Friday, February 21, 2020 / by Ashley Yates
Here’s how to get creative. But understand the ins and outs to make the right decision for you.
By: MARY BETH STORJOHANN
You’ve done your research. Interest rates are low, and you know the exact area you want to buy your future home in and the details you desire down to the type of flooring in the kitchen. Now the only thing standing between you and a seat at the offer table is figuring out how you’re going to come up with a reasonable down payment.
Aside from going the traditional route of saving slowly and consistently over time to reach your savings goal, consider these other creative options for funding your down payment:
#1 Negotiate a Pay Raise
If you’re not comfortable asking for what you want, now’s the time to learn. Research comparable pay for your position, create a list of your accomplishments and the value you’ve added to your company, and schedule a sit down with your boss to discuss compensation.
Tack on an e ...
Monday, December 16, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Kelley Walters
The credit score to buy a house can be as low as 580.
A low credit score doesn't have to lock you out of home ownership. A mortgage will probably cost you more (both in dollars and angst) than someone with stellar credit, but many lenders are willing to work with you.
Here's what you need to know about low-credit score mortgages:
What Counts as "Low Credit" Anyway?
First, let's debunk the home-buying myth that you have to have a gold-plated credit score to buy a house. Lenders review your whole financial picture. If you have a steady income, a regular payment history, and some cash in hand, that will help balance your less-than-perfect credit.
Here's how FICO generally categorizes credit scores:
800+ = Excellent credit score
740-799 = Very good credit score
670-739 = Good credit score
580-669 = Fair credit score
Below 580 = Poor credit score
A credit score of 66 ...
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Leanne Potts
Published: July 12, 2018
Real estate negotiation tips so you can buy your dream home — and not overpay.
You've looked at enough houses to fill an entire season of House Hunters and finally picked one to buy. Now you're ready to make an offer.
Your agent can help guide you through this nail-biting phase of negotiating a house price, but ultimately, you call the shots. Here's how to negotiate like a boss.
Fail #1: Thinking House Price is All That Matters
That house with a price point $15k below your budget? It may seem like a deal — until you add on the costs of maintenance and replacing the aging appliances.
Planning on repainting, remodeling, or landscaping, too? Suddenly the price looks a whole lot higher.
When developing your offer, calculate in the costs that will go above and beyond a mortgage payment. Then you can negotiate with an eye on the total cost of owning the house, not just the sticker price.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Kelly Walters
They can slash your down payment, offer lower interest rates or help with low credit scores.
You know first-time home-buyer programs are out there.
But how do you find the right one?
Start by talking to a local mortgage broker. They’ll be familiar with the programs that are most likely to benefit you -- including local home-buyers programs that might not be as well publicized.
These programs have provided an average of $11,000 in assistance to individual home buyers, according to Down Payment Resource, a nationwide database of roughly 2,500 home ownership programs that helps match buyers and properties. That assistance can vary greatly between disparate cost-of-living markets like Southern California and Iowa, according to Down Payment Resource. Some 87% of properties are eligible for some kind of assistance.
Of the programs tracked by Down Payment Resource, for example, 69% offer down payment assistance.
“Paying 20% down is, quite frankl ...
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Amy Howell Hirt
There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and that takes time: It takes 50 days on average to just close on a home.
How long does it take to buy a house? A lot depends on how much time you spend shopping for one. But once you have a contract, it takes an average of 50 days to close on a house.
There are a lot of steps to buying a house, and any of them could drag out the timeline, especially if you're not prepared. Here's the home-buying timeline, broken down step-by-step, so you can be in control:
1. Do Your Homework
Time: 1-14 days
Dreaming about owning your own home is one thing; making it happen is another. To get beyond the dream stage, you need to do some critical research to help you figure out what you do and don't want — along with how much can you afford.
It's mighty disappointing to fall in love with a house only to find out you can't afford it. A quick chat with your bank can help you ...