“I have my down payment….what are closing costs?”

down payment closing costs tipsThere’s 3.5%, 5%, 10%, 20%… are these your possible winning percentages at a casino here in Vegas? Nope… they’re the possible down payment options for your new home, depending on the loan program.

You’ve saved and saved, stopped eating out, and put in overtime at work just so you can save up even more. You’ve talked to a Lender and have been pre-approved for a home loan.

You know you’re buying power. Your bank account is padded and you’re ready to house hunt… but what’s this “closing cost” thing?

Just because you have your down payment and you’ll be borrowing the difference for that new home, there are still fees to be paid at your closing. Closing Costs are a combination of your Mortgage Company’s Fees (they vary between Lenders), Prepaid County Taxes, Prepaid Annual Home Insurance, Home Warranty, Title Company Fees, etc.

Add them all up and these fees typically range between 2%-3% of your purchase price. Suddenly you’re no longer saving just for that down payment amount — you have other significant costs too!

Now that you know what closing costs are, let me tell you about several options on how to deal with them…

With my Buyers, I attempt to have the Seller contribute a sum towards the closing costs when we’re negotiating the deal. Remember that Sellers are looking for a “net number” when selling their home. The combination of a reasonable and strong purchase offer while asking for that closing cost contribution can absolutely get a deal done — and often does.

Another option would be to take advantage of the numerous down payment assistant programs currently available here in Nevada. One that I’m well versed on (and have several YouTube videos about) is the “Home is Possible” grant program.

This allows up to 4% of the purchase price to be used as part of your down payment and/or closing costs. As a grant it doesn’t have to be paid back — it’s basically “free money!” Find out if your Lender participates in the program and if not, I know several who do.

In a recent deal we were able to combine the Home is Possible money along with a Seller’s closing cost contribution to allow our Buyer to come to the closing table with barely anything out-of-pocket. It was practically 0% down for their new home!

The key is to have the best Vegas REALTOR represent you throughout the home buying process. If you or someone you know could use our expertise to be successful with a house purchase, contact me today!

– Mike Rebarchick

Update: Here’s a funny but helpful video we just posted on YouTube. It explains closing costs and provides some tips on how to save money when buying a home:

p.s. The link below also discusses the confusion about closing costs that many future homeowners were unaware of:



Photo by: johnnyvulkan

Home is Possible: 10 Things to Know About the NV Grant Program

Nevada's Home is Possible Grant Program

We are really excited about Nevada’s new Home is Possible grant program. If you’re interested in getting “free money” to help you buy a home in Las Vegas or Henderson, you owe it to yourself to learn about this incredible new home buyers assistance program!

Here are the 10 most important things to know…

1. Home is Possible grants provide up to four percent of a home loan’s value to be used for down payment and closing costs assistance.

2. These grants never need to be repaid!

3. There is not first-time home buyer requirement to qualify for this program.

4. There are no asset limits for buyers.

5. Fixed interest rate 30-year loans qualify. (Don’t forgot about those still-low mortgage rates!)

6. The grant money can only be used on a primary residence purchase.

7. You must have a minimum credit score of 640 for government insured loans, 660 for manufactured homes, or 680 for conventional loans

8. Your qualifying income on your mortgage app must be below $95,500

9. Home purchases of $400,000 and below qualify for the program.

10. You must take a short and simply “homebuyer education” course to be eligible.

That’s it! There’s a very good chance you qualify for the Home is Possible Nevada grant program. Just contact us today to learn more!

Watch these videos to learn more:

Home Is Possible lender info here

A Shift Change: The New Las Vegas Buyer’s Market

cars on the Vegas Strip

There are numerous types of shifts… work schedule shifts, gear shifts, gravitational shifts… but within Las Vegas Valley real estate I’ve noticed a different type of shift recently….the shift to a Buyer’s Market!

Not only am I seeing this within my day-to-day transactions, but I’m also a “Data Guy” — I watch the statistics and look at the current numbers every day. I educate myself with the current trends in real estate which in turn means that my clients have an instant edge when I represent them. A majority of this information is easily ignored by other local realtors… which is fine by me!

While there’s still a relatively low housing inventory in Southern Nevada, it’s more than double the inventory from less than a year ago.  For the moment this has helped prices stabilize, after a tremendous spike in home values over the past couple of years. Homes are staying on the market a bit longer…which makes sellers nervous.  Their patience is being tested while they wait for the “perfect” offer to come in.

When I’m writing up offers for my buyers I’m always “swinging for the fences” and trying to get the best deal possible, within reason. We’ll ask for closing costs contributions from the seller, a home warranty, repair allowance, and other perks to sweeten the deal for my client. These requested items were unheard of just a few months ago when multiple offers were being received on any given property.

My buyers are in control! They’re taking advantage of these (still) historically low interest rates, favorable loan programs with loosened lending rules, and patience. Buyers have the upper hand in the current market… so if you’re interested in buying Las Vegas or Henderson real estate now is the time.

Contact me today to find out how to take advantage of the new Las Vegas buyer’s market!

– Mike


Vegas Strip photo by anieto2k

NHSSN: Helping First Time Home Buyers in the Vegas Valley!

a nice Las Vegas valley home

Are you interested in owning your first Las Vegas Valley home? Not sure how to get started, or even if you can afford the down payment? Well you’ll probably be happy to know there’s an entire organization to help people like you…

This past week I had the privilege of being asked to teach a class at the offices of the NHSSN (Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada) and I of course jumped on the opportunity!

The class was all about the role of a REALTOR® during the home-buying process, and it was followed by a great question and answer session with the attendees. The energy and excitement from these future homeowners made the nearly 2 hour class go by extremely quickly!

For those unfamiliar with the organization:

NHSSN helps provide down payment assistance to first-time home buyers throughout Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and the rest of Southern Nevada. The assistance can range from a minimum of $6000 all the way up to $14,999. In most cases this is more than enough for your required loan down payment and your closing costs!

Taking advantage of this great assistance program is fairly easy. It involves meeting with an NHSSN representative to qualify and it entails an 8-hour course covering the home buying and home owning process. The goal is to make buyers feel confident and comfortable with purchasing and owning their first home (the first “big” investment most Americans make).

The organization works hand-in-hand with your mortgage company and loan officer to make the purchase as easy as possible, with the right REALTOR steering the ship. We’ll soon be posting a detailed guide and video regarding the NHSSN regulations, processes, and paperwork, so be on the lookout for that.

If you’re interested in learning more, or even in getting started leveraging the power of this great program immediately, please call, text, or email me so I can help you!

UPDATE: Here’s a quick video I put together explaining the role of a good REALTOR in the NHSSN down payment assistance program process:


More info here:

LVRJ Article

NHSSN: Homeownership Programs & Services

Las Vegas NeighborhoodLIFT: Frequently Asked Questions

NeighborWorks America



Beautiful Vegas Valley home photo by JillWillRun