Buying a House in Wyoming? Here Are 8 Steps Real Estate Experts Recommend

Lindsay Stefan

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Lindsay Stefan

November 1st, 2022
Updated November 1st, 2022

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8 Steps to Buying a House in Wyoming

✍️ Editor's note: We strive to provide objective, independent advice. When you decide to use a product or service we link to, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Now that the housing market is finally calming down after the pandemic[1], buyers are facing a new challenge: Soaring mortgage rates.[2]

In Wyoming, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 5.58% — up from 2021's historic lows. This raises the average monthly mortgage payment to $1,555 (assuming a 20% down payment at the median home value).

But buying a home in Wyoming is still possible, even for first-time home buyers. Many markets are seeing frequent price drops and fewer offers, giving motivated buyers the upper hand in negotiating for the best price.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to buy a house in Wyoming with confidence no matter what the market brings. Learn why you can trust our advice.

Whether you're actively house hunting or just starting to browse homes on Zillow, it's never too early to find a great local realtor to guide you on your search. An experienced agent can help you navigate a tricky housing market, explore your financial options, and negotiate the best deal possible.

Best of all, hiring a real estate agent comes at no extra cost to you — since the seller typically pays both their listing agent and your buyer's agent.

Ready to find a great local realtor, but not sure where to start? The best (and easiest!) option is to try a free agent matching service like Clever Real Estate. Answer a few simple questions about your home buying goals, and Clever will match you with hand-picked agents from Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and other top brokerages in your area. Find a top local agent and make your home buying dreams a reality today!

Step 1: Save for a down payment

🔑 Key takeaway:

Your down payment can be less than 20% of the purchase price — $67,871 for the typical home in Wyoming — but you'll have to purchase mortgage insurance and pay more interest over the life of your loan.

Your down payment is the first part of your home's purchase price that you pay at closing. Your mortgage lender will pay the remaining balance.

Typically, mortgage lenders in Wyoming want you to contribute 20% of the purchase price as a down payment. That would be $67,871 for a $339,353 home — the typical home value in Wyoming.

However, you have options to lower your down payment amount.

Government backed loans, like VA and FHA loans, allow you to contribute 0% and 3.5% of your home's purchase price respectively. Even conventional loans allow for down payments as low as 3-5% (though the minimum varies by lender).

Mortgage type
Minimum down payment (%)
Down payment ($)
VA Loan
0%
$0
FHA Loan
3.5%
$11,877
Conventional
3%
$10,181
Based on typical home values from Zillow (August 2022)

But making a down payment of less than 20% comes with some risks.

First, because you're borrowing more money, you'll have a higher monthly payment and pay more in interest over the life of your loan.

Down payment
Monthly payment
Total interest
Total Cost
5%
$1,847
$342,420
$681,773
20%
$1,555
$288,354
$627,707
Based on home values from Zillow (August 2022) and a 5.58% interest rate for a 30-year loan.

Second, you may have to purchase mortgage insurance.

Conventional loans require private mortgage insurance (PMI) until your loan balance reaches 80% of the purchase price. FHA loans, on the other hand, require a mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for the life of your loans.

Mortgage insurance costs around 1% of your mortgage balance annually. However, rates vary based on your down payment and credit score. Typically, your mortgage insurance payment is added to your mortgage payment each month.

VA loans don't charge mortgage insurance. Instead, you'll pay a VA loan funding fee at closing, which can range from 1.4% to 3.6% of the purchase price.

» READ MORE: Everything you need to know about low-income home loans

Wyoming down payment assistance programs

The state of Wyoming offers several down payment assistance (DPA) programs that can help you afford a home. If you're eligible, you can receive a grant or loan to cover closing costs or your down payment.

Here are a few DPA resources for Wyoming residents that you may qualify for:

WCDA Amortizing DPA

The Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) offers homebuyers up to $10,000 through its Amortizing DPA program. This financial assistance comes as a fixed-rate second mortgage with a maximum term of 10 years.

