Home buying today is absolutely and totally different from buying one in 2003. And right there is why so many myths swirl around a process that, in many ways, is utterly new from what it has been. What was true isn’t anymore. In this article we’ll review the believes about this process in real estate Panama.

According to Robert McGarvey, columnist from the website mainstreet.com, there are five myths on the home buying theme. Be ready to be shocked as we bust some myths below.

Myth 1: You need a 20% downpayment even to think about home buying.

Totally false. “A down payment can be very low,” said Joe Parsons, senior loan officer with PFS Funding, a mortgage banker in Dublin, Calif. “There are conventional loans requiring just 3% for a down payment or even zero – the VA home loan program for veterans will cover 100% of the purchase price.” Maybe five years ago, in the belly of the beast of the mortgage meltdown, 20% was in fact a necessity, but today most lenders are way more flexible. And if yours isn’t, go elsewhere.

Myth 2: Only those with golden credit need apply for home mortgages.

Rubbish. The past half dozen years have been rough. High unemployment, a housing implosion, you know the realities. So do lenders, and an upshot is a heightened willingness to overlook past pecadilloes such as a foreclosure. “Credit dings and blemishes, even a bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure do not prevent you from getting a loan, even with a very low down payment such as 3.5% for an FHA loan,” said Bruce Ailion, a realtor with RE/MAX in Georgia.

In searh of more home buying options? Read our article about preferential interest rates.

Myth 3: Fixed rate mortgages are the only way to go.

Not true, said David Reiss, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who specializes in real estate. He elaborated: “The necessity of getting a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is one of the biggest myths about home buying. The average American household stays in their home for about seven years. Typically, 30-year fixed rate mortgages have higher interest rates than adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Homebuyers should take a hard look at their plans for the new home.”

Only 6.5% of applications for mortgages in a recent period were for ARMs, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. A typical ARM went out at 3.21% interest, versus 4.69% for a typical 30 year fixed rate. That adds up to a difference worth tens of thousands of dollars over, say, a seven year probable life of the loan. Do the math.

Myth 4: Cut out the realtor, rep yourself and you will save a fast 3%.

That is just about never true. The realtor’s commission – 5 or 6 % in most of the country – is paid by the seller. In most contracts that realtor agrees to “co-broke,” which means he or she will split his commission with a buyer’s agent.

Explained Sam DeBord, a broker with Coldwell Banker Danforth in Washington State: “Most listing agents sign a contract with the seller for a certain commission percentage – for example, 6%. They offer to share a portion of that if a cooperating buyer’s agent enters the picture – for example, 3% – but if there is no buyer’s agent involved, the full 6% is still paid by the seller to the listing agent.”

Myth 5: If you can, you should buy a home right now.

Very probably homes will be a strong investment over the next 10 to 20 years, mainly because in most markets prices have been savaged compared to 2005 through 2007 highs. What goes down goes up and the same will be true with housing. However there are plenty of reasons why renting is the better choice for many. It’s flexible. There’s little commitment. Take a new job in a different part of the country, and it’s usually easy and low cost to move on.

There also is no knowing how long recovery will take for housing where you live, and in some parts of the nation, experts predict it will be another 20 years before the 2006 highs are hit again.

“Just because you can afford to buy a home, doesn’t mean you should,” said Steven Alexander, the president of Private Mortgage Services, a division of Private Bank of Buckhead in Atlanta. “There are many factors that need to be considered before making that type of commitment. Do I have the time and financial wherewithal to maintain a home? How long do I plan to stay?”

Home buying makes sense. Often. But it is not a financial fast track to wealth. Know that, and the decisionmaking gets that much easier.

Read more information here.

If you are interested in home buying and want to get great prices compared to the market read our article about foreclosure homes in Panama were you’ll found that these kind of homes can cost 60% less than their original market price.

MBA - Oscar A. Alvarez
Creative Director at Latam Digital Marketing – He has worked for more than 5 years for brands like Samsung, Wingo Airlines, Amazon, L’oreal, Reebok among many others for all Latam.

A part after completing an MBA at Macquarie University – Australia, is dedicated to the creation of start ups. After several visits to Silicon Valley and connections established at City Co-founded www.gogetitleads.com.

# 1 Digital Marketing Agency with focus on Real Estate in Latam. Currently works with the largest construction projects from Canada to Chile; Connecting the right buyers with your clients’ projects.