Do You Have Enough Money Saved for a Down Payment on a House?

16-11-7-blog-89-pix-piggy-bank

Is now the time for you to move into that house you have always wanted? Do you lack the amount needed for a down payment?

Here are some suggestions on how to determined the amount you will need to save and how to make that savings account grow to the point you can buy the house you want.

Starting with the end goal in mind, will go a long way to give you an idea of what is in store for you as you save for your down payment. Figure out how much you can afford to pay for a house based on one salary. In that way, if something happens leaving only one salary between the two of you, you can still afford to pay your mortgage.

How much house you can afford depends on many things including your income and your debt to income ratio which means how much you owe on student loans, car loans and credit cards compared with the amount of money you earn.

Then look for houses on listing sites to narrow down the features that you want and can afford. This will help you hone the amount you will need to save for that down payment. There are some programs that will allow you to get a mortgage with only 3.5% down payment. Check to see if you qualify for loans from FHA, VA or USDA.

Suggestions  on how to make the amount in your savings account increase.

  • Save in big chunks.  Allow for your favorite coffee or that snack you enjoy.
  • Cut back on saving toward your retirement. Continue to maximize the matching amount from your employer.
  • Get large amount of money, put all of it toward your down payment
  • Move to a smaller apartment to be able to save more. The move is temporary
  • Work more hours when overtime is available.
  • Tell your friends and family you are saving for a down payment. That way they can skip inviting you to dinner at an expensive restaurant or find other activities away from shopping. Instead of going to the movies, subscribe to Netflix.
  • Find alternative ways to still enjoy yourself. Cook a fancy streak dinner at home.

More ideas on how you can make that savings account grow.

  • Pay down your credit card debt
  • Save your raise.
  • Put your whole tax refund in the bank.
  • Get a roommate.
  • Get a part time job.
  • Have money taken out of your paycheck and send it directly to the bank.
  • Live on way less than you earn.
  • Move in with your parents.
  • Curtail your spending on clothing and home decorations.
  • Cut back on your cell phone bill.

16-11-7-blog-89-pix-roommates

Follow the suggestions above to make your dream of owning your first home, or owning that dream home you have always wanted. Remember that the sacrifices you are making will only last as long as it takes to save the money you will need for that down payment.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

Advertisements

Tips on Holding a Garage Sale Before You Move

16-11-6-blog-88-pix-yard-sign

You are ready to move out, but you first need to get rid of some stuff. Ah ha – a garage sale is in order. Here some tips and tricks on how to hold a garage sale.

Ask a young child to help you write an ad for the local newspaper and to design the signs including arrows pointing to your house to direct traffic.

Ask for help from neighbors and friends. Invite them to add to the items for sale.

Consider your lay out. Put all like items together. Put books on a shelf. Hang clothes on a shower curtain or on a rope between trees.

Play some nice background music. See if your children would like to sell some baked goods and lemonade.

Be thoughtful at check out. Put on an apron with pockets. Have plenty of smaller bills to break larger bills.

Clearly mark all items with a price. This will discourage people offering a much lower price than you intended to sell it for.

If you want  to sell everything at your garage sale, price everything very low.

16-11-6-blog-88-pix-people-at-sale

Don’t use the “make an offer” pricing method. Most people want to know how much the item costs.

Use blue painters tape and a Sharpie.

About half way through assess the progress. If things aren’t selling, lower the prices. Write a sign that says ½ off all items.

How to find the value of an item

Salvation Army Value Guide

Garage Sale Pricing Guide

Here is a quick list of popular items

  • Books 25 cents to $1.00
  • CDs – 50 cents to $1.00
  • DVDs — $1.00 to $2.00
  • Clothing – 50 cents to $3.00
  • Electronics – start at 50 cents.

Take the items that didn’t sell to Goodwill. It will keep them from going back into your house.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

Are You on the Fence about Purchasing the Home you Have a Contract on?

16-11-6-blog-87-pix-on-fence

You signed a contract to buy a house. Now you have to really make up your mind if you want to go through with the deal. Are you ready to make that happen?

After signing a contract on a home purchase, the buyer usually has 10 days to 2 weeks in an option period. They can walk away from the contract during that time without penalties. During that time, the buyer should get the house inspected. This is a check for the disclosures the seller may have made.

Appraisal — Once you have agreed on a price, the lender will send an appraiser to determine the price of the house. If the appraisal comes in below the agreed upon price, the buyer will need to come up with more money at closing or the seller will have to reduce their price.   If the seller had multiple offers, they could go with their second choice.

Mortgage payments – Once you have selected a house and the option period begins, the lender will ask for documents to finalize your loan. You should get a very idea of how much you will be paying per month. If that amount is over your budget, it may be a good idea to find a different house you can truly afford.

