Is It Best To Put Down A Large Down Payment, Or Be Agile With Your Savings?

Is It Best to Put Down a Large Down Payment, or Be Agile With Your Savings?Putting down the largest sum of money at your disposal might seem like the best way to go when it comes to your mortgage down payment. There is a certain amount of truth to this, but the reality is bigger is not always better.

Ideally, the amount of money you settle on for your mortgage down payment will take into account your monthly budgeting requirements.

The Big Advantages Of A Large Down Payment

Fewer Mortgage Payments: The larger the down payment, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to afford a shorter mortgage. Unlike some of the other benefits of large down payments, ensuring this perk is available to you is solely dependent on whether or not your post-down payment budget will be able to support the necessary payments.

Lower Payment Totals: If you choose to stick to a longer payment plan, each month’s payment will be significantly less than it would have been had you chosen to put less money down up front. Of course, if you choose a shorter mortgage you will be required to pay more.

No Need For Mortgage Insurance: When the down payment is a lower percentage of the purchase amount, lenders will often require clients to apply for mortgage insurance as way to protect themselves in the case that a client defaults on the loan. However, if the buyer is able to make a larger down payment, mortgage insurance can be completely avoided.

Lower Interest Rates: The interest rate on your mortgage is dependent on how much you need to borrow. The more you pay out of pocket, the less money you will have to borrow from a lender. This means the interest rate on the loan will be lower and you will lose less money on the loan overall.

Coping Smartly With A Small Down Payment

Making a larger down payment may not be an option for you in your current financial state. Opting to make a smaller down payment will still allow you to purchase your new home, with a few extra conditions. Higher interest rates and having to take out mortgage insurance are the two primary conditions you are likely to come across.

Once the down payment is made, your main concern becomes making the most of your monthly mortgage payments.

A great coping strategy is to get into the habit of paying off more than the amount due on as many scheduled payment days as possible. Another good strategy is to arrange for an accelerated payment schedule. These small adjustments could help you pay off your mortgage faster, and save you more money as a result.

When settling on a down payment amount, the most important issue to factor into your decision is whether or not you are capable of remaining financially secure after the payment is made.

If a larger down payment is going to dramatically impact your emergency funds, you may want to reconsider. Contact your local mortgage professional to learn more about choosing the most suitable mortgage for your budget.

Is It Best To Put Down A Large Down Payment, Or Be Agile With Your Savings?

Is It Best to Put Down a Large Down Payment, or Be Agile With Your Savings?Putting down the largest sum of money at your disposal might seem like the best way to go when it comes to your mortgage down payment. There is a certain amount of truth to this, but the reality is bigger is not always better.

Ideally, the amount of money you settle on for your mortgage down payment will take into account your monthly budgeting requirements.

The Big Advantages Of A Large Down Payment

Fewer Mortgage Payments: The larger the down payment, the higher the likelihood that you will be able to afford a shorter mortgage. Unlike some of the other benefits of large down payments, ensuring this perk is available to you is solely dependent on whether or not your post-down payment budget will be able to support the necessary payments.

Lower Payment Totals: If you choose to stick to a longer payment plan, each month’s payment will be significantly less than it would have been had you chosen to put less money down up front. Of course, if you choose a shorter mortgage you will be required to pay more.

No Need For Mortgage Insurance: When the down payment is a lower percentage of the purchase amount, lenders will often require clients to apply for mortgage insurance as way to protect themselves in the case that a client defaults on the loan. However, if the buyer is able to make a larger down payment, mortgage insurance can be completely avoided.

Lower Interest Rates: The interest rate on your mortgage is dependent on how much you need to borrow. The more you pay out of pocket, the less money you will have to borrow from a lender. This means the interest rate on the loan will be lower and you will lose less money on the loan overall.

Coping Smartly With A Small Down Payment

Making a larger down payment may not be an option for you in your current financial state. Opting to make a smaller down payment will still allow you to purchase your new home, with a few extra conditions. Higher interest rates and having to take out mortgage insurance are the two primary conditions you are likely to come across.

Once the down payment is made, your main concern becomes making the most of your monthly mortgage payments.

A great coping strategy is to get into the habit of paying off more than the amount due on as many scheduled payment days as possible. Another good strategy is to arrange for an accelerated payment schedule. These small adjustments could help you pay off your mortgage faster, and save you more money as a result.

When settling on a down payment amount, the most important issue to factor into your decision is whether or not you are capable of remaining financially secure after the payment is made.

If a larger down payment is going to dramatically impact your emergency funds, you may want to reconsider. Contact your local mortgage professional to learn more about choosing the most suitable mortgage for your budget.

