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Buy Your Next Home

We’re with you when you’re ready to buy your next home

Let us help you understand your options and considerations so you can make informed homebuying decisions.

Your situation and financial goals change and evolve over time. Needs change, careers unfold, and priorities shift. When change occurs, you may need to consider buying a home that may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
Our flexible financing options and low down payment programs are some of the ways we can help make buying your next home a straightforward and rewarding experience.

What are the benefits of buying my next home?Show Details

Your homebuying goals are as unique as you. The potential financial and personal benefits that go along with buying your next home may include:
  • Gaining additional space. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your existing home and need more space for your family, hobbies, or your social life.
  • A more manageable space. If you want to downsize or want to simplify your life, you may be ready to consider a smaller home.
  • A quicker commute to a new job opportunity. Career changes may make it necessary to move to a new area and find a new home.
  • Enhanced luxuries or upgrades. Additional income may allow you to purchase a home with additional amenities.

What should I consider before purchasing my next home?Show Details

A home is one of the largest purchases many people make. Like any major decision, homeownership requires careful considerations:
Be clear about your purchasing reasons
  • Is your family changing?
  • Are you down-sizing?
  • Do you need to relocate for a new job?
  • Are you moving to a new location?
  • Do you want certain amenities or features?
Estimate the cost of selling your current home
Before pricing your home, calculate sales costs, including:

  • The cost of repairs needed to maintain your home’s value. If you have a leaky roof, or need electrical or plumbing work, your sales price is likely to be lower to cover those costs.
    • Consider hiring a home inspector to uncover any hidden problems.
  • Making cosmetic improvements to increase the ‘curb appeal’ of your home. Relatively lower cost items, such as painting or landscaping, can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
  • The amount you will pay in real estate commission. Real estate agents receive a percentage of the home sale as a commission.
    • If you are considering selling your home yourself, estimate your time and costs for advertising, showing the house to prospective buyers and handling negotiations.
  • Other miscellaneous expenses.
    • Is there a prepayment penalty on your mortgage?
    • Will you incur the cost of temporary storage for your personal items while showing to potential buyers?
    • Have you planned for moving and some packing costs?
Estimate the sales price for your current home
  • If your home is priced realistically, you may be able to sell it faster.
  • Property appraisers set a price by comparing a home to recently sold, nearby properties similar in square-footage, room number, age, and features.
  • Your real estate agent will help you decide on a listing price by getting a list of comparable properties.
Consider purchasing a home that needs renovation
  • Homes needing renovation may be available below market value.
  • Our Purchase & Renovate SM loan may enable you to buy and repair with one loan.
  • Consider that remodeling and repairs may require hiring a contractor, depending on the loan you choose.
  • Our mortgage plus home equity financing options combine a Wells Fargo first mortgage together with home equity financing. There may be tax benefits and reduced closing costs with these options. (Consult a tax advisor on the deductibility of interest.)

What basics should I understand about home mortgage loans?Show Details

Knowing what to expect when getting a home loan can make finding and financing your first home an exciting and rewarding experience. If you obtain a mortgage to help buy your home you will repay more than you borrowed. In addition to your interest rate, term and loan amount, how much you repay is determined by several factors. Here are the components you need to know:
Interest rate
  • The interest rate is the percentage of your loan amount we charge you to borrow money to buy your home.
  • Interest rates are based on current market conditions, your credit score, down payment, and the type of mortgage you choose. Check today’s rates.

Discount points
  • One point equals 1% of your mortgage amount.
  • If you qualify, you may be able to pay one or more points to lower your interest rate. A lower interest rate means lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • Points are usually tax deductible. (Consult a tax advisor on the deductibility of interest.)

Origination charge
  • The amount that includes all charges (other than discount points) that all loan originators (lenders and brokers) involved will receive for originating the loan.
  • This charge covers items including fees, document preparation, and underwriting costs, and other expenses.

Loan term
  • Your loan term is the amount of time you have to pay off your mortgage balance.
  • Shorter loan terms typically mean higher monthly mortgage payments, but often have lower interest rates. And if you pay off your mortgage balance within a shorter term, you may pay less in total interest than with a longer-term mortgage.

Remember that interest rates only tell part of the story. The total cost of a mortgage is reflected by the interest rate, discount points, and origination charges. This total cost is known as the annual percentage rate (APR), which is typically higher than the interest rate. The APR enables you to compare mortgages of the same dollar amount by considering their total annual cost.
What is PITI? PITI stands for the four elements that make up most mortgage payments: Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.

