Frequent Questions from New Albany Home Buyers
These are some of the questions we most frequently hear from homebuyers in the New Albany area.
I'm new to the New Albany area! What do I need to know?
First and foremost, New Albany is a fantastic place to live, to work, and to buy a home! This warm and friendly community offers so many wonderful amenities and opportunities—beautiful neighborhoods, lovely parks and trails, pet-friendly spots, exciting shops and entertainment venues, top-notch schools… and so much more.
If you’re new to the area, we recommend taking a look at our New Albany Relocation Guide to get a better idea of what it’s like to live here, and to get to know the area a little better. We’ve got tons of resources for buyers, movers, and folks new to our fantastic community. We’d love to show you around!
Should I buy or rent?
There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether to rent or buy—both external market factors and more internal, personal factors. Buying comes with a lot of financial perks, like tax breaks and equity growth, as well as a sense of security and some design flexibility.
However, homeownership isn’t for everyone. If you plan to move within the next few years, don’t have steady employment, or currently have high debts, it might be worth waiting until your situation is a bit more stable before you start searching.
How much do I need for a down payment?
There was a time when a solid 20% down payment was a requirement for getting approved for a home loan. Those days are long past. Today, there are so many different mortgage options out there for buyers, and many offer low down payment options, in addition to lower credit and income requirements.
For example, FHA loans allow buyers to purchase homes with as little as a 3% down payment. The VA loan and USDA loans offer up to 100% financing! More traditional loans (i.e. those not subsidized or guaranteed by government programs), typically require a 10% – 20% down payment.
How do I get the best mortgage?
The best way to get the best mortgage is to shop around. The more lenders, banks, brokers, and credit unions you speak to, the more options you’ll have. Some lenders might not offer certain types of loans, such as the VA loan or other government loans. Other lenders might offer different fees for their services. Others still might provide discounts or promotions.
When you know you’re serious about buying, the next step is to start calling lenders and asking questions. Only by talking to a variety of mortgage providers will you get a full picture of your options.
Why do I need a Realtor?
Real estate agents are incredibly valuable to both buyers and sellers. In both cases, your agent will walk you through the transaction from start to finish, handling communication between all parties involved in the process—other agents, attorneys, inspectors, lenders, and more. They also use negotiation skills to ensure you get the best deal possible. And of course, they’re always happy to answer questions or lend expert advice.
In most cases, the agent’s commission is paid by the seller. Which means you as the buyer get the services of an agent for FREE! Your agent will take the time to understand what you’re looking for in a home and location—and help you find it, at the right price and without any headaches.
How many homes should I see before making an offer?
This really depends. Most buyers will view hundreds of homes online but only visit a handful or so before making an offer. Other buyers find the right home after only one or two visits. Others look for quite a bit longer before finding "the one". The more specifications you have, the trickier it might be to find the right home, but the more likely you are to be satisfied when you do find it!
How do I know if a property is a good deal?
Your agent can definitely help with this! The New Albany market is always changing as buyer demand fluctuates. In high-demand markets, prices tend to climb. In lower-demand markets, prices may relax. A good agent will be up-to-date on market happenings and will be able to tell you whether a home is accurately priced… or you might be about to overpay.
One of the ways an agent does this is by studying similar homes in the area that have recently sold. This “comparables” list can help you and your agent determine a reasonable asking price when you decide to make an offer on a home.
What are homeowner’s tax benefits?
Homeowners can take advantage of some pretty decent tax breaks. Typical deductions include mortgage interest and real estate taxes. When you buy, any loan discount points you pay and any origination fees are usually deductible, too.
Can I buy a new home and sell my current home at the same time?
Absolutely! In fact, this is pretty common among sellers who are moving into another home. It can be a bit of a juggling act at times, but it’s definitely possible to do. Often, seller-buyers will make an offer on a new home contingent on the sale of their old home. This ensures that you aren’t stuck paying two mortgages or struggling to come up with a down payment while your equity is still tied up in your current home.