Housing Needs May Change Following Retirement

Life has changed for a lot of people during the past few years. Some people reached retirement age while other people decided to retire early due to other reasons. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, millions more people are going to retire during the next few years. As a result, they might be thinking about moving to make some of their dreams come true. At the same time, retirement might change what people need in a home. What are some of the most important factors retirees need to consider when looking for a home? 

Moving Closer To Loved Ones

Location remains one of the most important factors when looking for a new home; however, retirees no longer need to live close to work if they are no longer fully employed. Therefore, it might be time to look for a home closer to loved ones. Retirees can use the equity in their current house, along with its appreciated value, to power a move closer to loved ones. 

A Smaller Home

While not all retirees want to downsize, a lot of retirees decide to purchase a smaller home. With the kids out of the house, it might be easier to take care of a smaller home. Retirees should consider the maintenance required before purchasing it. Furthermore, some retirees may not want to purchase a house with stairs in it because stairs may become more difficult as they get older. 

A House Meant For Retirees

Finally, those retiring might be looking for a house meant for retirees. For example, they might be looking for a home in a retirement community. Or, they might be looking for a house where the light switches, sinks, and toilets are a bit lower, making them easier for older people to access. Retirees might also be looking for homes with seats in the shower, grab bars next to the tub, and other features designed for elderly individuals.

Work With A Real Estate Professional

Retirement is a goal for many people, and retiring might mean that housing needs change. Anyone looking to move should work with a real estate professional who can help them navigate the real estate market and find the right house to meet their needs. 

Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time Homebuyer

Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time HomebuyerA significant number of people are self-employed, which means they might be relying on this income to apply for a mortgage. It is true that people who are self-employed may face additional challenges when trying to get approved for a home loan when compared to someone with traditional W2 income, these are obstacles that can be overcome. With the right qualifications and documentation, even first-time homebuyers who are self-employed should be able to qualify for the home loan they need.

Lenders Assess Someone’s Ability To Repay The Loan

First, lenders are trying to make sure the person will repay the loan. Lenders believe that someone with W2 income has a stable job and a guaranteed salary, which means they are more likely to repay the loan; however, someone who is self-employed has other ways of demonstrating that he or she can repay the loan. Self-employed individuals can use tax returns, payroll receipts, and records from financial institutions that serve as documentation of the applicant’s income or assets. This means standard W2 forms and pay stubs might no longer be necessary.

Navigating Eligibility Requirements

Next, self-employed individuals need to meet the eligibility requirements. This includes two years of self-employment, a reliable income, a strong credit score with a clean credit report, cash for a down payment, and a low debt to income ratio. It is possible for a first-time homebuyer to get a loan for less than five percent down; however, closing costs can be significant. Realistically, first-time homebuyers should plan on spending close to five percent of the home’s value to get approved for a first-time home loan.

Understanding Mortgage Options

Finally, self-employed first-time homebuyers should be aware that there are multiple loan options available. For example, there are FHA and VA loans for those who qualify. USDA loans and jumbo loans might also be an option. There are bank statement mortgages and conventional options available as well. Self-employed individuals might have to visit several of these programs to see which ones work the best. The programs vary in terms of their down payment, minimum credit score, and credit history requirements. It is prudent to work with a professional loan officer who has experience helping self-employed, first-time homebuyers get approved.

Reviewing The Basement Options For Homeowners: What To Know

Reviewing The Basement Options For Homeowners: What To KnowEven though not every home has a basement, those that do usually fall into one of three categories. The most common examples of basements include poured concrete, masonry block basement, and precast panels. What do homeowners need to know about the different types of basement construction? 

Concrete Basements

Concrete basements are the most common examples. There are several advantages of going with a concrete basement. First, concrete basement walls are resilient. They can resist possible cave-ins, standing up to natural pressure created by wind, water, and soil. Furthermore, concrete basements are also fire-resistant while creating joint-free basements that can increase property values.

Even though concrete basements are water-resistant, hydrostatic pressure can allow water to permeate over time, creating mold and mildew issues. Homeowners need to keep a close eye on the humidity of a concrete basement to make sure this is not happening in their homes.

Block Masonry Basements

Another popular type of basement is called a block masonry basement. This structure is created with cinder block or masonry units that are connected to one another. Ultimately, this creates a waterproof structure. This is a highly resilient, cost-effective construction option that is much easier to install. Therefore, homeowners can save money on labor and materials. The walls are also more durable if they are reinforced using a steel rebar. 

Precast Panel Basements

Finally, homeowners may also encounter a precast panel basement. These usually involve concrete panels that are molded in a different location before being transported to the construction site using a crane. Typically, these walls are strong and resilient. They do provide waterproof qualities, but if the joists have been neglected, they can develop moisture penetration issues. These panels also have to be treated with boric acid to prevent pest infestations. 

