Showing posts with label Buy a Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buy a Home. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Tips for Financing Your Next Home

Buying a home is a significant milestone, but it can also be a daunting and stressful experience, especially regarding financing. With the variety of options available to you, it might be difficult to find the right fit for your financial situation.

In this blog post, we’ve gathered some tips to help finance your next home purchase a little bit easier.

Start Saving Early

Saving for a down payment on a house can seem daunting, but starting early can significantly impact your future mortgage payments. 

According to experts, it is recommended to save at least 20% of the home's purchase price. This percentage will help you avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), which can add up to hundreds of dollars to your monthly payments. 

By saving early, you give yourself ample time to reach your goal and avoid the extra expense of PMI. 

So, whether you're just starting your career or have been working for a few years, it's essential to consider the benefits of saving early for your dream home.

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a significant factor in determining your mortgage rates and eligibility. Before applying for a home loan, checking and monitoring your credit score regularly is essential. 

Settle any outstanding debts, pay your bills on time, and avoid opening new credit accounts during your mortgage application.

Shop Around for a Lender

When it comes to borrowing money, it's important to find a lender that offers favorable interest rates and loan terms. To achieve this, it's recommended to shop around and compare offers before deciding on a mortgage lender

By doing this, you can ensure that you get the best deal for your financial situation. So, take the time to initiate a conversation with multiple lenders, compare their offers, and get pre-approved. 

With these steps, you can feel confident in your choice and make a well-informed decision.

Consider Your Mortgage Options

When considering mortgage options, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages. 

While a fixed-rate mortgage guarantees a stable payment over the life of the loan, an adjustable-rate mortgage can offer more flexibility and cost savings in the short term. However, it is crucial to carefully evaluate your budget and financial goals before deciding on a mortgage. 

While a low-rate adjustable mortgage may seem attractive at first, it is important to consider potential fluctuations in interest rates and ensure that you are comfortable with the possibility of rising payments in the future. 

Regardless of which option you choose, taking the time to research and understand your mortgage options thoroughly can help you make an informed decision that meets both your immediate and long-term financial needs.

Stay Within Your Budget

It is essential to stay within your budget when buying a home. Analyze your monthly expenses, including your mortgage, property taxes, and insurance, to make sure you are comfortable with the payments. 

Remember that owning a home comes with monthly expenses and unexpected costs like maintenance and repairs.

Final Thoughts

Financing your next home purchase is a big decision that requires careful planning and evaluation of all your options. 

Understanding the factors that affect your financing, such as your credit score, mortgage options, and budget, can help you make informed decisions. 

With these tips, we hope you feel more prepared to finance your dream home and enjoy the benefits of homeownership.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

What to Consider When Choosing a Budget Before Searching for a New Home

Choosing a budget prior to looking for your new home is a crucial step in the process, and it's one you need to take seriously. There's more involved to owning a home than just making enough numbers line up to match the price tag of a home you want.

You need to stay within certain guidelines. Otherwise, your home may own you more than you own it.

Start With the 28/36 Rule

NerdWallet argues in favor of starting with the 28/36 rule in terms of home affordability. Factor 28% of your gross income every month towards housing-related costs, but stay within 36% of your total debts. 

This rule doesn't actually apply to everyone and every situation, but it's a good rule of thumb to start with.

Work With a Mortgage Lending Service

Doing your own initial budget is a great start, but it helps to have an industry professional take a second look. Not only can they confirm the accuracy of your budget, but they can also give you an objective look regarding your finances. 

Whether you work with Fairway PNW in Silverdale, WA, or another service closer to where you are looking for a home, working with a mortgage professional increases your odds of balancing buying the most home you can without breaking your budget in the process.

Make the Biggest Down Payment You Can

The larger your down payment is, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. In many cases, you might be able to buy a home without the standard 20% down. 

However, if you can afford that or more, then you might be able to avoid private mortgage insurance and the monthly costs that will entail.

