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Real Estate Berkshires- Paying the cost to be the boss unexpected expenses

Buying a Home in 2017?

If purchasing Berkshire real estate in Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Lenox or Williamstown Massachusetts is in your forecast we have some important tips about financing

1.    Go Local Williamstown, Stockbridge, Lenox or Great Barrington: Start at a local bank  in the Berkshires and avoid advertised online mortgage offerings. Our local Berkshire County lenders are personal, they are responsive, they are quick with turnarounds.  Adams Community Bank, Berkshire Bank, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lee Bank, Mountain One and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank are all locally based. These local banks have branches throughout Berkshire County from Williamstown in the north to Great Barrington and Lenox and Stockbridge in south county.On line mortgage companies advertise constantly on TV however are remote when you reach the closing table and may delay the purchase process by weeks.

2.    Get Qualified for your Berkshires purchase: The Berkshire local bank you choose will gladly provide you with either a pre-qualification letter or much better, a pre-approval letter for your Lenox home purchase. The pre-approval tells you and the real estate licensee you’re working with exactly what amount you are qualified with that lender to borrow up to. Share this information with your own agent/facilitator who is working for you. If  you are looking at homes with only seller’s agents you may be better off keeping this information to your self as this will provide the seller with advance notice of the amount you can spend.

3.    Confirm Your Available Cash:  You will need to have saved or have available sufficient funds for various costs when purchasing your Stockbridge home. This starts with your earnest money deposits as part of the purchase process before you actually own the property which can range in total up to 5%-10% of the total purchase price. Buyers going through some government loan programs may be eligible for deposits as low as a few hundred dollars.  Besides the earnest money binder during the contract phase you then will need the balance of the down payment which ideally would be 20% or more of the purchase price in order not to have to pay for private mortgage insurance which is typically between one half to one full percent of the mortgage amount, paid monthly along with the mortgage payment. There are low down payment programs too for those with minimum savings. You will also need cash for miscellaneous closing costs such as fuel in gas or oil tanks used for heating, your attorney’s fee, inspections, etc. The bank will provide you with a detailed estimate for these costs at the time of your pre-approval interview.

The average costs will likely be 2.5% of the cost of the property at the closing table.   According to Business Insider 2016 unexpected costs at closing include appraisal fees, attorney fees, property transfer fees, and title insurance.  Homeowner Association fees, utilities, property taxes and home owner's insurance also factor in to the monthly payments you will be making.



Paul Harsch

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