Vivienne Sinkow's Blog
It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most people’s paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.
Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, you’ll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.
How much to save
In order to make the most of your first home purchase, you’ll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount you’ll pay toward interest.
If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, you’ll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.
Smart ways to save while renting
If you’re ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, let’s talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.
Pay off small debts
If you’ve had that lingering credit card debt that you’ve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.
This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.
Open a dedicated account or CD
The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).
A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before they’re ready to buy a home.
If you’re comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.
Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.
Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.
Direct deposit a portion of your pay
Opening a bank account or CD won’t do you any good if you don’t commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Don’t wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to purchase your first home.
If you are in hot pursuit of your dream home, it is important to do everything you can to gain a leg up on the competition. That way, you can acquire your ideal residence as quickly as possible.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you gain a competitive advantage over your homebuying rivals.
1. Keep Track of the Local Housing Market
The top houses sell immediately, and as such, you may need to act fast to find and purchase your dream residence. If you keep track of the local housing market, however, you will be better equipped than other buyers to instantly acquire a house that suits you perfectly.
Monitor the housing market in cities and towns where you want to reside. Then, if you find a house you may want to buy, don't hesitate to set up a showing. And if you like what you see, you should submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Entering the housing market with pre-approval for a mortgage usually is a good idea. Because if you know how much you can spend on a residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. Find out what mortgage options are available, and learn how different types of home financing work. Next, you can select a mortgage that enables you to begin your house search with a budget in hand.
Of course, if you have any concerns or questions about home financing, you should address them right away. If you speak with mortgage specialists at a bank or credit union, you can get the insights you need to make an informed mortgage selection.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is shopping for a residence in a fierce housing market. Typically, a real estate agent will work with a buyer to craft an in-depth property buying strategy. A real estate agent and homebuyer then will work together to put this plan into action and streamline the property buying journey.
In addition, a real estate agent offers guidance at each stage of the homebuying cycle. He or she first will help you hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns. A real estate agent next will keep you informed about houses that become available that match your homebuying criteria. If you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit an aggressive property buying proposal. And if your offer to buy a home is accepted, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to finalize your house purchase.
As you get ready to pursue your dream residence, you should devote plenty of time and resources to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prep for the homebuying journey, gain a competitive advantage over rival buyers and accelerate your house search.
Let's face it – there is no shortage of buyers competing for the top residences. However, there are many things you can do to rise above the homebuying competition, and these include:
1. Review the Local Housing Market
The housing market fluctuates. In some instances, the housing market may favor buyers. Or, in other cases, it may favor sellers.
If you analyze the local housing market closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. You then can map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market, you may want to look at available houses in your city or town. If homes are selling just days after they become available, a seller's market may be in place. Comparatively, if houses linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time, the real estate sector likely favors buyers.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
With pre-approval for a mortgage, you will know how much you can spend on a house. Then, you can narrow your house search to residences that fall within your price range.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of lenders. These financial institutions can teach you about many mortgage options and help you choose home financing that suits you perfectly.
Of course, selecting a mortgage can be difficult, regardless of whether you are a first-time or experienced homebuyer. But if you ask mortgage questions and perform a comprehensive home financing analysis, you can choose the right mortgage without delay.
3. Establish Homebuying Criteria
Homebuying criteria is a must, particularly for those who want to seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Because if you enter the real estate market with homebuying criteria in hand, you can speed up the process of finding your dream residence.
As you craft homebuying criteria, you should try to define your dream house. Think about the features you want to find in a home. You next can include these features as "must-haves" on your list of homebuying criteria.
In addition, consider where you want to reside. If you hone your house search to residences in a select group of cities and towns, you may be able to quickly discover a great home that you can enjoy for years to come.
For those who require extra help during the homebuying journey, you may want to hire a real estate agent, too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can receive in-depth assistance as you pursue your ideal house.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate any housing market, at any time. He or she will help you search for residences that match your expectations. Plus, if you have any homebuying concerns, a real estate agent will address them right away.
Gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers – use the aforementioned tips, and you accelerate the process of finding and purchasing your dream residence.
As incredible the act of purchasing a home is, many buyers end up regretting their purchase. There’s a variety of reasons for this. It all comes down to being ill-informed about buying a home and the type of home needed for the most liable situation. Read on to find out some of the biggest regrets home buyers face and how to avoid them.
Buying Too Small Of A Home
The most prominent regret that many buyers face is not buying a larger property. Many people want to live in a specific location or type of home that they overlook the size altogether. One reason that people end up buying a home that’s the wrong size is that they rush to find a property in a particular area. If you branch out on your search, you’ll have a better shot at finding the right size home. The area might not matter as much as the space you’re living in, s keep that in mind.
Not Doing Your Research
People tend to skip out on the research phase of buying a home. It’s critical that buyers understand things like mortgage rates, fees, credit reports, how much needs to be saved, and more. There are so many things that go into buying a home that you could easily miss out on something if you don’t know what you’re in for ahead of time.
Not Saving Enough
Your home will be one of the largest purchases you make in your entire life. There is a lot more to the cost than just the monthly mortgage payment. You’ll need a lot of money upfront when you buy a home including a downpayment along with other closing costs and fees. Plus, you’ll need to set some money aside for any repairs or replacements you need to do in the home once you move in. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency fund available just in case. Life happens, and you don’t want your savings to be depleted because you bought a house.
Keep in mind that the bigger of a downpayment you make, the better off you’ll be. Even if you can buy a home with a low downpayment, you want to put down as much as possible. A higher downpayment will keep your mortgage payments lower, get you a better rate, and you may even be able to avoid paying for PMI (private mortgage insurance.) Aim to save a 20 percent down payment for the most optimal mortgage situation.
If you've always dreamed of owning a house, there is no need to wait to enter the real estate market. In fact, there are many reasons to kick off a house search today, and these include:
1. You can upgrade from your current residence.
If you live with family members or friends or rent an apartment, buying a home may represent an upgrade. Because when you purchase a residence, you can reap the benefits of having your very own living space.
There is no shortage of high-quality houses available in cities and towns nationwide. Regardless of whether you prefer the comfort of small town living or the hustle and bustle of city life, you can check out a broad range of houses at your convenience. Then, you can discover your dream residence, submit an offer to purchase it and move one step closer to making your homeownership dream come true.
2. Many home financing options are available.
One of the biggest issues that often prevents people from pursuing homes is a lack of financing. Fortunately, banks and credit unions offer a variety of mortgage options designed for individuals of all incomes.
Whether it's a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage, you're sure to find a mortgage option that complements your finances perfectly. Plus, banks and credit unions are ready to teach you everything you need to know about different types of mortgages. And if you are unsure about how a mortgage works or which mortgage option to choose, friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists are available to assist you.
3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.
Let's face it – buying a home can be a daunting task, particularly for an individual who is entering the real estate market for the first time. The sheer volume of top-notch houses sometimes makes it tough to differentiate a good home from a great one. Meanwhile, navigating the homebuying process can be stressful, and challenges may arise that make it difficult for a homebuyer to achieve his or her desired results.
If you enter the housing market today, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. This housing market professional will offer expert insights into all aspects of the homebuying journey. In addition, he or she will go the extra mile to ensure that you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream home at a price that matches your budget.
Of course, a real estate agent will help you map out a successful homebuying strategy too. He or she will meet with you, learn about your homebuying goals and help you plan accordingly. And if you have concerns or questions at any point during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them.
Launch a home search today – you'll be glad you did. If you pursue your dream home with help from a real estate agent, you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.