Financing Upkeep

Regardless of the age, condition, or size of your next home, it's going to need upkeep and maintenance. Repairs will creep up on you eventually, too, and you'll likely have many ideas about home improvements. 

As a general rule of thumb, you should set aside 1% of the home value every year for such matters. It's better to do 2% for older homes.

Buying a home is a tremendous accomplishment in life. However, if you don't choose your budget right before searching for your next home, then you might wind up overburdened and with a quality of life that you don't enjoy in that home. 

Even worse, you might get in over your head and risk losing the home you worked so hard to get your hands on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Do You Really Need a 20% Downpayment Saved Up for Home Loans?

Even people who don't know much about mortgages know the rule of thumb that you should expect to put down 20% of the cost of the home. It begs the question, though, of whether that is a hard-and-fast rule or if there is some wiggle room.

If you're looking to get into a home, it makes sense to do your research so that you can be prepared to make the best moves to secure your financial future.

Here is a basic explanation of how to do just that.

Different Lenders

One thing to consider when it comes to home loans is that different lenders offer different mortgage products. While any lender can offer you a product that requires a 20% down payment, some lenders are willing to get especially creative to work with your financial situation. 

Digging further into this, the lender you choose could have a major impact on whether or not you're approved for a particular loan. Therefore, if you have time, it might suit you to shop lenders before you commit.

Different Loans

The good news for aspiring homeowners is that there are a variety of mortgage products available that don't require a 20% down payment. 

Many of these home loans are readily available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For example, if you have served in the military, you may be eligible for exclusive mortgage products offering competitive interest rates and low down payments. 

First-time homebuyers also can often find unique loan products that require less than 20% down.

Paying More

Just because 20% is the recommended down payment for many types of loans doesn't mean that you can't put down more. In fact, if you are able to put a larger down payment on your home, you'll likely lower your monthly payments over the life of the mortgage. 

In many cases, you'll also be able to reduce your interest rate, saving you even more money and helping you get out of debt sooner.

Interest Rates

Buying a home right now is a great choice because interest rates are at historically low levels. It's important to keep in mind, though, that opting for a lower down payment may increase your interest rate, at least slightly. 

Of course, this largely depends on the types of mortgages you qualify for and your personal financial history. Don't let slightly higher interest rates stop you from pursuing the dream of owning a home if you're otherwise able to afford the mortgage payments.

Don't Get Ahead of Yourself

With all of the talk about the hot housing market, it can be easy to think that you need to get into a house as quickly as possible. Before you go down that road, though, it's important to first assess your current financial standing. 

Taking stock of your budget will ensure that you don't run into any speed bumps down the road. This will help make the gift of owning a home even sweeter.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Cost Of Owning vs. Cost Of Renting Your Home

When it's time to find a place to live, you are faced with either buying a home or choosing to rent a property. Since the decision you make will impact you financially in many ways, it's important to know as many details as possible regarding the costs of owning or renting a home.

You're Making a Payment Either Way

Whether you buy a home or decide to rent, you will be making a monthly payment either way. While many people tend to think they are throwing away their money by paying rent month after month, that's not necessarily true. 

Even if you are not building up equity with your rental payments, you are still paying for a fine home that you can enjoy.

Unexpected Repair Costs

When you rent a home, all the repairs and the costs associated with them are taken care of by your landlord. Thus, as a renter, you know exactly how much money you will spend on your housing costs each month. However, it's not like this if you are a homeowner. 

While one month may find you making only your mortgage payment, the next month may have you calling a roofing company for the leak you have. 

If you’re wondering about the frequency of people having leak issues, it may be worth contacting a local roofing company for their insight to see if you are at risk. A roofing company can install a new roof, which may cost you money that you weren’t anticipating.

Rent Increases

When you rent, you may go years paying the same amount each month. However, when your lease is about to expire, your landlord may come along and choose to raise your rent. 

If the increase is steep enough, you may be forced to move and find more affordable housing options, greatly disrupting your life. But if you own your home and have a fixed-rate mortgage, you can count on your monthly payments staying the same each month until the mortgage is paid off.

