Saving for a House? Plan for More than Just the Down Payment
For most people, buying a house starts with one question: “How much cash do I need to get in the door?” Here’s a look at the expenses you’ll need to plan for as you save for your dream home:
- Down payment. Depending on your mortgage type, your down payment could cost anywhere from 3.5% to 20% of the home’s sales price.
- Closing costs. As a buyer, you can expect to pay around 4% of the sale price in closing costs, due when you sign the final paperwork.
- Fees. Don’t forget the additional fees related to inspections, appraisals, and loan paperwork processing. These may be due before or at closing.
- Moving expenses. Even a short-distance move can cost money, especially if you hire a moving company. Moving long-distance often costs thousands of dollars, so be sure to include this expense in your savings plan.1
Protect Your Data When Moving Out of a Smart Home
A smart home can keep you safe, secure and entertained. But what happens to all the data your technology collected about you when you move? To protect your privacy, make a list of all the items connected to your smart system’s central hub. Next, consult each item’s user manual or contact customer service to learn how to uninstall all devices and systems. Finally, if you’re leaving any devices behind, most companies recommend resetting them to factory default to wipe the slate clean (including deleting any videos recorded by a security device). This makes it easy for the new owners to set up the system to their own preferences.2
Buyers Are Getting by in a Seller’s Market
With home inventories remaining at all-time lows across the country, it’s tough to be a buyer. Cash offers are up 21%, with more buyers hoping to entice sellers with no loan contingencies and fewer closing costs. Buyers who plan to finance their purchase are putting more money down to increase their chances of being approved for a mortgage. Some buyers are simply delaying purchasing for the time being, especially when they know they’ll be competing with several other offers.
Will 2022 continue to be challenging for buyers? Supplies of newly-built and existing homes are expected to increase as we head toward spring. A larger inventory should ease competition and alleviate some of the frustration would-be buyers have experienced over the last two years.3
There’s No Freezing the Real Estate Market This Winter
Thinking of selling your home? Don’t wait until spring’s thaw… real estate analysts predict that this winter could be a hot one for home sales, due to ongoing high demand and low inventory. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®, recently predicted that this winter’s home sales could exceed levels last seen over 10 years ago.4
Buying a Home for the Single-Person Household
The number of single homebuyers is on the rise. Nearly 28% of all households consist of one person – twice as many as 40 years ago. Qualify for a mortgage as a single with these three tips for success:
- Know your credit score. Qualifying for a loan is based solely on your finances and credit history, so be sure to review your credit history free of charge at annualcreditreport.com. Next, take steps to correct any errors and raise your score as much as possible before starting the homebuying process.
- Look into down payment options. Most lenders offer mortgage options with varying down payment requirements. Contact a loan officer to determine which is best for you, and how much you’ll need to save for the down payment, closing costs, and fees.
- Make a list of Your “Gotta Haves”. Not sure what your dream home (or condo, or townhome) really is? Make a list of all the features you want, then determine which are “gotta haves” and which are “nice to haves”. This helps simplify the homebuying process for you and your agent.5
Update Your Space with the Latest Flooring Trends
New floors can make any space feel fresh. Let’s look at four current ideas for your next flooring project:
- Get bold. Vivid colors and vibrant patterns are gaining popularity. Mix and match tiles in different shapes or patterns for a statement floor.
- Think vertical. Floor tiles are moving on up. The new trend is to extend tiles onto the wall, kitchen island, or stair risers.
- Embrace new materials. Warm up an industrial look with lifelike metallics or soften a space with natural and calming rugs in new shapes.
- Imitate natural products. Use ceramic and porcelain tiles that look like marble and wood – at a fraction of the cost.6
< Go Back