Buying a home requires quite a bit of know-how, and even if you're an experienced investor, it's always a good idea to brush up on the basics. That's why we've answered some of our most frequently asked questions about Philly home buying!

Have a questions that isn't listed here? Get in touch with our team to get the answers you need!

Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Where should I start?


Q. How do I know what to look for in a home?


  • Outline your needs, wants, and what would be nice to have in a home. You should also consider factors like size, age, location, layout, and features.
  • From there, you can start perusing the latest listings to see what kinds of homes are actually in your price range.
  • Our handy search tool can help you find homes by price, location, feature, and even school district.

Q. Why should I use an agent?


  • While it may be tempting to buy on your own, working with an agent usually won't cost you anything as a buyer.
  • Your agent will serve as your advocate, local expert, guide, and negotiator throughout the entire process.
  • They can also answer your questions and help you navigate all the complicated paperwork that comes with buying a home.

Q. Where and how do I get a loan?


  • There are a variety of different mortgages and lenders from which to choose, but you'll have to do some research to find the right fit for your needs.
  • Be sure to shop around for lenders or ask your agent for recommendations. You may also want to work with a mortgage broker—they can help you explore all of your options.
  • Before formally applying for your loan, you'll want to get pre-approved. This is when a lender evaluates your finances and tells you exactly how much you can borrow.

Q. What if I have bad credit or no down payment?


  • It's still possible to buy a home with bad credit or no down payment, and there are many programs out there that can offer assistance.
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers insured loans that protect the lender if the buyer defaults. FHA loans also come with lower interest rates and down payment requirements.
  • The Philly First Home Program offers an assistance grant of up to $10,000 (or 6% of the home’s purchase price, whichever is lower) to first-time buyers who meet certain income and credit requirements.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a federal agency that can provide further guidance.

Q. Once I find my home, what will I pay up front?


  • Earnest money: Think of this as a security deposit that shows the seller you're serious about purchasing their home. Although it's nonrefundable, it will eventually go towards your closing costs.
  • Down payment: This is the amount of money you have on hand to pay for a home. The rest of a home's purchase price is covered by your mortgage.
  • Closing costs: These various costs can include title and legal fees, home inspections, and agent commission. Sellers usually pay most of the closing costs.

Q. What other costs will I pay?


  • Your monthly mortgage payment may also include utilities, HOA or condo fees, and property taxes.
  • If you have any questions about fees in a specific community, be sure to ask your agent before you buy.

Looking for More Answers?

Contact the Sivel Group with all of your home buying questions! We're dedicated to helping our clients find their dream homes, and we'd love to chat about your real estate goals. Check out our resources below for even more information on buying a home in the Philly area.