Eligible participants must have a credit score of 620 or above and contribute at least $1,500 towards the down payment.

WCDA Home$tretch DPA

The WCDA Home$tretch DPA program can provide homebuyers with a loan of up to $10,000 with 0% interest. No monthly payments are required until the home is resold, refinanced, or the first mortgage is paid off.

To be eligible for this program, your credit score must be at least 620, and you'll need to contribute a minimum of $1,500 for the down payment.

Welcome Home Wyoming Program

The Welcome Home Wyoming Program offers several homebuying options, including the opportunity to receive up to 6% borrower assistance. Interested buyers must talk to a lender about their household income and credit score to see if they qualify.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD’s list of alternative programs in Wyoming can be found here.

Step 2: Find a great real estate agent in Wyoming

🔑 Key takeaway:

Interview multiple agents to find one who knows your target neighborhoods, has experience in your price range, and communicates well.

Your real estate agent will be your main ally during the home buying process. Besides finding and showing you properties, your agent will help you make offers, negotiate contracts, and navigate the closing process. Plus, they can recommend other service providers like title companies and inspectors to help you buy your home in Wyoming.

Don't rush into choosing an agent. Instead, take the time to research and interview multiple real estate agents who have experience in the neighborhoods you're interested in. You should pay attention to a realtor's:

  • Years of experience
  • Number of transactions in the last year (the more the better!)
  • Experience in your price range
  • Overall review score
  • Individual reviews and complaints

👋 Find the best realtors near you!

Finding a great real estate agent shouldn't be complicated. Let Clever Real Estate do the hard part and match you with experienced local realtors who are experts in your market.

Enter your zip code below to compare top agents from trusted brands like Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coldwell Banker, then choose the best fit for you. It's 100% free, and there's no obligation.

Step 3: Get preapproved for a mortgage

🔑 Key takeaway:

Once you're preapproved for a mortgage, it's imperative that your financial situation doesn't change. If your credit drops, it can derail the process and keep you from closing on your house.

Here are some easy ways to ensure your credit doesn't change after you receive your preapproval letter:

  • Avoid opening new credit accounts
  • Don't close any accounts that have been open for a long time
  • Make all of your credit card payments on time

» LEARN MORE: What factors do mortgage lenders consider?

A mortgage preapproval letter is an offer to lend you up to a certain amount of money to purchase a home. It shows sellers that you are a serious buyer who is financially qualified to make an offer on a home.

Most sellers in Wyoming will require preapproval before showing you their home.

You don't have to decide on one lender right now. In fact, you should compare interest rates and preapproval amounts from several lenders to make sure you're getting the absolute best terms when you buy your Wyoming home.

Step 4: Choose the right location

🔑 Key takeaway:

Search for neighborhoods where:

  • Home prices are within your price range
  • Home values are on the rise
  • The local amenities support your lifestyle

Currently, the typical home value in Wyoming is $339,353, but don't worry if that doesn't perfectly match your budget. Home prices vary dramatically from city to city and even from neighborhood to neighborhood!

Also, look at past home value trends. This will give you an idea of how much your home's value could go up over the next few years.

To give you an idea of how appreciation could impact what your house is worth in the future, consider these examples from three neighborhoods in Jackson:

Home value appreciation in Jackson

Neighborhood
2015
Current
Appreciation
Hoback
$709,760
$1,471,688
51.8%
Rafter J Ranch
$597,735
$1,057,053
43.5%
South Park
$884,713
$2,016,131
56.1%

Step 5: Start house hunting in Wyoming

🔑 Key takeaway:

Listing prices in Wyoming have shot up considerably in the last year while inventory has dropped. House hunting might prove to be challenging, especially if you have a limited budget. Talk with your realtor and review your priorities. Check out the listings they offer and be a bit more flexible with your requirements — they might surprise you with what’s available if you temper your expectations.

