In Wyoming, a home typically costs about $342K. This is roughly a 13% year-over-year growth. Wyoming's average real estate price has been increasing over the years, although it is still less expensive than the $358K national average. Wyoming's growth in median house prices over the last year was also slightly less than the national average, which was around 14%.
To help you buy a home without incurring debilitating debt, MoneyGeek has broken down the processes for first-time homebuyers in Wyoming. Understanding mortgage rates, picking the ideal location and the significance of home inspections are all covered in our review.
The average cost of homes in Wyoming is $342K, an increase of about 13% over the last year.
To qualify for a home mortgage loan, you will need to be 18 years or older, have an acceptable credit score and provide proof of income and employment. Qualifications may vary based on the lender.
The essential steps in purchasing a home in Wyoming include choosing the ideal area, starting your search with a real estate agent, working out your finances, conducting an inspection and negotiating and finalizing the deal.
Choose an Ideal Location
There are many factors that determine the cost of buying a home. Location is one of the most important because it affects the value of your home, how much you will pay for property taxes and how much you will pay for utilities.
The location also affects your commute and the amenities available in your neighborhood. For example, if you have children, they may want to attend school near home. Keep this in mind when deciding on an ideal location for you.
Working with a real estate agent is one of the best ways to find the right home for your needs. A real estate agent will take all of your requirements into consideration, as well as your budget, when finding homes that fit your criteria. Finding a reputable agent can be tough, but there are a few characteristics to look for.
- Licensed and registered
- Knowledgeable about local markets
- Experience working with sellers and buyers
- Experience negotiating contracts, mortgages, inspections and titles
The cost of living varies depending on where in Wyoming you choose to live. Factors that a typical family must consider when calculating the cost of living include the following:
- Rent or mortgage
- Utilities (electricity, water, internet)
- Income and property taxes
- Car and health insurance
Calculate your budget for each category, then add them together to get an idea of how much money you need to make to afford these necessities. A good rule of thumb is that your take-home pay should be at least twice what it would take for basic necessities.
Wyoming is a moderately expensive place to live, and if homebuyers are looking for an affordable home, they may consider cheaper neighborhoods. Suburbs and rural areas are typically much more affordable than city centers. However, there can be advantages and disadvantages to living in less costly areas.
For example, living outside the city means that there may be limited access to social amenities such as hospitals, schools and malls. Some of the most affordable towns and cities in Wyoming include Shoshoni, Riverton and Casper.
Calculate Mortgage Rates
The cost of your mortgage depends heavily on a variety of factors such as the lender, your credit score, income, interest rates, loan type, terms and size, among others. To get the best mortgage rate for you, it is necessary to weigh these factors.
Mortgage rates vary depending on the kind of loan. In addition, home purchasers with excellent credit will receive the best mortgage rates, but those with poor credit may pay more.
When looking for a mortgage, it's critical to determine your interest rate as well as any extra fees (e.g., loan origination fees or closing costs).
Here are the average interest rates in Wyoming for several mortgage types:
Note that VA loans are only available to eligible military personnel.
It's smart to calculate your monthly budget to make sure you can handle the mortgage costs before you start house hunting. The best way to decide between a conventional mortgage and a government-backed mortgage is to compare interest rates.
A mortgage calculator will break down your monthly payments into separate parts, such as principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Use MoneyGeek's mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of how much your monthly payments will be. It is possible to discover the best mortgage rate for your specific situation by comparing conventional and FHA loans.
Once you have an estimate in hand, you may shop around for a mortgage that fits your requirements and budget in terms of origination fees, interest rates, loan amounts and other factors.
When you apply for a mortgage, the terms of your loan largely depend on your financial profile. Lenders consider the following factors when reviewing an application:
- Credit score: Your credit score is an indication of whether or not you are considered to be a risky borrower. The higher your credit score, the more likely it is that you will be approved for a loan.
- Debt-to-income ratio: This rate indicates how much of your monthly income goes towards existing debt payments.