16-11-6-blog-87-pix-thinking

3 reasons people walk away from a home purchase during the option period

Too many repairs – While all houses need repairs, you have to decide what is too much. Should you allow the seller to make some of the repairs? Should you get estimates on the repairs and do them yourself? If the carpet needs replacing, you can choose the flooring type and colors to fit your lifestyle. Perhaps the latter is the best option. That way you can ensure the repairs are done to your satisfaction.

Buyer’s Remorse – When making a large purchase like a home, it is common to second guess your decision. You need to consider all the time you spent finding this house and negotiating for the right price. If there is no solid reason for backing out, then it may be best to go ahead with the purchase. If you back out of this one, you are going to be spending time looking for another house.  The amount of time could be significant  especially if it is a seller’s market where houses are not plentiful.

Life Changes – like the loss of a job. A pre-approval on a loan is just an initial surface look at your as a credible buyer. Once the contract is signed, the lender takes a more in depth look at your financial situation. Other reasons may be a family member moving in and now you need a bigger house.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

 Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

Did You Find that Perfect House, but the Price isn’t Just Right?

16-11-5-blog-86-pix-counter-offer

Ready set – go? You found a house you really like, but it is just out of reach price wise.

Knowing how to negotiate to buy a house at the right price could help you avoid losing that house later because the payments are too high. One suggestion is to get a pre-approved loan, figure out what will work for your budget and look for houses at or below that amount. You don’t have to buy a house for the total amount you have been pre-approved for. Some experts suggest up to 25% of your monthly income should be spent on a mortgage. Making offers on houses that are below your pre-approval amount is a good idea because the seller is certain you will get approval on a loan for their house.

If you find   a house that is absolutely perfect, but is slightly above your maximum purchase price, you may be able to get the house for that price if you offer an amount below the asking price. The seller will come back with a counter offer. Here are some ways that the seller can counter your offer

  • Move up the closing date
  • Rent the home for time after the closing
  • Increase the earnest money
  • Exclude personal property like the refrigerator or washer and dryer
  • Modify the option period allowing the buyer less time to make a final decision

The number of counter offers depends on how far apart the buyer and seller is, and how far each person is willing to move toward the other person’s offer. A seller is asking $220,000 and the buyer can only afford $210,000. The offer needs to be below $210,000 so that the buyer and seller can meet in the middle. There is a delicate balance on making that initial offer. The seller could outright reject the offer or counter the offer by coming down on the price. They could also stay at their asking price.

So the offer could start at $195,000 and see where the seller moves on the price and other aspects. If the seller moves down to only $209,000, there is a good chance they are not willing to go down to $210,000. If the seller counters with $205,000 then you may eventually get the house at your price.

As the negotiations or offers and counter offers go back and forth the seller may include things like the ones listed above. They could come down on the price but move up the date for closing, for example.

16-11-5-blog-86-pix-balance

It is best not to go above the amount you have in your budget for a house. You will need money in reserves to pay for repairs and unexpected expenses that come up in your every day life. Read more about negotiating buying a home so that you can be prepared when you are ready to buy your next home.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

 

Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

Moving Day? Taking Your Pets with You?

16-11-4-blog-85-pets-pix-moving

Are you moving to a new place with dogs or cats? Follow these suggestions and it is likely the transition will be easier. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit. When you first move, let your pet get acclimated to your new place. Here are some suggestions on ways to make moving less stressful for everyone.                     ik

Moving with Cats

Consider boarding the cat while you move items out of the old house and into the new one.

Use a Feliway diffuser in the old house a few days before the move. Set up one in the new house about 24 hours before arriving for the new place. The Feliway diffuser helps cats stay calm while their family moves to a new place.

Take the cat carrier out and allow the cat to explore it. The cat may sleep in it.

If you keep the cat at home, put the cat in one room with food, water, cat litter and toys.

On the day of the move, keep the door closed where . Post something on the door reminding the movers there is a cat inside.

Move everything out of the house and then pick up the cat.

Once you arrive at the new house, set up the room for the cat. It can go inside the new room with the door closed as you get all the things in your house and set up.

16-11-4-blog-85-pets-pix-boxes

Moving with Dogs

Before selecting an apartment or house for rent, make sure that the new place will allow your dog to live with you. Some landlords only allow certain breeds and certain sizes. Be sure to select a house or apartment where your dog is welcome.

Fit the dog with collars or harnesses, ID tags with your contact information on them. If something happens to the dog tags, you may want to consider adding a microchip.

Take care of any health issues with the vet before moving.

If possible board your dog or have your dog visit a friend.

If you are not boarding the dog, keep the dog confined to one room with toys, a place to sleep, food and water.

On moving day, put small dogs in a pet carrier. For larger dogs, keep them on a leash.

When you arrive, put your dog in a room while the movers are unloading the truck.

Take long walks with your dog. It will become familiar with the neighborhood and may allow you to meet your neighbors.