Options For Basements: Homeowners Should Work With A Professional

Ultimately, there are plenty of options available when homeowners are looking to construct the basement. Examples include full basements, partial basements, walkout basement, and crawl spaces. Homeowners need to work with a construction professional who has experience building basements. Each option has its individual benefits and drawbacks, so homeowners need to inquire about permits and environmental factors that might make one type of basement superior to another. 

 

The Renovations That Provide The Best Return On Your Investment

The Renovations That Provide The Best Return On Your InvestmentRenovating a home is not only a way to increase the family’s standard of living but it can also be seen as an investment. There are multiple ways for someone to increase the value of their home and renovations are one of the most straightforward. At the same time, some investments offer a better return than others.

Those who are thinking about selling their home in the future should strive to get every dollar possible. Renovations can make this happen.

Garage Door Replacement

When people think about renovations, they don’t often think about the garage. Some people don’t even include their garage in their square footage because it might not be heated; however, replacing the garage door can provide a major investment return.

In some cases, the value of the garage door itself may double with a simple replacement. While some people dread the prospect of replacing a damaged garage door, even upgrading a working one can lead to a significant return!

Manufactured Stone Veneer

Stone is a popular building material because it provides a sleek look in addition to being versatile. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a stone veneer will also provide a major investment return. For those who spend around ten thousand dollars on a stone veneer, the value of this investment may nearly double. This provides a great way to not only upgrade the home but also increase its resale value.

Entry Door Replacement

A home’s doors are incredibly important because not only do they a measure of security but also they also draw someone’s eyes. Replacing an entry door may provide an investment return of close to 90 percent. Because this job can be handled quickly by a trained professional, this can be a quick upgrade for those looking to boost the value of their home before selling it.

Plan for Warm Weather Renovations

With the weather starting to heat up, many individuals and families are looking to plan their renovation projects for the summer. Think about the projects wisely as they can have a significant impact on the value of a home. Renovations should be viewed as investments as well as upgrades for the family’s standard of living. 

5 Tips For Getting A Job In A New City When You Relocate

5 Tips For Getting A Job In A New City When You RelocateDid you just move into a new city? Transitioning to a new city is hard enough, but when you also need to find a job, it can be even tougher. Since everything is a bit new to you, there are definitely some strategies to implement that will make your job hunting easier. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Let People Know You are Looking For A Job

Everywhere you go, spread the word that you are in the market for a new job. In general, people love to help out other people. Someone you speak with will surely know of a job opening; either where they work or someplace else. 

2. Be Ready With Your Business Card

Once you start having conversations with people about needing a job, they will want to know what you do and how to contact you. Have some attractive business cards printed up with your contact information and area of expertise.

The more of these you can get into circulation, the higher your chances of finding a job sooner rather than later. 

3. Use Your Existing Network

Check back in with your network where you used to live and see if anyone knows someone in your new city. You might be surprised to find out how vast a network of connections can be. If you can make a new connection in your new city through your old network, they may be able to introduce you to potential employers in the area where you now live.

4. Go Through The Employment Agency

Employment agency work can sometimes transition into permanent positions. Working through an employment agency will not make you wealthy, but it can help to pay the bills until the time you can find a job that fits with your career goals.

Plus, employment agencies can often put you to work the very next day or the next Monday. It is a temporary solution, but a worthwhile use of your time.

5. Spend Time Getting To Know The Locals

Some cities are known for being harder to find a job as an outsider. A local reference can help you to pass the test and get an interview. Get to know some locals who might be willing to vouch for you as a local reference. 

These five tips will help you get a job in no time in your new city. Remember, your first job in your new city might not be your dream job, but at least it will get you in the door.

 

 

Some Millennials Are Finding Home Buying Overwhelming

Some Millennials Are Finding Home Buying OverwhelmingMany millennials are reaching the age where they are thinking about buying homes for the first time. It turns out that many members of this generation are finding this process challenging. Even though the housing market is great for those looking to buy, surveys indicate that this generation also finds the process overwhelming.

Reports have been published showing that many millennials are planning to buy their first home in the next year, showing that owning property is still a strong part of the American dream. Furthermore, many millennials also know that this is a great time to buy. Why are millennials finding this process so challenging?

Student Loan Debt

One of the biggest reasons why millennials are having issues purchasing a home is student loan debt. When someone is looking for a home, any potential lender is going to take their existing debt into account. It is no secret that student loans are a major issue right now.

With numerous millennials saddled with student loan debt, this makes it hard to qualify for a mortgage. While other forms of debt are easier to pay back, student loan debt is not. Some millennials have student loan debt that looks like a mortgage. 