A Home Can Lose Value

When you buy a home, you likely assume it's a given that it will increase in value substantially as the years go by. While this might happen, it is by no means guaranteed. 

For example, if a major employer in your area leaves town, your neighborhood could quickly decline, impacting property values. Should you instead be renting, you won't have to worry about this issue.

If you are seeking stability and want a place to call your own, having a home and the costs that come with it may be your goal. Yet before doing so, carefully compare the costs of owning vs. renting to make sure your final decision works best for you and your family.

About the Author

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. She recommends PM Roberts LLC for your roofing needs.

Friday, July 23, 2021

What to Look for When Finding a Lender for Your Home

When you are preparing to buy a home, obtaining financing may be one of your biggest obstacles. Depending on the price of your home, your financial situation both past and present, and the economic conditions in your community and across the nation, the process can sometimes be more difficult than you imagined. 

To avoid wasting your time and ultimately being disappointed at not getting a loan, here are some things to look for when seeking a lender for your home.

First-Time Homebuyer Programs

If this is the first home you are buying, look for lenders who offer programs for first-time homebuyers. This is especially important if you are a military veteran, first responder, or even someone who has a student loan since many lenders offer loan and grant options with such features as down payment assistance, lower interest rates, and more.

Transparency and Communication

Since even the slightest mistake or misunderstanding could result in you not being able to purchase a home you've been looking at for some time, always choose a lender that emphasizes transparency and clear communication throughout the process. 

This is always important when private equity representation is being used in conjunction with a real estate purchase since consultants can meet directly with you, learn all details of the potential project, and give you the information needed to make a well-informed decision.

Competitive Interest Rates and Costs

Just as you should not fall in love with a property, you also should not fall in love with a certain lender. Instead, be willing to take a look at numerous lenders, both brick-and-mortar and online companies, to gauge their competitiveness regarding interest rates being offered to home buyers. 

However, don't stop there. Instead, take a close look at the fees associated with your loan application, appraisal, title, and loan origination, all of which will ultimately affect your closing costs.

Compare Options for Pre Approval

Finally, compare any options for a preapproval from a multitude of lenders. For example, see if your lender allows the preapproval process to be handled exclusively online, or if you will be required to make an in-person visit. 

Also, if your credit score is lower or you have other issues, ask your lender to work with you toward a solution. In many cases, lenders will be willing to look at your whole financial picture and any extenuating circumstances in making their decision.

Rather than rushing through the lending process and winding up with a bad deal or no deal at all, take your time and make sure the lender you choose to work with is able and willing to help you from start to finish.

Friday, April 23, 2021

4 Benefits to Being a First Time Home Buyer

If you have been renting for years and have now decided to finally purchase your own home, the journey ahead will be filled with excitement and anticipation. 

Also, since this will be your first home purchase, it will include many great financial perks along the way. Whether it's tax advantages, help with a down payment or other incentives, you will have plenty of opportunities to see your home purchase become easier than you ever imagined. 

As a first-time buyer, here are four of the biggest benefits you'll gain as you move forward with your transaction.

No IRA Withdrawal Penalty

As a first-time buyer, you can look to the money in your IRA to help fund your purchase. In fact, you can take as much as $10,000 out of a Roth IRA or traditional IRA without being required to pay the dreaded 10% penalty for early withdrawal. 

Once withdrawn, the money can be put toward closing costs, a down payment, or other related expenses.

Down Payment Assistance

When you are a first time home buyer, some states have programs in place to provide down payment assistance. Based on your income, these programs may also have limits as to the cost of the property you wish to purchase. 

However, if you qualify, you'll get help making a down payment, paying closing fees, and even making repairs to your new home.

Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

One of the biggest benefits you'll gain as a first-time buyer, the home mortgage interest deduction, will probably be the largest deduction you will take on your tax returns. 

