A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down Payment

A Few Creative and Effective Ways to Save Money for a Down PaymentFor those who are looking to buy a home, they know that this is one of the most exciting experiences in the world. There is something special that comes with looking at a bunch of homes and envisioning a life there. On the other hand, the prospect of saving 20 percent of the home’s value to put down might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few creative ways that people can save up enough money to purchase their starter dream home.

Talk To The Seller

One of the first tips that people need to keep in mind involves talking to the seller. There are a bunch of items that need to be negotiated between the buyer and the seller. One of the most important is the closing costs. Ask the real estate agent to speak with the seller. Even if the seller is able to take half of the closing costs, this could amount to a few thousand extra dollars that could be put toward the down payment.

Crowdsource The Down Payment

Another creative option involves asking the crowd to help with the down payment. It is not unusual to see people try to go the crowdfunding route for everything from medical bills to student loans. Why not give it a shot with a down payment as well? First, anyone who has a wedding coming up should add “money for a down payment” to their wish list, as this is becoming more common. Second, think about exploring platforms like Feather the Nest to try to raise money for a down payment.

Check With The Employer

Finally, it is also critical to look at your Employer Assisted Housing Program(EAH). While not everyone is going to qualify, those who work for an employer who falls under this category might qualify for a substantial loan for the down payment and closing costs. The best part is that this loan comes without interest. 

Save For A Down Payment

These are a few of the top ways to save money for a down payment. Using these tips, everyone can get over that last hurdle and buy their home.

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down payment

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down paymentIf you are thinking about purchasing your first home in the near future, then you need to be aware of the costs that you are going to take on. When you are looking at the cost of a home, it is very tempting to focus on the sticker price of the home. Even though the down payment is going to be the largest check you are going to write, this is not the only cost that you are going to pay.

There are numerous other costs for which you need to budget as well. By thinking about all of these costs ahead of time, you can make a smart financial decision for you and your family.

Think About The Real Estate Taxes

Depending on the part of the country in which you live, real estate taxes can be significant. For example, it is not unusual for even a modest home to cost thousands of dollars in real estate taxes per year. Therefore, even though you have budgeted for your monthly mortgage payment, make sure that you have budgeted for real estate taxes as well. Usually, your mortgage lender is going to hold your real estate taxes in escrow for you so you don’t end up having to write a large check at the end of the year.

Homeowners’ Insurance And Utility Costs

In addition, you also need to think about homeowners’ insurance and utility costs. Some of the utilities that you have to pay for include internet, phone, cable, gas, electricity, and water. When this is added to your homeowners’ insurance expenses, this can also add up to several hundred dollars per month. Therefore, make sure that you can afford not only the mortgage payment but these recurring monthly expenses as well.

Budget For Your First Home Accordingly

Some of the other expenses that you might have to incur when it comes to your first home include maintenance and repair bills. Therefore, you should make sure that you sit down with an experienced planner and ensure that you can afford the combined expenses. Otherwise, you might end up being priced out of your first home before you realize it.

 

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage Rate

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage RateFor those who are thinking about buying a house in the near future, they want to make sure that they get the best mortgage rate possible. At the same time, if people who want to reduce the interest rate on their mortgage, then they need to do everything you can to make yourself as attractive as possible to lenders. When they are negotiating for a better rate on your mortgage, they need to keep a few important points in mind.

Make A Larger Down Payment

If people want the lender to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, then borrowers need to think about making a larger down payment. By doing everything they can to reduce the risk they present to the lender, they will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. If borrowers are willing to put more money down, then that is less money that the bank has to lend out. Therefore, the risk the bank takes on is going to be reduced and borrowers will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. Make a larger down payment to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage.

Improve the Credit Score

Another way that people can reduce the risk that they present to the bank is to improve their credit score. What can borrowers do to make this happen? They can check your credit report first and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. After this, they should take a look at any existing debt they have and try to pay down as much of it as possible. By reducing the amount of debt they owe, the credit score will improve, helping them qualify for a lower interest rate on their mortgage.

Take Advantage Of Discount Points

Those want to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, could use something called discount points. These are points that the borrower will pay directly to the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. By providing the lender with more money up front, they can secure a reduced payment over the life of the loan.

Reduce the Interest Rate

These are a few of the fastest ways that people can secure a lower interest rate on their loan. This can save them a tremendous amount of money.