Your monthly mortgage payment is typically made up of four parts:

  • Principal is the amount of money you borrowed.
  • Interest is the cost of borrowing the money.
  • Taxes are the property taxes charged by your local government. Typically we collect a portion of these taxes in every mortgage payment and hold the funds in an escrow account for tax payments made on your behalf as they become due.
  • Insurance refers to homeowners or hazard insurance that provides protection against loss from property damage due to wind, fire or other risks. Like taxes, insurance costs are typically collected and paid from an escrow account.
View your loan options now.

Depending upon your property location, property type and loan amount, you may incur other monthly or annual expenses such as mortgage insurance, flood insurance, and homeowners association fees.

How will you evaluate my mortgage application?Show Details

When your application is complete, we review the following four components:
  • Do you have a reliable, continuing source of income to make monthly payments?
  • Income can come from primary, second, and part-time jobs, as well as overtime, bonuses, and commissions.
  • You may use other sources of income if you want them considered for payment – including retirement or veteran’s benefits, disability payments, alimony, child support, and rental or investment income – provided they can be verified as stable, reliable, and likely to continue for at least three years.
Learn more about establishing and improving your credit
Current debts and credit history:
  • Do you pay your bills, loans, credit cards and other debts on time?
  • We examine your payment habits before deciding to loan you money.
  • Your credit history and credit score are also examined prior to deciding to loan you money. Wells Fargo also offers a series of online credit education videos.
  • It's a good idea to check your credit history and correct any problems before applying.
Assets and available funds:
  • Do you have enough funds for a down payment and closing costs?
  • You may use funds from a savings account, certificate of deposit (CD), investments, and retirement fund.
  • In some cases, you may be able to use gift funds toward closing costs and all or part of the down payment.
  • In many cases you will also have to demonstrate that you have additional funds in your accounts to cover several months of mortgage, tax and insurance payments.
The property:
  • What is the market value of the property you want to purchase?
  • We will order a property appraisal to make sure your property’s value meets our underwriting requirements.
Responsible lending guidelines
We approve applications where we believe the borrower has the ability to repay the loan or line of credit according to its terms. We use two ratio-based guidelines to evaluate your ability to repay.
What is debt-to-income ratio? Debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that is spent on monthly debt payments.
What is housing-to-income ratio? Housing-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that is spent on monthly housing payments.
Debt-to-income ratio:
  • Your expected monthly mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) plus your other monthly debt obligations to your gross (pre-tax) monthly income are compared.
  • Mortgage program guidelines vary, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your total debt level at or below 36% of your gross monthly income.
Housing-expense-to-income ratio:
  • We also compare just your expected monthly mortgage payment (including taxes and insurance) to your gross monthly income.
  • Mortgage program guidelines vary, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your housing expense level at or below 28%.
Even if you fall within the 28%/36% rules of thumb, make certain that you feel comfortable making your monthly mortgage, insurance and tax payments and the payments on all your other monthly obligations. Homes have other costs—such as utilities, maintenance and repairs—that may not exist if you rent.

How can I get started with my next home purchase?Show Details

Understanding the financial considerations that go along with purchasing a home will increase your chances for a successful start. You can also prepare by:
Creating a plan

Estimating what you can spend
  • Calculate your monthly payment.
    • Use our payment calculator to estimate payments for various mortgage amounts and interest rates.
  • The total amount you need is the sum of your down payment and your closing costs.
  • Estimate the proceeds from the sale of your current home that can be used to buy your new home.
  • Some mortgages require mortgage insurance (MI), depending on the type of loan and down payment. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will typically need to pay mortgage insurance.
  • Closing costs and prepaid expenses are also a necessary part of getting a mortgage.

Setting a time frame
  • Determine when you’d like to buy your home
    • Take into consideration your credit, cash flow, and savings.

How do I estimate what I might be able to borrow?Show Details

We offer different ways to estimate how much you may be able to borrow. When you know how much you expect to borrow, you can estimate a price range before you begin looking for a home.
  • A free mortgage prequalification lets you estimate how much you can borrow, based on basic financial data you provide.1
  • A preapproval letter tells a REALTOR® and seller that you’ve been preapproved for a specific amount based on a preliminary review of your credit information.2
Graph iconBuying a house?

Estimate how much you may be able to borrow.
What is the difference between a prequalification and a preapproval? Prequalification provides a ballpark loan estimate with no credit check and no fee. A preapproval provides a preliminary credit review with a credit check and a fee.
Preapproval is not a commitment to lend. A commitment is contingent on verifying application information, satisfying all underwriting requirements and conditions, and an acceptable property appraisal and title.

Verification of this information, satisfying underwriting conditions, plus a satisfactory title search and appraisal are required for final loan approval.