Be patient. It may take your dog several days or as long as a week to get adjusted to the new place.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

 Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

The Inside Scoop on What is New in the Mortgage Application Process.

16-11-3-blog-84-pix-meme-home-ownership

Are you in the market to buy a home? Are you confused about mortgage rates, amount of a down payment and the online process of making an application?

Here you will find answers to those questions.

Features of a Traditional Home Loan

Rumor has it you must have 20% down to get a mortgage. The fact is there are programs that allow for a 3.5% down payment with FHA (Federal Housing Authority). Other lending institutions allow for a 3% down payment if the borrower had mortgage insurance.

FHA will accept borrowers with less than perfect credit. To qualify for the 3.5% down payment you must have a credit score of at least 580. If you have a credit score between 500 and 579, you can still qualify for a loan with FHA but you will need to put a 10% down payment.

When determining your down payment do not use all the money you have. You will need some money in reserve or any repairs that are needed. This way you won’t be in danger of missing a mortgage payment.

Consider a 15 year loan rather than a 30 year mortgage. Interest rates are lower with a 15 year note and the amount you repay is significantly less than with a 30 year loan. The amount per month you will pay on a 15 year note will be higher, but you will be better off in the long run.

Make sure you can comfortably pay the mortgage amount along with your car payments, and other ongoing monthly bills. Don’t base your decision on the fact that your income will likely increase over time. Base your loan decision on what you are earning now.

Paying the closing costs at the time you buy your house is ideal because you will get the very best interest rate available. If the bank pays the closing costs, the interest rate will go up and so will your monthly payment.

Don’t make any big purchases from the time you apply for the loan and the closing. The lender will check your credit score when you apply initially. They will check again right before closing. They want to ensure that no large purchases were made during that time period.

16-11-3-blog-84-pix-new-car-purchase

Don’t buy a new car. Don’t change anything with your credit cards. Don’t charge crazy amounts on your credit cards. Don’t change jobs. Keep everything low key from the time your apply for the loan until you close on the house.

Alternative Lenders

Market Places and Brokers – You fill out one application. Companies like Lending Tree will return several choices of loans and interest rates. You then make the application with the company you choose.

Online Mortgage Lenders – You can go on a website, fill out an application and get an approval in less than 10 minutes. One of the biggest mortgage lenders in this sphere is Quicken Loans.

Non-bank Lenders – The big banks are shying away from making mortgage loans to first time buyers because of federal regulations. Smaller banks and local mortgage lenders are filling in the gap. They are not held to the same scrutiny by the federal government.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

 Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.

24 Suggestions of What Not to Do in the Front of Your House.

16-11-2-blog-83-pix-white-house

Can you imagine trying to sell your house if the front of the house and yard just doesn’t look right? Do you think that potential buyers will walk past the mess in the front yard and walk in the house without noticing?

Here are 24 don’ts in the area of curb appeal you will want to skip altogether.  Following these suggestions could make the potential buyers feel welcome as they are getting out of their cars.

  • Don’t make  the entrance to the home confusing.
  • Don’t follow quirky trends like adding colored cement to the whole front yard.
  • Don’t put plants near the walkways that lead to the front door.
  • Don’t plant flowers that only last a season.
  • Don’t make  your house look different from the rest of the neighborhood.
  • Don’t do everything yourself. You have a long list to get the house ready to sell.
  • Don’t leave clutter in the yard.

16-11-2-blog-83-pix-clutter

  • Don’t put recycle bins and trashcans in front of the house.
  • Don’t do the landscaping yourself. Hire a landscape designer.
  • Don’t leave the chain link fence in front. Replace it with something more appealing.
  • Don’t let solar panels be seen from the front yard or the street.
  • Don’t use too many lawn decorations
  • Don’t leave dead plants or leaves in the yard.
  • Don’t neglect that green lawn look in the summer.
  • Don’t leave toys in the yard.
  • Don’t let the neighbors’ yards be a turn off. Help with sprucing up their yards.
  • Don’t overlook  the importance of photos. Make sure the house is presentable.
  • Don’t leave stains and mold on the house and driveway. Power wash the house.
  • Don’t choose unusual colors for the exterior of your house. Use neutral colors.
  • Don’t overspend on outdoor lighting. It won’ bring a return on what you spent.
  • Don’t leave pealing paint on the exterior walls.
  • Don’t let broken items such as light fixtures or shutters be seen by the buyers.
  • Don’t overlook trash and leaves on the sidewalks and driveway.

Contact Kinship Real Estate, your home buying friend when you need to sell fast.   We can make a fair cash offer or discuss other options so that you can sell your house as-is to us. We can close in less than 30 days. You don’t have to pay Realtors commissions.

Kinship Real Estate is positioned to help you make the sale of your house potentially seamless. Feel free to contact us. If we can’t help your directly, we may just be able to refer you to resources that can help you.

Check the list below for the various ways to connect with us.