Monday, September 16, 2019

You’ve Got Options—How to Pay for Your New Home



One of the major components of the American Dream is owning a home. However, purchasing a home can be a challenge for many adults. There are so many strategies and rules that it may seem impossible to figure out. Luckily, if you’re ready to buy your new home, you have options to choose a payment plan that works best for you.

Save up the 20 percent Down Payment


Most personal finance gurus recommend saving up 20 percent for the down payment before making the purchase. This strategy comes with some great benefits. First, you’ll automatically have some equity built up, so it’s unlikely you’ll go under on your loan. 

Another great benefit of taking out a conventional loan with a 20 percent down payment is the ability to avoid private mortgage insurance. Usually, if you’ve paid less than 20 percent, lenders require that you pay for PMI. 

Depending upon the price of the home, PMI can cost hundreds each month. The biggest negative associated with a 20 percent down payment is the length of time it can take to save it, but many consider the wait worth it.

Save up and Pay Cash


Another option for paying for your new home is saving up cash to pay for it in full. This will help you avoid debt, but it will likely tie up wealth that could otherwise be invested in more liquid investments. 



Having a paid-off home will greatly improve your monthly cash flow. This option will be more achievable in many areas of the Midwest. It will be very difficult for people looking to buy real estate on the coasts where housing costs are higher.


Fixed vs Adjustable Mortgages


Mortgages with adjustable rates tend to come with lower interest rates. These lower rates can make it easier for prospective homeowners to get into a new home. However, they can be adjusted upward, and your mortgage payments will be adjusted accordingly. The principal and interest portion of a fixed-rate mortgage will stay relatively steady over time.


Mortgage Programs


The US government provides incentives for new homeowners. Mortgage programs through the USDA, the VA, the FHA, and some companies who work with them can give you mortgages with no or very low down payment requirements. These can allow you to get into a house quickly without saving up tens of thousands of dollars. 

Likely, you’ll have to pay for insurance on these. If there’s a downturn in your local market, it could become difficult to sell a home without going into the hole because you’ll be less likely to have equity built up.

If you’re looking to get into a home of your own, you have options. Whether you have no money to put down or you can pay the full price in cash, it’s possible to get into your first home as long as you have reasonable credit. Regardless of the option you choose, you’ll want to perform due diligence to make it less likely you’ll wind up underwater on your purchase.


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