Tuesday, May 23, 2017

7 Expensive Mistakes Homebuyers Often Make - 3




Mistake 3. Not shopping around for loans

     While it may seem to the average consumer that all mortgage loans are alike, and a loan broker may not even offer any options, the truth is that you do have options. You may be more or less qualified for some kinds of loans that offer better rates or terms. A military veteran’s loan is a good example of this, offering a zero down payment for some people. There are also loans for teachers and other job types, and loans for buying in certain areas.
     Aside from special loans, your standard loans also come with different price tags…
     According to Sergei Kulaev on the website, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “Our research showed that a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed rate conventional loan could get rates that vary by more than half a percent. Getting an interest rate of 4.0% instead of 4.5% translates into approximately $60 savings per month. Over the first five years, you would save about $3,500 in mortgage payments. In addition, the lower interest rate means that you’d pay off an additional $1,400 in principal in the first five years, while making lower payments.”
     To compare prices, you can use one of many websites that allow you to request bids from mortgage brokers. One broker may know of a special loan that another doesn’t know about, and all may have different fees. The fees and interest rate differences between these loans can be huge, especially over the life of the loan.
     You can also compare loans by calling different loan brokers personally. Be sure to include one or two bank lenders and credit unions on your list. Many of these bankers have in-house loans that might be better than another company’s loans. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

7 Expensive Mistakes Homebuyers Often Make - 2




Mistake 2. Becoming house poor

     There are many places in your life where you’ll need to put money besides your house. Replacing a worn-out car. Saving for retirement. Building a college fund for the kids. Life-altering vacations.           
     Even buying furniture for your home. If you’re spending too much on a mortgage, you won’t have money for these other investments.
     A general rule for housing affordability is to spend no more than 28% of your gross income on a mortgage. So, if you earn $75,000 a year, you should spend no more than $1,750 a month on payments, including insurance premiums and association fees. You can use a mortgage calculator to see how much house you can buy for the amount you can afford monthly, and how much down payment money you’ll need.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

7 Expensive Mistakes Homebuyers Often Make - 1


     A MORTGAGE IS THE BIGGEST DEBT MOST OF US WILL EVER HAVE.
      BECAUSE THE NUMBERS ARE SO BIG, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, POUNDS, SHEKELS, OR OTHER MONETARY SYMBOLS CAN SLIP AWAY WITHOUT A BORROWER EVER NOTICING. HERE ARE 7 MONEY-DRAINING CRACKS THAT HOME BUYERS NEED THINK ABOUT.

Mistake 1. Ignoring the true cost of home ownership

Owning a home comes with new expenses that surprise many buyers. Even experienced home owners can forget how much it costs to upgrade a home, improve outdated features, and fix hidden problems. It’s wise to take these costs into consideration before signing on the dotted line.
Before purchasing, calculate realistically what you’ll need to spend to get the home up to your standard. In some cases, you may be better off paying more for a home that’s already been upgraded than paying for a cheaper home that needs more work.
On the other hand, if you are struggling to make a down payment on a more expensive home, then buying cheaper and putting money into it over time and using your own sweat (“sweat equity”) might offset the higher down payment you would have had to make on the more expensive home.
A 20% down payment on a $300,000 is $60,000. If you can’t afford that, consider buying a nearby fixer-upper. That home might only cost $225,000, with a down payment of $45,000. The extra $15,000 might be enough for you to do many upgrades that would bring it close to the standard of the more expensive home, but you won’t need to come up with that extra $15,000 up front. This might be a good investment option—as long as you go into it with eyes wide open…along with a really good home inspection.
Ongoing Maintenance
The longer you own a home, the more you’ll want or need to make expensive fixes. A new roof may be in your future, as well as repairs to a cracked driveway or installation of a new fence. Some items can sneak up on you, like tree removal service, a broken water main, and termites!
As a rule of thumb, budget 1 to 2% of your home’s purchase price annually for maintenance. If your home will cost you $250,000, expect to spend $2,500 to $5,000 annually on unglamorous purchases like a new water heater or having your furnace serviced. The older your home and the larger it is, the more you’ll spend.
Also consider a savings fund for big ticket items. If your roof has a life expectancy of 5 years, start putting aside a little each month now.