To make sure you take full advantage of this perk, be sure you have your tax returns completed by an accountant or CPA who is up-to-date on the latest federal tax regulations.

Residential Energy Credits

If you have bought a new home and want to make it as environmentally friendly as possible, you will get plenty of help from the federal government to make this happen. 

By taking advantage of the Residential Energy Credits from the IRS, you can install solar panels, energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, or even geothermal heat systems or wind turbines and be eligible for tax credits equaling 26% of your total costs.

Now that you are aware of the many great benefits you'll gain from being a first-time homebuyer, you can contact a real estate agent and get closer and closer to making your dream of homeownership a reality.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

4 Ways to Get Good Mortgage Rates on a Low Income

Having a low-income does not prevent you from buying a home in today’s market. You can find the property that suits you best for a deal that fits within your budget. Lenders look at more than income when approving a loan, so do not be discouraged and feel like you need to keep renting a home or apartment. 

When searching for properties, you want to use some of the tips mentioned below to ensure you get the best mortgage rate as a low-income buyer.

Research Lenders

You might be surprised at how many lenders accept buyers with low-income. With more options, you don’t have to choose the first offer, and you can find ways to reduce down payment requirements and lower your mortgage rates. 

When completing applications, be sure to put the same information on all applications, including the type of property you are interested in purchasing, the size of the down-payment you can make, and the kind of income you have.

Good Credit Score

Having a low-income does not mean your credit score is low. By managing your bills and making payments on-time, you can find reasonable mortgage rates on a new home. You can request your credit score and history for discounted prices or even free-of-charge (this will vary from person-to-person). 

Go over your debt ratio and see what can be paid down and what accounts you should close. If there are any inaccuracies on your credit report, dispute them immediately.

Public and Private Programs

Some government agencies and private lenders have programs available for low-income buyers. These programs develop criteria that buyers must meet and award loans with reasonable mortgage rates. 

The qualifications vary, but some of the most common requirements include being a first-time buyer, purchasing a specific type of home, such as single-family homes, and the property’s location.

Trusted Real Estate Solutions

Buying a home can present many challenges, especially for low-income buyers. The good news is that there are realty solutions that you can take advantage of to ensure you are getting a great deal on single-family homes, including low mortgage rates. 

The companies will keep you well-informed throughout the purchasing process, from contract requirements, local rules and regulations, and more. A reputable realty solutions company will ensure you have all of the facts you need and go over the best options for you and your family.

The tips above can help you with the buying process and get you one step closer to purchasing a home with a good mortgage rate, even with low-income wages. 

The best advice is to search and use all of the resources available to low-income buyers. Remember to stay positive and enjoy the buying process as much as possible; you only get one chance to buy your first home.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

Monday, October 5, 2020

Bad Wallpaper or Structural Damage? Tips for Finding a Right Fixer Upper Home for the DIYer

Many people want a move-in ready house, but there are plenty of others who are happy to do their own updates and remodeling. However, there comes a point where a fun fixer upper home just isn’t worth the trouble. 

To make it worthwhile, you have to find the right property for your budget and your time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hunting for a promising DIY property.

Financial Planning

Explore your financing options for buying a house in your price range. You may want to apply for a mortgage, which will require an appraisal as well as a twenty percent down payment. 

You will also need property insurance and the financial standing to afford monthly payments. In addition you should develop a budget for the cost of repairs, utilities, and taxes while the house is renovated.

All together, you will need to finance a fair amount of money up front. Another option is to use savings or a home equity credit line to buy the house up front, which will eliminate the need for a mortgage. Talk to a financial adviser, like David Laut, about the most feasible way to handle this investment based on your current circumstances.

Comprehensive Inspection

If you are experienced and qualified, you can perform a detailed evaluation of the property you want to buy. Otherwise, you can hire a professional inspector to do a comprehensive inspection of the premises. It is usually recommended to use a professional inspector to better protect yourself legally and financially.