Remember: Neither a preapproval nor a prequalification obligates you to borrow from Wells Fargo.

How can I find a home that meets my needs?Show Details

When you are ready to look for your first home, you can receive valuable information and assistance by working with a real estate agent to locate properties for sale that meet your needs. You may want to keep these basic steps in mind:
  • Easily assess what features you want in your home with this homebuying wish list.
  • If you aren’t already working with a real estate agent, your home mortgage consultant can provide you with information to contact real estate agents in your area. Real estate agents make it their business to know about communities and the homes within them.

  • Location is as important as appearance or size.
  • Do you need to be in a particular school district, close to a job, public transportation, or day-care facility?
  • Although no one can predict the rise and fall of property values, talk with your real estate agent about the trend in the area’s purchase prices over the years.

Needs and wants
  • Consider desired features and amenities of your new home. For example:
    • How many bedrooms and baths do you need?
    • Do you need central heating or air conditioning?
  • Separate “wants” from “needs” and prioritize your list.
  • Prioritize each item and look for a home with the most important features.

Types of homes
  • A single-family home is just one of your options.
  • Condominiums, town homes, and co-ops all offer different lifestyle and ownership features.
    • Be sure you budget for monthly fees for garbage and snow removal, landscaping, and similar services charged by these communities.
  • Consider newly built homes in addition to existing homes.

Sometimes finding your ideal home involves compromise. You may want to consider “a diamond in the rough” – a place you can transform with a bit of ingenuity or some renovations. Ask a home mortgage consultant about our Purchase & Renovate SM loan, which simultaneously funds purchase and repairs.

Your real estate professional and home mortgage consultant will work together to help make buying your first home a rewarding experience.

Benefits of working with a REALTOR®

Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. What’s the difference?
According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®, the term REALTOR® identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the association, and who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Some of the benefits of working with a REALTOR® include:
Professional assistance and representation
  • Whether you’re buying or selling, a REALTOR® may be able to help you navigate the transaction more smoothly.
  • These trained professionals can make suggestions about what may seem like a complicated process.

Marketplace experience
  • A REALTOR® can assess the market — house-by-house, street-by-street — with access to up-to-date information that you may not have.

Buyer's advantage
  • A REALTOR® who understands your property and location needs can use his or her network to gather first-hand information on upcoming homes for sale.

Seller's advantage
  • Selling your home is a huge undertaking, especially when it comes to accurate pricing and bringing in qualified buyers. You may benefit from seeking the assistance of an experienced REALTOR®.

What can I expect during the rest of the homebuying process?Show Details


Making an Offer

Your REALTOR® can help you determine the appropriate amount for your initial offer based on comparable home sales, market value, condition of the home and your closing date.

When you make the offer, consider these tips:
Put your offer in writing
  • Negotiations should not be handled verbally; writing ensures understanding between the parties.
  • If you do negotiate verbally, follow up in writing.

Have your preapproval for maximum leverage
  • Real estate agents and sellers increasingly rely on preapprovals to identify serious offers.2

Submit a deposit
  • This “good faith” deposit demonstrates commitment to the transaction.

Finalize your purchase contract
  • The contract is a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller describing all the terms of the transaction.
  • Depending on which state you live in, an attorney, real estate agent, or title company may help negotiate and draft the contract.
  • See what purchase contracts typically include.

Next steps

Wells Fargo’s Learning & Planning Center can help you understand all the steps of the home financing process.
For your mortgage needs:
For your home equity needs:


Total the amount of your savings

How much you could put toward a new home, down payment and closing costs using:
  • savings and money market accounts
  • stocks and bonds
  • certificates of deposit

Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance (MI)
Mortgage insurance protects the lender against a loss if a borrower defaults on the loan. On conventional (non-government loans) private mortgage insurance (PMI) is usually required if your loan amount is greater than 80% of the home’s value. On government-backed FHA loans, mortgage insurance is usually required in the form of both an up-front premium, as well as a monthly premium. The amount of mortgage insurance paid on an FHA loan is dependent on the base loan amount, loan term and loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

Specific mortgage amount

Based on a preliminary review of your credit information.

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A prequalification lets you estimate how much you can borrow to buy a home and is not a commitment to lend.
A PriorityBuyer® preapproval is based on our preliminary review of credit information only and is not a commitment to lend. We will be able to offer a loan commitment upon verification of application information, satisfying all underwriting requirements and conditions, and providing an acceptable property, appraisal, and title report. Preapprovals are subject to change or cancellation if a requested loan no longer meets applicable regulatory requirements. Preapprovals are not available on all products. See a home mortgage consultant for details.
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