Schooner Properties' Blog
You may have heard that you will need 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down in order to buy it. As the prices of homes continue to rise. 20 percent of the purchase price of any home may not seem like a small feat to save up. It’s not impossible to buy a home. You may be able to get around the 20 percent rule in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that putting down as large of a down payment as you can will help you to land the home of your dreams a bit faster.
The 20 percent down rule is sort of a myth. While the more you have saved up, the better your chances of standing out among other buyers are. You can still get a mortgage with less than 20 percent down from most banks. The drawback in not putting down 20 percent on a home is that you will need mortgage insurance (also known as PMI). Mortgage insurance is necessary if you put less than 20 percent down because the lender wants protection in case the home is foreclosed on due to a lack of payments.
All About PMI Payments
If you do put less than 20 percent down on a home, your PMI payments won’t go on forever. Once your loan is paid down a bit, you’ll be free and clear of PMI payments. As a rule, if the loan-to-value-ratio reaches 80 percent, you can ask your lender to cancel the insurance for you. When the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender will automatically cancel the PMI. This is a welcome decrease in expenses since PMI insurance can add up to be hundreds of dollars per month.
Finding A Way Around 20 Percent Down
Before you even decide to buy a house, you should look at financing options. There are certain programs that are available to you to help. If you know about them ahead of time, you’ll be able to take advantage of them.
Many different government agencies have programs available to help people get a home easier. These programs will provide home loans with a low interest rate and little to no down payment. The downside to these programs is that many of them actually require you to purchase private mortgage insurance as a contingency to get the loan. You’ll need to plan for these extra expenses. There are even grants available to help you with your down payment. Check in your state or local HUD office for details on various programs that can assist you with your down payment on your first home. Through a bit of savings and research, owning your first home can be possible with or without 20 percent down.
The entryway to your home is probably quite small, but you can make the most of your space by pinning down what you really need there. Below, you’ll find some items that you should try and keep around the entry of your home for both design appeal and organization purposes.
A Place For Coats
When guests come to visit, it’s welcoming for you to be able to offer them a place to hang their coats, rather than throwing them into a bedroom or on a chair. You can place coatracks on a wall for easy hanging, giving everyone open access to their coats when they need them. You can even place a coat rack along a stairway hall. This way everything from coats to bags to hats will all be in one place.
Having a weather-resistant rug available in the entryway of your home can help to keep dirt and grime off of the floor.
Every entryway needs some type of storage for items like extra coats, shoes, umbrellas, even bags. You can use an inexpensive shelving system or go as fancy as using a dresser or armoire.
It’s important to have some kind of seating near the entryway of your home. This way, you’ll have a place to sit down and put on shoes. Seating will also help make the entryway more comfortable. Make sure that the seating allows for a casual feel to add to the warmth of the welcome.
Flowers And Plants
Using flowers and plants in the entryway of your home gives guests that welcoming pop of color that will brighten their day. It’s one of the first things that guests will see when they walk up to the front door of your home, so you’ll want to make a good first impression. Shoot for year-round plants that don’t require a lot of maintenance and can be kept up easily no matter what the season.
Once you enter your home in the evening hours, one of the first things you want to do is turn on a light. This is one of the best features for your home to have safety and security when you enter and exit the house. You can choose any kind of light fixture that you want to accent your home in order to bring out the beauty. The only requirement is that you should make sure a light switch is always within an arm’s reach.
Make It Your Own
The most important thing that you can do for your entryway is to make it your own. You can add any kind of accents and features that you choose. The entryway is the first impression that people will get of your home, so make it count!
It can take time to adjust to life in a big city even if close family members live in the city. People tend to walk and drive faster in a big city. Corporate executives and business managers stretch you, pushing you for more sales or support work. It's easy to get caught up in the pace of big city living.
Before you know it, months have passed and you haven't kept in touch with friend where you formerly lived as you promised that you would. You also might have started to worry that you won't be able to keep up with the speed that events occur in the town you moved to.
Tips to become more comfortable with your big city home
Be patient with yourself. A lot of people who buy a house in a large town feel out of sorts until they get adjusted to the change. You can adjust to your move and enjoy a deeper appreciation for your new home. Following are a few actions that can help you to make the adjustment.
- Research the city, not just housing, months before you make the move. Learn about restaurants, hospitals, shopping centers and entertainment venues. Find out how far your house is from these and other facilities.
- Join online discussion forums that are led by people who have lived in the city for years. Ask questions and pay attention to key topics that forum members raise.
- Consider becoming a member of book clubs,professional networking groups and arts organizations in the big city that you recently bought a house in.
- Tune into online radio and television stations that are headquartered in the town your new home is located in.
- Visit the city several weeks before your scheduled move. Spend a weekend or longer exploring the city. Take public transportation to tourists venues and other major locations. It's a good way to learn about a city.
- Schedule events that you'll attend after you move. The sooner you get involved in local events, the sooner you can start getting adjusted to a big city.
- Look at the move as a positive choice instead of as a loss.
- Enroll your children in schools early. This could help your children to adjust to the move.
- Introduce yourself to neighbors after you move.If you're moving to a rental property, get out and attend community events.It's a great way to meet more people who share the same community that you do.
- Sign up to mentor youth.
- Volunteer with community and local charitable organizations. It feels good to give back. It's also a good way to feel a part of a town. You could even get involved with charitable events through your employer.
Moving to anew home can get you closer to fulfilling your personal goals. If your new home is located in a big city, the move can create uncertainty. Knowing what to expect before you move, can remove some uncertainties and strengthen your confidence that you will spot and take advantage of rewarding opportunities as you continue to explore and settle into your new community.
In real estate, cash is power. It’s not exactly the amount of money that you have been approved for by a lender. This type of “cash” is what you can pull directly from your account to buy a property on demand. It can be difficult to compete with cash buyers especially in tight real estate markets. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you match up against any cash offers that you may be competing with when you buy a home.
Make Your Offer Look Attractive As Possible
First, you should always have a pre-approval letter from your lender. This lets sellers know that you’re a qualified buyer. You should also get your lender or realtor (or both) to provide some financial information about you along with your offer. This helps to add to the case that you’re a dependable buyer.
Let Things Move Quickly
If you allow your lender to send an appraiser to the property as quickly as possible, this will give you an advantage in the home buying process. You want to reduce the amount of time that it will take to close on the house. That means you should consider cutting down on both the appraisal and contingency time. You could even consider waiving any contingencies if you feel comfortable.
To speed up the process, even more, you should pre-order an appraisal in advance. You can do this before your offer has even been written. It can be difficult to arrange this, especially with larger scale lenders, but it’s always worth a try. Once the offer is written, the lender can relay to the seller that an appraisal has already been scheduled.
You’ll also want to get the inspection done fairly quickly. You only have a short window of time to get the inspection done. The quicker you get this done, the more serious of a buyer you appear to be. You should have the inspector who you’ll use ready before you even put an offer in on a home in order to expedite this part of the process. Usually, inspectors don’t take terribly long to schedule appointments knowing that their clients have short windows to get inspections done.
Make A Strong Offer
Making a good offer could mean paying extra for a home you love in order to compete with cash offers. Spending more money helps to win. Here’s why: Sellers almost always will give a cash buyer a bit more of a discount since they’ll be getting all of the funds up front. If you love the house and plan to live in it for years to come, the extra money you spend will be well worth it.
Write An Offer Letter
An offer letter adds a bit of a personal touch to the number you put down as a buyer. Here, you can tell the seller who you are and why you love the home. It can be emotional to sell a property, but a seller will feel more comfortable knowing that the home is going to someone who will appreciate it.