The inspector will check the house from roof to basement, and they’ll also check the lawn as well as any outbuildings on the property. The inspection can find hidden problems like structural issues or a septic tank defect that can be very expensive to repair. 

Knowing in advance about these issues will enable you to make an informed decision about whether to buy the property anyway or find one with fewer problems.

Time and Cost Budget

After being pre-approved for a mortgage or arranging finances in advance and then finding a property you want to buy, create a time and cost budget. Knowing up front how much time will be needed to do the repair work as well as the accompanying costs will give you an idea of whether a certain property fits your DIY capabilities.

Family Helpers

For minor work like lawn care and light demolition or hauling, you may be able to hire family members who would like the work instead of professionals for a cheaper rate. Renovations are a great learning experience for teens and siblings who want to learn some home care and remodeling skills.

Avoid snap judgments and quick purchase offers even when you’re looking for a fixer upper property. Otherwise, you could find yourself in over your head. Prepare in advance and carefully assess whether a certain property will be a good DIY opportunity.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

7 Things You Need to Consider When Purchasing a Property

Investing in the property is the right thing to do if you have enough money in hand. It will help you save so much money, in the years to come and it will give you the best returns after some time. Everyone in the world who works hard has a desire to own a property.

But, also those who want to purchase a property do not know where to start their search. Some do not have an understanding with regards to the purchasing processes. As a result, they try to learn things from scratch, and it is a complex process.

You need to plan on checking on the 'Cotierproperties' website. They have some of the best properties in California. Your search for a better home ends when you visit their site. But, what are some things that should be of concern to you when you are looking for a home?

Here are some of the best tips or insights that will help you in this endeavor:

Budget in Hand: Yes, this is the first thing that should be of concern to you when you are looking for a property. You should not go ahead with your search unless you have a clear understanding of this aspect. Check your bank account to see how much you did save in the bank to date.

Also, check your credit rating to see how much loan you can get from the bank. If your credit rating is not up to the mark, you need to plan on working on it if you want to take a loan for the purchase of the home.

Location of the House: Now, this is one of the most crucial aspects when you are planning to buy a home. Take the time to check the neighborhoods that are safe and secure. It should be closer to your workplace and your kid's school or college.

You should also check the area to understand if there are any malls near to your house and if yes, how big is it and what kind of stores and shops are available around the neighborhood.

You should also plan to check with real estate consultants to understand the kind of developments that are going to happen in and around the area. If you do this task, you will quickly identify the best home in the neighborhood.

Square Footage of the House: You need to consider this thing if you are planning to purchase a home. Consider the present and the future needs to understand what kind of house is sufficient for your family.

Talk with your family to understand the sort of house that will be comfortable for them. If you spend time with your family on this one, you will make a better decision.

Bedrooms and Restrooms: Yes, this is one more thing that should be of concern to you. Speak with your family to understand how many restrooms and bedrooms that you require at your house. Do not invest money into a property if you do not have a clear understanding of this aspect. Take time to check on this thing before you start searching for a property.

The Layout of the Kitchen: Food is one of the most critical things that we need to live. A kitchen that is elegant and stylish will help in boosting your mood. People who are cooking the food will do a better job when the kitchen is simply superb.

Now, this is the main reason why you should check the layout of the kitchen before investing your money into a property. Take time to compare different houses to find the best one for you. The size of the kitchen also depends on the number of people staying in the home.

Age of the House: Yes, this should be one more thing that should be of concern to you when you are looking for a property. Check on the website 'Cotierproperties,' to understand this aspect. If the property is old, you might want to inspect the home to check if everything is okay.

If you have any questions, you can have specialists come and do the inspection for you. This way, you are not going to invest in something that is not of any value. It will also help you to make an informed decision.

The Market Price: Check the various homes that are available for sale in the locality. Compare the prices so that you can find the best house that fits well with your budget. If you know the market rates, you can also negotiate the rates with the seller. Most people are ready to reduce if a potential buyer has sufficient knowledge about an area or the neighborhood.