A Poor Understanding Of Costs

Even though millennials may look at their rent payments as a solid barometer for their mortgage payment, there are other costs that millennials need to consider. These include real estate taxes, HOA fees, homeowners’ insurance, and potential repairs. Therefore, they might need to reset their expectations.

Comparison Is A Dangerous Temptation

Finally, too many millennials are tempted by what they know. Many millennials end up moving back into their parents’ house after they finish school. The job market can be tough and they think this is a great way to save money. On the other hand, this also means they might end up looking for a house that is similar to their parents’. 

Many millennials have set the bar high for their first home. A property like their parents’ simply isn’t within the budget. An unwillingness to accept this makes it harder to find a home. On the other hand, there are affordable homes out there. Millennials simply need assistance to find them.

Low Maintenance Landscaping To Improve Curb Appeal

Low Maintenance Landscaping To Improve Curb AppealAttractive landscaping is one of the first things that potential home buyers notice. They may see the landscaping in the photos of a home for sale or may even do a physical drive-by. The view of the property from the street is called “curb appeal.” It is important to make this be as nice as possible.

In many parts of the country, there are pressures on the water supply that make having a lush-green, living lawn very costly or even prohibited by the local regulations. Innovative technology and the use of natural ground covers, such as stone and rocks are replacing the green lawns that most people think of when considering landscaping a home properly.

Here is a guide to some landscaping that is attractive and worth considering to make a home look spectacular and require little maintenance:

Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has improved dramatically over the past few years. There is no longer the need to use the obvious green plastic covering of cheap fake grass. The newest artificial turf products look so much like real grass that it is nearly impossible to tell that they are not real. They can be installed over drainage rock and washed down with water like real grass.

Decorative Concrete

Molded concrete is now available in so many surface treatments, textures, and colors that it can represent almost any popular covering. For example, a nice European-style, cobbled-stone, street look is a popular choice for driveways and walkways. It is made out of molded, colored concrete, not stone, and installs easily.

Rock And Stone

Replacing areas of grass in the front yard with decorative rock and stone makes a nice look. It is better not to use wide swathes of this ground covering in big blocks. Instead, for a better aesthetic appeal, use natural rock and stone to create unique, eye-catching areas. For example, surrounding a wishing well with a nice circular area of rock pebbles creates a nice look.

Artificial Trees And Bushes

Advancements in the manufacturing of artificial bushes and trees developed very convincing products that are durable enough for exterior installation. Some best looking ones are the evergreen bushes.

They come in perfect heights of various sizes. They never need watering or trimming to make them look attractive. The only maintenance that they need is the occasional spray washing to remove dust and things that might fall on them like leaves from neighbor?s trees.

There are many to choose from. The modest-sized bushes are very inexpensive and usually less than $50 each. At the other end of the spectrum, are the exotic 11-feet tall artificial cheery trees that have built-in LED illumination. These are very dramatic and cost many thousands.

Summary

With these interesting ideas to consider, take a look at landscaping in a new way. Even though artificial landscaping requires an upfront investment, it can last for many years and may reduce overall maintenance costs significantly. If you ever want to sell the home, there will be much less landscaping needed to get it ready for sale.

3 Ways To Make Your Home Safer

3 Ways To Make Your Home SaferIn the wake of the recent news reports, you might be looking for ways to make your home safer. Some of the most common accidents and events that take place in homes include poisoning events, falls, and even burglaries. The good news is that there are ways to improve the safety of your home. You might even be rewarded with a lower home insurance premium!

Invest In An Alarm System

It is not easy to figure out exactly how many burglaries are prevented every year by having an alarm system; however, even having a sign in the front yard could be enough to scare off potential intruders. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make your home safer, invest in a home alarm system. 

The price of a home alarm system from vary from provider to provider. Homeowners can tailor their security services to meet their needs. This is a great way to keep burglars at bay.

Purchase A Video Doorbell System

There has even been a rise in the frequency of porch pirates, or those who steal the packages of others from their front door! If you are someone who buys a lot of stuff online, then you should get a video doorbell to watch your packages when they get dropped off.

Furthermore, you can even use this video doorbell system to see who ringing your doorbell when you aren’t home. In some cases, you can even communicate with them, providing them instructions, or asking them to leave when necessary.

Buy Automatic Outdoor Lighting Systems

Lights are often enough to scare people away. There are plenty of motion sensor lights that you can purchase for your driveway, porch, and front door. These lights can even be set to turn off when the sun comes up to save energy. 

Keep Your Home Safe

These are a few of the easiest ways that you can make your home safer. If you take steps to keep burglars at bay, not only will you protect your home but you might even save some money on home insurance!