You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First Home

You May Need More Than You Think To Buy Your First HomeThose who are thinking about buying their first home soon are likely saving up for a down payment. This can be a challenging process because, for many people, this is the largest amount of money they have ever saved in their lives. Sadly, the amount that people might need to buy their first home is more than they think.

There are numerous other costs that go along with buying and maintaining a home. As a result, people need to save up more than they think. Even for starter homes that are usually less expensive than family homes, there are numerous costs that need to be included.

Think about a home that is $250,000. A 20 percent down payment is $50,000. That is already a lot of money. Even for those who might try to get away with a 10 percent down payment, that is still $25,000. That is enough money to buy a very nice car. Where do these other expenses come from?

Buying A Home Has Other Costs

There are other costs that go along with buying a home. For example, there are closing costs that accompany this process. This could be thousands of dollars. In addition, there might be points due at signing and origination fees that accompany the process of taking out a loan. Of course, people could avoid these costs by buying the house in cash; however, for most people, this is simply not realistic.

Furnishing A New Home

On top of this, there are costs that come with furnishing a new home. Think about how much money coffee tables, dressers, desks, beds, and wardrobes cost. This might also include new kitchen appliances, a washer, a dryer, and more. All of these need to be included when trying to figure out the cost of a new home.

Take Advantage Of Low Mortgage Rates

It is possible for people to save up enough money to buy their first home. They simply need to keep a few tips in mind. First, take advantage of low mortgage rates. Use this to avoid PMI, origination fees, and points. Then, find ways to reduce moving costs. Bring old furniture to the new home and try to make sure that all appliances are up to date to avoid repair bills. This will make a new home more affordable.

The Home Buyer Assistance Program Provides Assistance To Local First-Time Homebuyers

The Home Buyer Assistance Program Provides Assistance To Local First-Time HomebuyersRecently, the local region’s subcommittee held a meeting using videoconferencing and discussed a new version Home Buyer Assistance Program. The Home Buyer Assistance Program has been designed to help first-time homebuyers by providing a down payment of up to $25,000. The funding for the Home Buyer Assistance Program is going to come from the city’s reparations fund.

The local city council agreed to deposit up to $10 million in tax revenue from the city into this fund. It appears that some of it will be used to help people purchase their first home.

An Overview Of The Home Buyer Assistance Program

The Home Buyer Assistance Program has been put together using feedback from the local community. All of these recommendations were taken into account when looking at how to remedy the situation. It was clear, across the board, that the priority was housing. Minority communities in the local area have been struggling for decades. One of the ways to help these underserved populations is to provide them with stable housing.

The Home Buyer Assistance Program is going to provide no-interest, forgivable loans that come from the reparation funds. Now, thanks to this program, first-time homebuyers will be able to purchase homes anywhere in the city. The goal of this program is to remedy historical segregation, which will help increase diversity across the city.

Who Is Eligible For The Home Buyer Assistance Program?

The Home Buyer Assistance Program will limit those who qualify for assistance. Some of the key conditions of the program include:

  • Applicants must be a resident of African-American descent
  • Applicants must have suffered discrimination in some way as a result of the city’s policies
  • Applicants must be a direct descendant of someone who lived in the local area between 1919 and 1969 or suffered discrimination in some other way

These criteria are fairly broad and should open the door to plenty of people who can take advantage of the money provided by the Home Buyer Assistance Program to purchase their first home. With the current state of the housing market, there are countless individuals and families in the local area who might be able to move to a safer area of town.

Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple Steps

Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple StepsIf you are looking to buy a home one day but don’t think you are ready just yet, you are not alone. One of the most important tasks that you have to complete involves getting your finances in order.

There are a few ways to get your finances in order before you buy, no matter how long you have been waiting to buy a home. Getting your finances in order with these simple steps can help you become a more competitive applicant both for a mortgage and a home that is on the market.

Focus On Your Credit Score

While it is true that your credit doesn’t have to be perfect in order to get a home, a strong credit score will increase your chances of getting approved. In addition, a great credit score can also help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Some of the ways that you can improve your credit score include disputing errors that might be on your report, reducing your debt, producing a long track record of on-time payments, and avoiding late payments. All of this will help you get ready to apply for a mortgage.