Searching for homes in Wyoming is the fun part of the home buying process! You'll get to look at a variety of homes and discover what you really want in a home.

Make a list of everything you want in a home and prioritize them. At the top of the list should be the items that are most important to you. This will help you separate your "must-haves" from your "nice-to-haves."

Your agent can help you understand if your wants are realistic for your budget and favorite neighborhoods or if you need to rethink what you're looking for.

Look at current housing inventory

The timing of your house hunt in Wyoming can have a big impact on your number of options. For example, in Wyoming, June has historically seen the most homes for sale. Searching in this season could give you more options and a greater likelihood of finding your dream home.

On the other hand, December gives you the fewest choices in Wyoming. Historically, there are 55.6% fewer homes for sale than during Wyoming's peak season.

Housing inventory in Wyoming by season

Season
New listings per month
Spring
1,072
Summer
1,072
Fall
1,072
Winter
1,072
Based on data from Realtor.com (September 2022)

Step 6: Make an offer

🔑 Key takeaway:

With prices shooting up in Wyoming, demand for houses in the state has dipped. You may have some time to mull over an offer when you find a house that you like — but don’t wait forever. Use the time to consult with your realtor and weigh your options for contingencies and concessions. Given the market, you might even be able to negotiate a great deal.

Once you find a Wyoming house you love, it's time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will help you write a compelling offer that gives you the best shot of convincing the homeowner to sell to you.

Currently, in Wyoming, homes stay on the market for 89 days before going under contract. However, every market goes through seasonal changes. During busier months, homes get snatched up more quickly than others.

Historically, Wyoming homes sell fastest in July, where the average property is only on the market for 64 days. If your home search falls around this time, you should be prepared to move quickly and potentially make offers on several homes before yours is accepted.

On the other hand, if you buy in February, you have a bit more time to search. Homes typically stay on the market 33 days longer than Wyoming's annual average.

Average time homes spend on market in Wyoming

Annual average
89 days
January
114 days
February
113 days
March
96 days
April
76 days
May
64 days
June
60 days
July
60 days
August
68 days
September
75 days
October
85 days
November
93 days
December
106 days
Based on data from Realtor.com (September 2022)

» LEARN MORE: What should an offer include?

Step 7: Inspections and appraisals

Inspections and appraisals are an opportunity for you to better evaluate the home's condition and value before officially purchasing it. You may have an opportunity after this step to renegotiate the terms of your contract with the seller if something unexpected pops up.

🔑 Key takeaway:

  • Inspections: A licensed professional checks the house for any unseen, unexpected, or potential issues.
  • Appraisals: An appraiser hired by your lender examines the house to determine how much it's worth.

Home inspections in Wyoming

Having your Wyoming home inspected by a licensed inspector gives you peace of mind about the condition of the property before you commit thousands of dollars to purchase it.

Your inspector should check out the following parts of the property:

  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Electrical system
  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing

If the home has a septic system, you should also pay for a septic inspection to make sure it doesn't have any problems that wouldn't be covered in a typical home inspection.

Wyoming-specific inspections

Wyoming is known as a "buyer beware" state, so it's the buyer's responsibility to thoroughly check a home for potential hazards before closing. Although it isn't required, it's strongly recommended to complete more specialized inspections. These optional tests can reveal problems that can often go overlooked during a general inspection.

If you're buying a home in Wyoming, consider having these extra tests done:

  • Radon testing: High levels of radon can pose serious health hazards. If the seller hasn’t had a test done within the past year, you're encouraged to get one completed as soon as possible. You can order a free radon test kit from the Wyoming Department of Health here.
  • Pest inspection: Although getting a pest inspection isn't mandatory for every buyer, it's a good idea to get one before closing on a property. Termites and other pests can invade a home and cause major property damage long before residents notice the signs of an infestation.

Appraisals

Appraisals determine the value of the property. If you're using a mortgage to buy your new home, your lender will order an appraisal to make sure the home is worth the money that it's loaning you.

