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 ...
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 ...
Wednesday, September 4, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Kelley Walters
Tips for shopping around for a mortgage -- even if you think you don't qualify.
Think you're not ready to unlock home ownership yet? That the financial hurdles are too high? You may be short-changing yourself. Many of the things renters believe about home-buying are myths.
Here's the real deal.
Myth: I Have to Put Down 20%. :(
Saving 20% of the price of a home in many places isn't just a challenge; it's a roadblock. And it's not a must-do. In fact, the median down payment for first-time buyers is 7%. How can you become part of the less-than-20 club?
FHA Loans: The Federal Housing Association (FHA) is an old friend to first-time buyers and others who are ready to become homeowners with less than a 20% down payment. If you qualify, you may be able to get a loan with as little as 3.5% down.
DownpaymentResource.com and NeighborWorks: Some local and state agencies sponsor down-payment assistance programs  ...
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 / by Ashley Yates
By: Kelley Walters
Whether you're self-employed or applying for an FHA or USDA loan, here's the pre-approval paperwork you need.
If you're serious about buying a home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a critical step. It’s also a tedious one. Lenders seem to want a mountain of documents and have so many requirements.
Yet the payoff is worth it. Most agents recommend mortgage pre-approval because it strengthens your offer. Sellers like to know the buyer already has financing secured.
Plus, you're going to need that same hefty stack of paperwork for your official mortgage application once you've got a contract on a home, so you're really knocking out two tasks at once.
To help, we've created a documents checklist for each type of mortgage pre-approval. Warning: Some lists are longer than others.
Conventional Loan Documents
If you're employed and get regular paychecks, plus a W-2 every year, and you're not goin ...