Open A Bank Account For Homeownership

The cost of a home is far more than a down payment and mortgage bills. The reality is that owning a home comes with a variety of expenses for which you must be prepared. Therefore, it is a prudent idea to open a bank account that is solely for homeownership expenses. This account should contain a variety of funds including those for utilities, maintenance, landscaping costs, and even renovation expenses. This will help you visualize the amount of money that you have set aside.

Calculate The Budget

Finally, it is also smart to calculate a budget for the home. Some of the factors that are going to play a role in the sticker price of a home include the down payment, closing costs, and potential taxes. For help with this calculation, it is a smart idea to meet with a trained mortgage professional.

Prepare To Buy A Home

These are a few of the steps that you should follow to get your finances in order. These steps will make you a more competitive applicant for a mortgage.

Investment Property Down Payments: How Much Will You Need?

Investment Property Down Payments: How Much Will You NeedInvesting in real estate is a great way for someone to diversify his or her assets; however, there is a common hurdle that almost all real estate investors face. This comes in the form of a down payment. 

It can be a challenge for someone to come up with enough cash to fund the down payment on a home or piece of land, let alone multiple properties. At the same time, how big of a down payment does someone really need? There are a few factors that someone is going to need to consider.

The Conventional Mortgage

There are plenty of investors who like to stick with a conventional mortgage for their investment properties. This makes sense because this is a format they are familiar with. For a conventional mortgage, the down payment is going to fall between 10 and 25 percent.

When taking out a conventional mortgage for an investment property, the lender is typically going to want a larger down payment. For a single-family property, most lenders are going to expect at least 15 percent of the purchase price. This number can be as high as 25 percent of those who are investing in an apartment building, condo structure, or any multifamily unit.

Those who are looking to put down a smaller down payment will need to finance the investment property as a second home. While this might be an interesting thought, anyone looking to purchase an investment property as a second home will need to spend at least some of their time at this location. For a second home, someone might be able to get away with a 10 percent down payment.

A Smaller Down Payment For Multifamily Buildings

There is another way that someone might be able to successfully apply for a smaller down payment. FHA mortgages tend to have higher fees; however, they require smaller down payments. For example, even a multifamily property may only require a 3.5 percent down payment with an FHA loan.

In this example, someone could purchase a multifamily building for $600,000 and only have to put $21,000 down. Those who are willing to stomach higher fees might want to check out the possibility of an FHA loan.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options for your specific situation.

11 Simple Ways To Save Money Toward The Purchase Of Your New Home

11 Simple Ways To Save Money Toward The Purchase Of Your New HomeIf you find it difficult to make ends meet, these tips will help you save money in ways that are easy to do and create substantial savings over time.

Declutter

Get rid of stuff you do use or need by having a garage or yard sale or by putting things for sale on eBay or Craigslist.

Make Your Own Coffee

Do you really want to make that billionaire richer by buying coffee for $5+ a cup? Make your own gourmet coffee that costs around 50 cents per cup for the same thing.

Bring Your Own Lunch

Making your lunch the night before to take to work the next day will give you more time to enjoy lunch. You will save the money that is wasted when driving to fast-food restaurants or going to pricey lunch places.

Grow Some Food

Everyone should have a garden, even if it is only a window garden for herbs. If you have some room for pots, you can grow tomatoes and other vegetables. If you have a back yard or a front yard you can grow tons of stuff.

Buy In Bulk And Use Coupons

For the things that you use on a regular basis, stock up when the items are on sale. Buy things at discount stores. Buy bulk things like rice and pasta at wholesale prices in co-ops. Coupon clipping is a hobby that pays for itself in savings. Just be careful not to buy things you do not really need or use.

Change Home Lighting

If you have not yet changed out all your incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, what have you been doing? Change those bubs right away because you are burning up money on wasteful lights.

Install Smart Home Technology

Making a home run with more energy-efficiency is reduces your bills and helps the planet too. Smart home technology monitors comfort zones and turns things off when they are not needed.

Cut The Cable

An expensive monthly bill for cable TV is something many can do without. There are plenty of less expensive alternatives and tons of free content to view online.

Make A Change Jar

Every time you come home, put all the change you have in a change jar. You will be surprised how much money builds up over time and you will hardly even notice it is missing.

