Skip Navigation Links
What to expect when buying a home in Olympia

What to expect when buying a home in Olympia?

Finding the right home in the right neighborhood, especially within the diverse communities of Thurston or Lewis counties, can present a unique set of challenges for the first-time homebuyer. It's crucial to consider your lifestyle preferences and the proximity to amenities important to you, whether that's parks, schools, shopping, or public transportation. Beyond the visible aspects of your desired living space, many behind-the-scenes elements of the home-buying process are vital to understand. Embarking on purchasing your first home in Olympia is undoubtedly an exhilarating leap. Yet it requires a deep dive into the various financial facets of homeownership; it isn't just about locating a perfect residence but also about preparing and budgeting for the assorted costs of making that space your own.

Understanding Closing Costs: The Unseen Hurdle in Home Purchase

Closing costs are often the last thing on the mind of a hopeful homeowner, yet they can add up to a considerable percentage of your home's purchase price. These costs include various fees, from the home inspection to the appraisal, attorney review fees, and the lender's origination fee.

It's crucial to understand that the closing costs can range between 2-5% of the total purchase price in Olympia. This is something to factor into your overall budget and perhaps negotiate with the seller to cover some of these expenses, especially if you're dealing with a tight financial plan.

Securing the Best Mortgage Rates

Working with a local lender and a real estate agent intimately familiar with Thurston or Lewis counties can smooth out the complexities of the home-buying process. Your agent is not merely a guide to the physical aspects of your potential new neighborhoods; they can also be invaluable in connecting you to trusted local lenders. These relationships can lead to recommendations that lead to a seamless closing process.

Partnering with a local lender, in particular, has the added advantage of simplified and expedited communication, which is a considerable asset in time-sensitive situations. Furthermore, as interest is often one of a mortgage's most substantial long-term costs, choosing the right lender is critical. In Olympia's dynamic market, the ability to swiftly capitalize on mortgage rates could equate to significant financial savings over the life of your loan. Thus, improving your credit score and financial standing before applying for a mortgage is essential, ensuring you secure the most advantageous rate possible. Being financially astute and informed of current market tendencies is crucial when plotting your homeownership journey.

Taxes and Insurance

In Olympia, like any other city, homeowners must pay property taxes and insurance. Both are typically included in your monthly mortgage payment via an escrow account set up by your lender. This method helps you pay some of these monthly costs, alleviating the financial strain when these annual bills come due.

For first-time homebuyers, this aspect of homeownership can be a surprise. Ensuring you are able to budget accordingly for these recurring costs is essential. Remember that property taxes can change each year, so your monthly payment might fluctuate.

Community Dues and What to Expect

When considering neighborhoods governed by a Homeowners Association (HOA), it’s critical to weigh the costs against the amenities and services provided. In addition to your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance, you will incur additional fees if you purchase a home within an HOA. These monthly dues contribute to community services and amenities, ensuring that the area remains integral to why you love your home. Understanding thoroughly what these fees cover and anticipating potential future increases is fundamental. Being part of an HOA can bring about distinct community benefits and enforce standards that preserve property values; however, these should be carefully considered within the spectrum of your total living expenses.

Renovations and Your First Home

Renovating your new home can personalize and enhance your living space but also requires planning and budgeting. Your real estate agent can be a valuable resource, as many are well-connected with local contractors. They can recommend reliable professionals, having worked with various ones on past properties they have owned or sold. No matter how faultless your home may seem during the inspection, it's prudent to be prepared for eventual repairs and renovations. Elementary steps are creating a strategic plan for potential upgrades, earmarking funds for these projects, and understanding the fundamental costs of home improvements. In Olympia, the expense of doing it yourself versus hiring professionals can differ significantly. It's advisable to begin with manageable essential improvements and compile a list of home renovation priorities. Ensure that these additional costs are accounted for in your comprehensive housing budget.

Moving Day

The day you receive the keys to your new home certainly marks a celebratory milestone, but remember, it doesn't signal the end of your financial planning. The costs associated with moving must be anticipated and budgeted for, whether you opt for a DIY move or hire professional services. Work with local moving companies to get a precise estimate for your move for greater peace of mind and budgeting accuracy. Be diligent: if going the professional route, acquire quotes from various companies, thoroughly check their reviews, and confirm their legitimacy and licensing before entrusting them with your belongings. If you choose to handle the move yourself. It's essential to schedule your friends and family to help with the moving process and book a moving truck rental well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles. Deciding whether you'll make a one-way move or return the truck to its original location is critically important as these options involve different costs.

Your Path to Homeownership in Olympia

Becoming a homeowner for the first time is an exciting journey involving various stages, from exploring suitable mortgage options to creating a realistic budget considering all the costs. While purchasing your dream home in Olympia is a significant milestone, the complexities of financial planning can often appear overwhelming. That's where your local Olympic Sotheby's International Realty agent becomes invaluable. Our agents are committed to making every aspect of your home-buying process as seamless as possible with their excellent communication and meticulous explanation of each step, should you require it.

Remember, no question is too small as you navigate one of life's most impactful investments. Leverage the wealth of knowledge and experience our real estate professionals bring. They are well-equipped to guide you through the maze of financial planning and ensure that your journey to homeownership is successful and enjoyable. Start your journey towards financial preparedness confidently by allowing an Olympic Sotheby's International Realty agent to pilot you through your home-buying experience. Contact us today, and take proactive steps toward turning your dream home into your forever home.

Stay in touch

Receive home DIY projects, Thurston County market updates, local community stories and more!

  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA see our Privacy Policy


1722 Harrison Ave NW
Olympia WA 98502


Links Column

Sotheby's International Realty® and the Sotheby's International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Olympic Sotheby's International Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchises are not provided by affiliated with or related to Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Real estate website design, development and optimization by Organic Return