- Down payment: This is the amount you pay upfront to purchase a house. Generally, 20% down is required to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).
- Income: Income verification is required before applying for a loan.
Prepare Down Payment Requirements
Lenders require borrowers to have money saved for the down payment, which is the amount of upfront money required for a mortgage. Down payments vary depending on the type of mortgage and your chosen lender. In general, the bigger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be.
A home's down payment is the first significant investment made by a buyer. This figure changes depending on the mortgage option you're interested in and your credit history.
Your monthly payments will be reduced if you make a larger down payment. The down payment on a conventional loan is typically between 20% without private mortgage insurance (PMI), but there are low- and zero-down-payment mortgage options available to qualified buyers.
Regardless of the requirements, keep in mind that making a higher down payment might help you save money in the long run with lower monthly payments and lower interest rates.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a kind of insurance that protects the lender if you default on your mortgage loan. When the borrower's down payment is less than 20% of the loan amount or when the borrower has a poor credit score, private mortgage insurance (PMI) is often needed for a conventional loan. Once you've built up 20% in equity, you may request to cancel your PMI.
Meanwhile, FHA loans don’t require PMI, but you will need to pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP). Similarly, USDA loans require a monthly guarantee fee instead of PMI. As for VA loans, there is no PMI required.
The American Dream includes homeownership, and there are programs to help you attain it. The Wyoming Community Development Authority’s (WCDA) initiatives assist potential homeowners in buying a house. Wyoming first-time homebuyers without down payments may be eligible for the WCDA assistance program. Wyoming's down payment assistance program includes features such as a $10,000 maximum loan amount, a 620 minimum FICO score and a $1,500 minimum borrower contribution required.
Take a look at the details of a couple of the WCDA’s specific programs:
- Home$tretch DPA Loan: It features a 0% interest rate and a 0.08% APR with no monthly payment. This is payable upon selling the house, refinancing or reaching 30-year maturity. This loan is available for first-time homebuyers.
- Amortizing DPA Loan: It has a fixed interest rate, is completely amortizing, has low monthly payments and has a maximum duration of 10 years. This program is available for both first-time and repeat homebuyers.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval is an essential step in the homebuying process, and it is not the same as prequalification. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage ensures you have access to all the money needed for your down payment and closing costs.
It also helps you know how much house you can afford by telling you what size mortgage you can qualify for based on your credit profile and income. Prequalification, on the other hand, is just an estimate of what you might be able to borrow if you go through a full application.
You will need the following documents to be accepted for a mortgage loan:
- Proof of income (W-2s or pay stubs)
- Bank statements
- Credit reports
- Employment verification
- Social Security card and number
- Photo ID
- Military discharge papers (for veterans)
Ask your lender whether additional documentation is required since this varies by lender. They may want more information based on the type of loan you want or your current credit score.
Getting pre-approval for a loan is a crucial part of the process. It speeds up loan approval and allows ample time to acquire the necessary paperwork for your mortgage. Being pre-approved for a mortgage might take up to 10 days. Depending on the lender, it may be valid for up to 90 days after approval.
If your pre-approval expires, you can ask for renewal from your lender. However, this will likely require another hard credit check, which can negatively affect your credit score.
A mortgage lender will analyze your application and do a credit check to determine eligibility. The lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter if you qualify. Pre-approval letters indicate that the lender will lend you a certain amount.
Comparing pre-approval letters from multiple lenders lets you compare rates. Each lender's pre-approval has a validity term of up to 90 days, although some are only valid for 30 or 60 days. You can acquire unlimited pre-approvals, but requesting too many of them can harm your credit score.
Conduct a Home Inspection
Before buying a home, it is important to understand the property's condition. There are many ways to do this, but one way is by hiring an inspector. Inspectors can provide valuable insight into the state of your future home and help ensure that you find out about problems before you’ve moved in.