These are some of the aspects that you need to check when purchasing a home for your family.

Friday, August 10, 2018

How to Finance the Purchase of a New Home

Buying a new home can be one of life’s most amazing experiences. It can be a little intimidating for people who are unsure of how they’ll finance it, however. Homes are enormous purchases. If you’re in the latter group, there are certain suggestions you should run through your mind. Financing a new home is without a doubt something you can do.

Research Home Loans

The smartest home buyers are the people who prepare efficiently. That’s why you should take the time to research the massive and often overwhelming universe of home loans. 

Your aim should be to get your hands on a great interest rate. It should also be to get your hands on a deal that won’t negatively interfere with your lifestyle and comfort level, too.

Set up a Consultation with a Reputable Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers can be major sources of help for people who are looking to finance new residential properties. They can help people secure mortgage deals that are a lot more desirable. 

If you want to save a lot on your mortgage, you can’t top the guidance of a knowledgeable and seasoned mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers can simplify the process of finding the most ideal deal out there.

Save Up

Covering down payments can cost people hefty sums of money. If you want to finance your home easily and with confidence, you should begin saving up to handle your down payment well in advance. 

The more money you initially put down, the easier it will be for you to manage your mortgage expenses on a monthly basis. You should always think about the big picture.

Assess All Offers Meticulously

You should never even think about being careless about home loan offers. Don’t assume that they’re all similar. You should evaluate your home loan offers meticulously, and prior to making any commitments. 

It can be unpleasant to commit to a loan only to realize that there were actually much better options out there simply waiting for you. If you give yourself a lot of time to make a solid decision, you should be good to go. Try to find out about as many loan offers as possible. Be as exhaustive as you need to be.

New home financing can seem pretty scary to people who are unfamiliar with the process. If you’re committed and detailed, however, you should be able to do extremely well for yourself. You should aim to be calm, composed, and confident.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Settling Down: 3 Life Choices Available to You When You Stay Put

Many adults move around to different cities every couple of years. This may be to enjoy a change of scenery, to chase career opportunities or for other reasons. While moving can be beneficial in some cases, it also may prevent you from achieving goals that may otherwise be available to you if you decide to stay put and lay down roots. 

These are some of the more substantial life-changing options that may be available to you when you stay in one location.

Building a Custom Home

It does not make financial sense in most cases to buy a home in a city where you are not planning to live for at least a few years. Likewise, building a custom house may seem impractical. After all, it may take six months or longer to complete the construction process. 

When you decide to remain in the same location indefinitely, you will have ample time to walk through the design and building phases with home builders, and enjoy living in a house made just for you.

Developing Lasting Friendships

When you are constantly changing locations, you may only be able to create rather shallow relationships. You may meet wonderful people, but you may not have ample time to develop deep relationships with them. 

By laying down roots, you give yourself time to establish friendships with many different people over the years. These friendships may enrich your life in various ways throughout the remainder of your life.

Improving Your Credentials

There are online classes that are available to you regardless of where you live, but you may find that you can more easily take classes and improve your credentials when you are settled. Some certification courses or general education courses may only be available locally in a traditional classroom environment. 

You may also have a chance to volunteer so that you can expand your experiences outside of a classroom. Beyond professional improvement courses, you can also take self-improvement courses or even join a club or recreational team to further expand your horizons.

While moving from place to place frequently can be exciting and offers some benefits, you can see that there are also benefits associated with remaining in one place for an extended period of time. 

Remember that where you choose to settle down can affect your ability to enjoy these and other benefits. Spend time researching different cities so that you can make an informed decision to move to an area where you may love living for many years.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Knowing When It’s Time to Move

As we get older, many of us start to notice that our living situation just isn’t what we need anymore. Sometimes we move in order to become part of a senior community, and live close to others in our stage of life. Other times, we want to be closer to family, or downgrade in order to get rid of all those extra projects that come with living in a big house.

