flexibility of this option may come at an added cost in the form of higher interest rates. You’ll need to do the math to decide which payment process is ultimately a better choice for you.

Thinking about buying a new home? Use Open Listings to house hunt 24/7, book tours on demand, & get back an average of $8,500+ with our 50% commission refund when you buy with us.