So you’re looking to buy a home? Congratulations! Purchasing property is one of the most exciting, life-changing events. It’s also a costly endeavor. Your home is likely to be the most expensive thing you’ll ever purchase, so it’s essential to plan and save as much money as possible. There are many ways to save money when buying a new home, but here are some easiest and most effective.
Before You Buy, Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors for buying a home. A high credit score will get you the best interest rates and help you qualify for a mortgage. If your credit score is low, you may have to pay a higher interest rate or may not be able to qualify for a mortgage at all. There are many things you can do to improve your credit score. Some simple tips include paying your bills on time, maintaining a good credit history, and keeping your debt levels low. You can get your credit score for free from Credit Karma or AnnualCreditReport.com.
Consider A Shorter-Term Mortgage
Longer mortgage terms mean more interest over the lifetime of your loan. If you can afford a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, it’s likely to be significantly less expensive than a 30-year fixed-rate one. By choosing a shorter term, you’ll usually pay off your mortgage faster and pay less in interest over time. On the other hand, longer mortgages offer lower monthly payments and allow you to build equity faster. You’ll have to do some calculations to determine which is right for you.
Consider A Biweekly Payment Plan
Most people make just one monthly payment toward their mortgages every month. If they can’t make full payment on their due date, they simply roll over the remaining balance into the next month’s payment. A better plan is to make half-payments every two weeks. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, making 12 equal payments each year instead of 24 will save you the same amount of money over a year as if you’d made an extra monthly payment. All national lenders allow biweekly payment plans, and many have programs that automatically schedule them for you.
Buy During The Winter Months
Most people think that buying a home is easier and less expensive in the summer when more houses are on the market. Winter is usually a better time to buy because fewer buyers are competing for homes. Since most people relocate in the summer for school or work, your competition will be low at this time of year. Buying a house during the winter also means that you’ll have more time in the spring to paint and fix up your new place before putting it on the market.
Make A Contingency Plan
In most cases, homebuyers must include a clause in their offer saying they won’t proceed unless they can afford the final sales price plus any closing costs. Even if your offer is accepted right away, there could be delays or unexpected expenses that prevent you from closing on time. That’s because almost 60 percent of homes will appraise for less than their purchase prices, leaving buyers with major financial problems if they try to close on a deal with no money set aside. Plan for this contingency if you’re buying a home without having quite enough money saved up. Even if your offer is accepted right away, there could be delays or unexpected expenses that prevent you from closing on time.
Shop Around For The Best Mortgage Rate
When you’re buying a home, you’ll need to secure a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan from a bank or other financial institution that allows you to buy a home. The interest rate on your mortgage will have a big impact on how much you pay for your home in the long run, so it’s important to shop around and find the best deal. Most banks offer mortgages, but there are also a lot of online lenders who offer competitive rates. Be sure to compare interest rates, fees, and terms before you sign anything.
Find An Experienced Real Estate Agent
When buying a home, it’s important to work with an experienced real estate agent. A good agent will help you find the best property for your needs and guide you through the mortgage process. They’ll also be able to help you save money on your purchase. There are a lot of agents out there, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s right for you. Ask around for referrals or read online reviews.
Have At Least A 20% Down Payment
It’s always a good idea to have at least 20 percent saved up for a down payment when you’re buying a home. This will help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage and could save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan. If you can’t afford to put that much down, there are still options available to you, but you’ll likely end up paying more in interest over time.
There are many things to consider when buying a new home, but following these easy tips can help make the process easier and cheaper. By shopping around for the best mortgage rate, making a contingency plan, and having at least a 20 percent down payment, you’ll be well on your way to finding your dream home without breaking the bank.