Then again, a move can be a huge disruption to your life, and it’s a major hassle from start to finish. So how can you determine whether a move is actually worth all the effort and bother? Well, whether you’re living out your golden years, or moving into your first home with a spouse, here are some helpful tips.

Can You Upgrade Your Existing Home?

Sometimes, there are things that we really want for our home, and so we start looking longingly at shiny new housing listings. If our health is getting difficult, it might not even be a matter of want, but need. 

Perhaps you’re not able to handle the stairs as well as before, or you need a different kind of shower. However, the truth is that most of the time, it’s much more cost-effective for an individual to update their existing home rather than get a new one. 

It’s true that looking at a quote for something like installing solar panels, or putting a granite countertop in your kitchen, can be intimidating. However, when you consider it an investment in your home that increases its value, it puts things in perspective.

Even if you’re planning to move, it might be worth looking into the costs of certain upgrades in order to increase the price point that you’ll be able to get for the house.

Location is the Primary Concern

If the truth is that all the upgrades, expansion, and remodeling won’t answer your needs, then yes… it’s probably time to move. That means that it’s a problem with the location; not the actual house. 

There are so many things that determine whether your location is good or bad. Often, it seems as though location and price are directly correlative, and it’s just a matter of finding as ideal a location as possible inside of your price range, but the truth is that location is highly relative. A prime location for one person won’t be ideal for another family.

Here are the major things that you need to ask yourself when choosing a location that matters to you.

Is the school district important to you? One of the major concerns people have when moving is what kind of school their child will be going to. So, if you don’t have children, or if your children are attending private school, or an alternate schooling program, you can save a lot by not competing for the same thing other families are desperate for. This link has a good guide if school district is a priority for your move.

What does your commute look like? One of the biggest things that contributes to (or detracts from) our quality of life is the time we spend in traffic getting to and from work each day. How much does a long commute bother you? 

Can you use public transit to reduce costs and stress? Don’t forget; it’s not just about the commute to work. The commute to school, to the grocery store, and to your friends’ or family’s homes can all determine how well a location works for you.

What does your lifestyle demand of your surroundings? Some people love to be friendly with their neighbors. Some of us love to be close to the outdoors. Others love a convenient park in the neighborhood. It’s important not to be distracted by things that really don’t matter to you, though. 

Sure, a park nearby is nice, but if you never use or see that park… then it really doesn’t make a difference to you. Let someone else pay for that proximity.

Renting vs. Buying

Deciding whether you’re going to rent or buy will also have a big impact on whether it’s time for you to move. After all, it’s a completely different game. Renting will feel much more temporary. 

If you decide to buy, you want to be comfortable with a more long-term decision. Even if you need to move from that home, will you be able to get good rental rates if you decide to become a landlord? Will it retain its value if you resell it in a few years?

People Matter

Although we usually think in terms of finances and employment while we’re looking into a move, the truth is that there’s one thing that matters more; who you share that space with. In the end, money doesn’t make us happy, and few jobs will. 

On the other hand, people who have the best quality of life, self-reported levels of happiness, and life expectancy, are those who have strong networks of connection with friends and loved ones. 

So, while you’re evaluating your reasons to move, it could be that it just comes down to doing the best thing for your family. That might be enough! Moving doesn’t have to be a terrible hassle if it’s handled right.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Preparing to Buy a Home: 5 Ways it Will Impact Your Finances

Buy a Home
Preparing to buy a property has huge financial implications. It’s not like buying a gaming console or a flatscreen television wherein you can just shake off the expense or return it if you’re unsatisfied with the purchase. 

Buying a home means committing years’ worth of your income and savings into the property. It entails making payments month after month and possibly not being able to afford any other big ticket purchase for some time. 

Here are five ways to prepare for a home purchase.

Hone in on a Location

Choose a location that best aligns with your needs, lifestyle, and circumstances. If you are buying a home for a growing family, for instance, you’ll want to pick a location that has access to a pediatric center, hospital, school, and other essential services. 

