How my buyers bought a home for under $400.

Dated: August 4 2021

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How my buyers bought a home for under $400.


by Cheo Cardenas


I met my clients in 2019 and helped them find a rental home.  This brother-sister duo mentioned they were working on their credit and hoped to buy when their lease was up.  As that time approached, they were working on getting pre-approved.  The lender was able to qualify them for down payment assistance with TSAHC.  This program gave them 4% of the sales price in down payment assistance.  As we searched for homes, of course we had to endure multiple offers on the homes they liked.  We lost out on about 4 homes before they received great news, offer accepted!  At that time, per the contract, they wrote a check to the title company for earnest money, which was 1% of the sales price, and $100 for a 5-day option period. I also had the seller agree to pay $5,000 in closing costs for the buyers.  During the option period, have your inspection scheduled asap.  If there are concerns or issues with the home, this is the period in which I help negotiate.  The cost for an inspection varies, but it was less than $400.  A few minor repairs were successfully negotiated.  When the buyers were ready to close, the lender told them they would be receiving all of their earnest and option money back at closing.   This meant the only out of pocket expense was the inspection.  If you’re not familiar with the buying process, let me give you an idea how much money you may need to buy a home. (These are only estimates!)


1.     Down payment:  3.5% for FHA, 3-5% for Conventional, and 0% for VA or USDA

2.     Lender Fees: Varies from 1-2%

3.     Title Fees:  Varies, around $500

4.     Escrow set-up: Varies from 1.5-2%

5.     Homeowners insurance for first year upfront. ($700-1200)


Let’s take an example home priced at $200k.  Your down payment for FHA would be $7,000, lender fees around $2,000-$4,000, to start your escrow account, about $3,000.  It would take around $12,000-$14,000 in total money needed to buy a home.  This is what keeps most people on the fence.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent will help you with your options.  Now this scenario may not fit everyone, so ask your REALTOR to help get you on the path to homeownership.


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Cheo Cardenas

A San Antonio native for over 50 years, Cheo has been a full-time agent in the San Antonio area since 2005. His passion for helping buyers and sellers is what motivates him to exceed client expectati....

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