Homebuying Hacks

Homebuying Hacks

If you are thinking of buying a home and don’t know where to start, here are a couple of hacks that might make it a little less painful. Homeownership is nothing like renting (although the process for that is starting to be similar) and the responsibilities are far more extensive financial wise.

Here is what you do:

  • Stop spending money! – It seems obvious, but those $4 crappachinos, eBay finds, drones, gym memberships, and buying that Firestick you will hate after ten minutes will drain your bank account and your chances of owing a home. Keep credit card balances low and avoid big purchases. I had a buyer who used up all of his credit buying a dining room set for a home he couldn’t qualify for! Stop the insanity and spend wisely.

  • Save like a champ – YOU.WILL.NEED.EVERY.PENNY!! If you cannot qualify for first-time homebuyer programs, and if the seller does not contribute closing costs, you are going to have to foot the bill and it can be up to 7% (including FHA down payment of 3.5%) of the total home purchase price. Do yourself a favor and start saving like it is an Olympic sport you are training for and the gold medal is your new home.

  • Take advantage of FREE MONEY – There are a lot of programs to help first time homebuyers or people who have not owned a home in three years and the time is now to use them because they stop at the end of 2016. The Down payment Assistance Program brings up to $15,000 on the table if you qualify based on income and a minimum credit score of 640. The only requirement is that you have to live in the home for 5 years before you sell it. That’s a pretty sweet deal when you can leave your savings alone and own a home at the same time.

  • Partner please – So many of my single buyers have a live-in partner/ fiancé and they have high hopes of buying a home together in a situation I like to call, "mortgage married."  If your significant other’s credit is anything less than sparkling, it can hurt your chances of home ownership. If that is the case, more than likely,  only your name will be the one on the mortgage.  So be prepared, not to run, but know that while having that extra income available is great to count on, the responsibility of paying the bills and the mortgage falls on you, the homeowner.

  • Find a good mortgage broker - Mortgage brokers are like OB/GYN’s. Sure you can buy a home without one, but why would you want to? A mortgage broker monitors you throughout the process, giving you great advice on how to get credit healthy, and when the big day finally arrives, their experience helps make home-buying as pain-free as possible. Sure, there is a lot of work involved getting financial statements together, but after that final push, you are literally home free. Like having a baby, when it is all over with, it is completely worth it and you barely remember the pain!! Find a mortgage broker today. 

The funny thing about hacks is that even though you might think they are shortcuts, they still take work, effort and energy. All of which become your greatest assets when starting the home buying process. So push up your sleeves and get going. The market is not going to wait. 

Michael Simpkins Headshot
Phone: 813-541-3307
Dated: March 28th 2016
Views: 424
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