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Buying a home is a large financial commitment, so it’s important your money is protected. An escrow account can help ease the anxiety you may feel about putting down a large sum of money for a home or other kinds of homeownership expenses. Let’s learn more about escrow, how it can benefit you, and what’s included in this type of account.
Escrow is a third-party account used to hold money, paperwork, or property until an agreed upon condition is met. When it comes to home financing, there are two types of escrow you should know about: purchase and mortgage.
Purchase escrow is related to the buying or selling of a home. This version of escrow helps manage all the moving parts and finances of the home sale. Escrow assures buyers that the money they’ve put into the purchase is going to the right accounts. For sellers, escrow is an assurance that they’re releasing ownership of the home and hopefully making a profit.
Mortgage escrow is used to hold payments for ongoing housing expenses, such as taxes and insurance. The account may cover taxes and insurance premiums when they are due, allowing a homeowner to pay without using out of pocket funds.
Earnest money, also known as a good faith deposit, is held in escrow until the transaction is completed. Earnest money is typically between 1% and 3% of the home’s listing price and is used to show sellers how committed you are to the purchase of the property. After closing, earnest money is applied to a buyer’s down payment amount.
Once you’re an official homeowner, a portion of your monthly payment is held in escrow until tax and insurance payments are due. This ensures you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Depending on your loan type, escrow may or may not be a requirement. Conventional mortgages that have down payments smaller than 20%, FHA programs, and USDA programs all require escrow accounts. VA programs and conventional mortgages with larger down payment amounts do not require escrow.
Whether you’re an established homeowner, you’re looking to buy, or you’re looking to sell, escrow accounts ensure a person’s finances are fully protected.
For a homebuyer, escrow can feel like a vault. Your escrow holds onto a portion of your finances, protecting your deposit until the sale is concluded. If the seller doesn’t meet the home’s contract terms, the earnest money deposited into escrow is returned to you.
If a buyer backs out of a purchase agreement for a reason that isn’t protected by the contract, the earnest money is given to the home seller to help recoup their losses.
Established homeowners can also benefit from escrow. Instead of having to use a personal account and budgeting for insurance and tax payments, mortgage escrow allows a homeowner to include these costs into their total monthly payment. Your mortgage lender then pays your premiums on your behalf as they are due.
When it comes to home financing that empowers you throughout the process, it’s important to work with a Loan Originator you can trust. Contact us today to be paired with an expert Loan Originator who can walk you through loan programs, the housing market, and set you up for mortgage success!
Homestead Funding offers exceptional customer service and a convenient mortgage process. Whatever your financing needs, our goal is to exceed your expectations.