Walk Instead Of Drive

Do you have to drive your car everywhere? Try walking short distances instead. Not only will you save money on gas; walking may improve your health.

DIY Projects

Instead of paying others to do simple jobs around the house, do them yourself. There are plenty of do-it-yourself (DIY) guides on YouTube that show how to do just about anything. You will save the expensive labor cost for simple home repairs that can be up to $75 per hour.

Are you inspired? OK. Put some of these ideas into action. Ready, set, save!

When you’re ready, set up an appointment with your trusted home mortgage professional to find out about the best financing options for your new home purchase.

Down Payment Money Saving Mistakes

Down Payment Money Saving MistakesAre you saving up money for a down payment? Saving money to put down on a home is always a smart idea, but there are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. Understanding how to best save for a down payment will go a long way toward ensuring you’re ready when you finally find the house of your dreams.

Here are four down payment money saving mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Saving Enough

It’s very admirable to have a goal of saving exactly 20% for a down payment. However, this is a common mistake new home buyers make. First of all, consider loan programs that allow for a lower down payment. In addition, there are lots of other costs associated with buying a home that you must also plan and save for, including:

  • Closing costs
  • Title fees
  • Miscellaneous fees
  • Time off work

2. Not Keeping Track Of The Source Of The Money

Many lenders have strict rules about where the money comes from for a down payment. Pay careful attention to the source of your down payment money, and keep accurate records. You may be asked to present these financial records to prove the source of funds as part of the mortgage review process.

3. Borrowing The Money

In addition, many lenders may allow only a certain percentage of the down payment to come from a family member. They want to know that you have the resources to come up with the down payment yourself without relying on favors from family members. Don’t make the mistake of borrowing excessively for the down payment, even if it’s from a third party lender.

4. Not Keeping Money In Reserve

It’s essential to keep some money in your savings account that isn’t earmarked for the down payment. You’ll need to disclose how much you have in savings and it will factor in where you get approved or not. Lenders want to see a history of consistent saving. This shows that you’re a financially responsible person with cash reserves in the event of an emergency.

The sooner you can start saving money for a down payment, the better. As you save, keep these four down payment money saving mistakes in mind so you have the best possible chances for being financially ready to act when you do find the house you want to purchase.

Your trusted home mortgage professional is ready to help you identify the right financial options for your specific situation. As soon as you are considering a home purchase or a refinance, be sure to contact this essential real estate partner.

3 Tips To Save For A Down Payment

3 Tips To Save For A Down PaymentSaving up for a down payment can feel overwhelming. Most people have never saved up the kind of money it takes for a down payment. It can be done, though. The goal is to put 20% down on a house. This is what it takes if you don’t want to have to pay private mortgage insurance every month.

However, you don’t have to absolutely put 20% down. Some mortgage programs, such as VA and FHA loans, let borrowers put down as little as zero down or about 3.5% down. There are extra requirements with any kind of mortgage you get, so be sure to discuss those with your lender.

Whichever kind of mortgage you decide to try for, here are some tips for saving for a down payment.

Get A Head Start

The sooner you start saving for a down payment, the easier it will be. Even if you currently can’t see having any extra money for savings, tuck as much as you can into a savings account. Every single dollar will help later on. 

Invest Safely To Earn Interest On Your Down Payment

If your home purchase goal is two or more years away, consider investing your savings so it earns interest. Since you’re counting on that money to use for a life goal, invest in things with low or no risk. Also, invest in things that allow you to cash out with no penalties when you think you’ll be ready to buy.

Ideas include a bank CD, money market, tax lien certificate, or municipal bonds. You won’t earn massive amounts of interest with any of these vehicles, but in return you’ll have flexibility and security.

Request An Inheritance Advance

If you know that your parents have you in their will, you can request to get part of your inheritance early. Your parents may be able to give you up to a certain amount for your mortgage down payment with no penalty.

Be sure to check with your potential lender. Some mortgage programs have caps on how much of the down payment can be sourced from a third party.

Once you decide what kind of home you might like, and which mortgage programs you might qualify for, you can decide how much you’ll need to save for a down payment. Use these three tips to save up. Before long, you’ll be ready to start shopping for the home of your dreams.

An essential partner is your trusted home mortgage professional. You can count on them to guide you every step of the way through your home loan process.