MoneyGeek recommends hiring a licensed inspector approved by the state. A licensed inspector is your best bet for knowing that the house you are about to buy is in good shape. The inspector will check everything from the house's foundation to the wiring and plumbing. They will also check all major appliances and ensure they work properly.
There are many benefits of having a licensed inspector come to your new home before signing any papers or finalizing any deals with a seller. For one thing, you will be assured that the home is structurally sound and free from any potential damages.
Your inspector will examine at least the following aspects of the home:
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Windows and doors
- Attic and basement
- Heating and cooling systems
Although it is not often necessary, certain Wyoming cities or counties may require that you get the house inspected before you buy it. There can be further inspections that need to be performed on your prospective house as well. For example, the home might require an inspection for lead-based paint if it was built at a time when using these paints was common. You may also want to have an inspector test for radon gas if the property is near underground uranium deposits.
An appraisal is an estimate of the value of your home. The appraiser will provide you with an estimated market value of the property and estimate how much it would sell for on the open market. The process involves three main steps.
First, the appraiser reviews recent sales data within a specified radius around your home and then researches comparable properties that have recently sold. Finally, they physically examine the property and prepare their findings as part of an appraisal report, which includes details about any potential problems with your property that may affect its value.
Close Your Mortgage Loan
Closing your mortgage loan is the final step before you can call yourself a homeowner. After reviewing the loan terms and signing all necessary documents, you will be ready for closing. Closing typically takes place at the lender’s office or another location that is convenient for everyone involved. The title company will be present to complete the final transaction and transfer ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer.
After you have found the perfect house, it is time to move on to the next step: signing all of the paperwork. This process can seem overwhelming, but it is important to review all the paperwork before signing. Documents to sign include:
- Closing disclosure
- Mortgage application
- Promissory note
- Deed of trust
- Property transfer documents
For the most part, this covers the typical requirements. Depending on who you’ve chosen as your lender, you may need to sign further documentation. If you have any questions or concerns about the loan’s details, ask your lender before you sign on the dotted line.
There are some costs associated with closing, including:
- Origination fee: This is a fee that goes to the lender for their service of giving you a loan. Some lenders do not charge origination fees.
- Escrow fee: The escrow fee covers things like property taxes and homeowners insurance.
- Appraisal fee: A licensed appraiser assesses the worth of your house before it can be sold.
- Title search fee: Title searches look at any property liens or other legal claims to ownership.
- Recording fee: Recording fees go toward filing all the necessary paperwork when buying or selling a home so that the transaction will be binding according to state law.
Other closing fees may include third-party services such as inspections and pest control services, depending on what was agreed upon during negotiations.
Buying a property in Wyoming may be stressful, but following the guidelines provided in this study will help you complete the process successfully. You may always contact your realtor if you need help during the process.
When you get your mortgage, review your paperwork to see when your first payment is due. Set up automated payments for your mortgage installments to prevent missing payment dates. You may also set up reminders for your payments.
Wyoming Homebuying Details
Before making an offer, you should understand the process. Wyoming homeowners should research their new location, compare mortgage options and choose the best lender.
Contact your lender or real estate advisor for any state-specific questions you might have regarding Wyoming's homebuying process.
Wyoming homeowners may qualify for homeownership assistance programs. First-time homebuyers may get down payment assistance through the Homeownership Assistance Program.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Home in Wyoming
Buying a house in Wyoming may be a stressful process, particularly for first-time buyers. MoneyGeek covers the most common questions regarding purchasing a property in Wyoming.
- Tax Foundation. "Taxes in Wyoming." Accessed October 24, 2022.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Single Family Housing Direct Home Loans | Rural Development." Accessed October 24, 2022.
- Welcome Home Wyoming Program. "Wyoming Housing Assistance Program." Accessed October 24, 2022.
- WorldAtlas. "Least Densely Populated U.S. States." Accessed October 24, 2022.
- Wyoming Community Development Authority. "HOMEBUYERS." Accessed October 24, 2022.
- Zillow. "Wyoming Home Values." Accessed October 24, 2022.