» LEARN: 3 options for buyers after a low appraisal

Step 8: Close on your new home!

🔑 Key takeaway:

Before you close on your new home, you and your agent will do a final walkthrough of the property to ensure that it's still in the expected condition.

On closing day in Wyoming, you'll meet at the title company to complete some paperwork and settle your closing costs.

Most homebuyers take about an hour to review and sign all of the required paperwork for their loan application and title transfer. Some of the most important documents will include:

  • Your final loan application
  • The deed
  • The mortgage promissory note
  • The disclosure statements

Read each page carefully to ensure that all of the information is correct. Any errors could potentially delay the title transfer process.

Once you complete the paperwork, you'll pay your closing costs to the title company. The company will take care of distributing the funds to the proper recipients.

As a homebuyer, your closing costs will cover four main categories:

  • Lender fees: Fees that your mortgage lender charges for preparing your loan. Appraisal fees, survey fees, and other expenses associated with your loan may also be included in this payment.
  • Title and escrow charges: Fees that the title company charges for conducting the title search and facilitating the closing process. Buyers and sellers generally split this cost.
  • Prepaid costs: Ongoing costs of owning a home that are paid up front. Lenders often require new homeowners to pay for certain homeownership expenses in advance, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance.
  • Other closing costs: Miscellaneous expenses that vary from buyer to buyer. A few common costs can include pest inspection fees and real estate attorney fees.

Buyers in Wyoming typically pay 3–5% of the purchase price in closing costs. For a $339,400 home — the typical home value in Wyoming — that's between $10,182 and $16,970!

⚡Make your home-buying dreams a reality!

Ready to make your home-buying dreams a reality? The first step is to find a top local realtor who's an expert negotiator with proven experience in your market.

Enter your zip code below to compare the best agents from trusted brands like Keller Williams, Berkshire Hathaway, and Coldwell Banker, then choose the best fit for you. It's 100% free and there's no obligation.

Frequently asked questions

Wyoming does not require you to hire a real estate attorney to buy a home. However, depending on your circumstances, you might consider hiring one anyways. If you do, treat the process similarly to hiring an agent. Interview multiple attorneys and proceed with the one that best meets your needs.

  1. Save for down payment
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
  3. Choose your preferred Wyoming neighborhoods
  4. Partner with the right real estate agent in Wyoming
  5. Go house hunting
  6. Make a strong offer
  7. Inspections and appraisals
  8. Do a final walkthrough and close

Yes! The Wyoming Community Development Authority (WCDA) offers first-time buyers a 30-year fixed mortgage through the First-Time Homebuyer program. Eligible participants may also apply for the Home$tretch Down Payment Assistance program.

To qualify, you must not exceed the household income or purchase price limits set by the WCDA. Furthermore, participants cannot purchase property that's on more than 10 acres, and they must complete an approved homebuyer’s education course.

» READ: What are the top first-time homebuyer programs?

Why trust us?

Clever Real Estate is a free agent-matching service that has helped more than 82,000 people buy and sell homes. We partner with over 2,700 top-performing agents nationwide at national brokers including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, Century 21, and more. We also help buyers save thousands with cash back after closing — no strings attached.

We’ve earned buyers’ trust with a rating of 4.9 out of 5 starts on Trustpilot and over 1,800 customer reviews.

Our team of industry-leading researchers are committed to making homeownership more accessible by educating buyers through guides like this one. We've spent thousands of hours analyzing publicly available data, surveying consumers, and interviewing industry experts. Our research has been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, Inman, Housing Wire, and many more.

Learn more about Clever.

ARTICLE SOURCES
[1]

Federal Reserve. "Housing Market Tightness During COVID-19: Increased Demand or Reduced Supply?." Accessed October 11, 2022. Updated July 08, 2021.

[2]

Consumer Protection Financial Bureau. "The Fed is raising interest rates. What does that mean for borrowers and savers?." Accessed October 11, 2022. Updated March 17, 2022.

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