Friday, June 1, 2018 / by Brian Ness
5 Budgeting Tips For Homebuying
Buying a home will likely be one of the biggest financial transactions you make, and preparing your budget beforehand makes the home buying process much less stressful. The following tips and expert insight can help you get your budget in order before you make the big transaction.
1. Organize Your Finances
You may know how much you have in your checking and savings accounts, but do you know how much you spend on household expenses each month? Or how much high-interest and credit card debt you have? It’s important to get a clear idea of where your money goes in order to figure out what you can afford and what your home buying timeline looks like. Personal finance experts at OnStride suggest breaking down your finances into the following categories:
Level 1: Basic Budgeting: Basic financial needs, like rent, groceries and gas.
Level 2: Emergency Funds: In case of an accident or other costly event.
Level 3: Passive Preparation: 401 ...
Thursday, April 5, 2018 / by Brian Ness
First-time Homebuyers: You're Closer To A Down Payment Than You Think
For many first-time buyers, saving for a down payment is the most difficult step in the home-buying process. However, it's a common misconception that you always need 20 percent down to buy a home. ?
Here’s the lowdown on the most popular low-down alternative payment options:
Traditionally the mortgage of choice for first-time buyers, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers government-insured loans with as little as 3.5 percent down. The most popular FHA loan option, the 203(b), is widely available from lenders across the country. You may qualify with a credit score of just 500, although there may be limitations on some condo purchases.
Home Possible from Freddie Mac
This program allows you to put between 3 and 5 percent down, as long as you intend to use the home as your primary residence, and don't currently own or share ownership of another house. You'll also need to complete a ...
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 / by Brian Ness
Schools can have a big impact on property value and quality of life. If you're buying a home, here are a few reasons local school ratings matter – even if you don't have kids.
1.The next buyer will consider school ratings, too
According to a recent National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 25 percent of homebuyers listed school quality and 20 percent listed proximity to schools as deciding factors in their home purchase. Another survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 91 percent of the people surveyed included school district boundaries in their decision-making process. You may be surprised to learn that not all of the shoppers involved in the studies had ki ...
Friday, February 23, 2018 / by Brian Ness
What is earnest money, and why do I need to include it with my offer on a property? Sellers see this deposit as a sign you are serious about purchasing a property. It tells the seller, that you, the buyer, are purchasing the property in good faith, and are willing to put money behind your offer up front. The earnest money also keeps buyers from writing purchase agreements on multiple properties.
How much earnest money is required?
There is no specific amount of earnest money required. The general rule of thumb is around one percent of the purchase price. In some cases, less money may be fine, or in multiple offer situations, some buyers will put down more to show how serious they are in order to get the property. The exact amount is something buyers should discuss with their own Realtor.
How do I pay my earnest money?
These days, most earnest money is paid either with a personal check, or by using an electronic funds transfer service. The purchase agreement will state t ...
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 / by Brian Ness
With warm temperatures and long days, Summer has traditionally been the high season for buying and selling real estate. But don't discount these advantages that crop up when temperatures fall.
1. Year-End Breaks
As long as you close on the property on or before Dec. 31, any property tax and mortgage interest paid are tax-deductible for that year. This can dramatically impact the amount of money you owe Uncle Same, or increase your refund.
2. Less Competition
The National Association of Realtors® recently noted that, in an average year, nearly half of all home sales occur from May to August. Although most people
wait until the hustle and bustle of the spring selling season, you'll likely encounter less competition during fall and winter. That means less stress and a reduced chance you'll be involved in a bidding war.
3. Eager Sellers
Sellers become more motivated the longer their home is on the market, especially now that summer rush is over. If a ...