You’ll also want to vet the neighborhood for its safety. A low crime rate and low instance of natural disasters are ideal to avoid the expenses of repairing and replacing personal belongings in the event of a break-in or fire. 

All of these things can contribute to the selling price of your potential home and what you can afford.

Get Pre-Approved

Your home buying plans can be cut short if you don’t get pre-approved by your lender. It’s best to do this task before you start attending open houses, consulting realtors, and meeting with home sellers. 

Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between someone getting pre-qualified and someone getting pre-approved. The latter is more important as it signifies that the lender has checked your financial information and is prepared to lend you money.

Be Wary of Sleeper Costs

This pertains to unpopular home-related expenses, like property taxes and utilities. You should know all of the fees ahead of time before you close on your new home. 

If you need to refinance your home loan, you will need to find a loan office in your area. You can use companies like to help you find the best loan officer to meet your financial needs.

Avoid Crossing Neighbors’ Borders

A border dispute isn’t the best way to meet your new neighbors. But a lot of new home buyers in the market forget to factor this in when doing visual inspections of the property and/or reviewing the contract. 

Know exactly where your property lines start and where it ends. This can save you a lot of trouble down the line should you decide you want to make any additions to your home or property.

Don’t Attempt to Time the Market

Avoid obsessing about when exactly you should buy a property. While it’s prudent to try and save a few thousand dollars on your purchase by timing it right, the housing market is simply too unpredictable to time. 

If you can find a property at a reasonable price point and has the qualities you need and want, take a leap of faith and make an offer ASAP.

Buying a home can be daunting due to the financial impact it has on your life. There is a lot that goes into it that you may not be aware of if you have not bought a home before in your life. 

It is important that you do your homework so that way you understand what the costs will be. It will also help you prepare and budget for your new home. It should also show you what homes you can and can’t afford after you get pre-approved for your home loan. Use the five tips above to make it as smooth as possible.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

4 Financial Resources for Families Looking for a New Home

Higher home prices and the decreasing number of homes available for sale aren’t the only things keeping most families in city apartments. Most of these families, regardless of their income levels remain hooked up in rentals as they don’t know how to source for funds to buy a home. 

Here are four possible financial sources for families seeking to buy their family home.

State Down-Payment Grant

Where do you live and what is your average annual income? Those are the only questions most state, county or even state governments ask in determining whether you qualify for down payment assistance. 

To make homes affordable to all citizens, state and county governments set up the little-known down Payment Assistance Scheme. This helps low income earners raise the down payment required by most mortgage providers.

College Graduation Grant

A Bachelor’s degree in any related field can also earn you a significant grant amount that you can use as a down payment for a family home, in Indianan and Ohio at least. 

In these two localities, you qualify for up to 2.5% of your home purchase if you graduated with a bachelor’s degree here within the last two years and have a full-time job.

Mortgage Loan

Mortgages by far remain the most popular financial resources to purchasing a family home. With a stable source of income and the required down payment, you can approach any financial institution offering mortgage services for financing. 

Note that the higher your down payment you raise and shorter the repayment period, the more favorable the mortgage repayment terms.

Through Low down Payment Loans

Though they suffered a major setback in the recent housing crisis, low down payment loans are still available. For instance, the Federal Housing Authority only requires that put down as little as 3.5% of your home purchase price.

Good Neighbor Next Door

Is your career centered on community services like emergency medical technician, firefighter, an active law enforcement officer or even a veteran? That too can increase your chances of owning a family home

Through the Good Neighbor Next Door program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can finance up to 50% of the home’s listing price if you seek to buy a house in regions that the institution considers revitalization areas. 

There is a catch though. You must work full-time in the designated occupation and agree to live in the home for not less three years after purchase.

Bottom Line

Real estate experts believe the only reason hindering could-be homeowners from owning a home is the fact that they aren’t familiar with the different finance resources available to them. 

If you dream of moving your family out of a rental into a decent home, research on the various financial sources available to you based on your profession, income levels, and residence.

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