Each potential home buyer dreams of the day they'll finally get the symbol of independence, security and prosperity: the key to the front door of their new home. Before you get that one, though, there's another key you need to craft. Your credit score, a numerical representation of your credit history as an indicator of your ability to pay your bills, will determine a lot about your housing situation, from how much house you can afford to the interest rates you'll receive.
Q: I'm hoping to buy a house in the next few months. How much of a down payment should I have saved up?
Life rarely turns out the way we plan, and when a surprise comes along, it's usually not an opportunity to simplify our lives. If you're one of the many parents blessed with one more angel than you had planned for, you understand just how such surprises can make the simplest things much more complicated. Or maybe the innocent angel you've been raising has entered adolescence and wants some space alone. Or maybe it's gone the other way for you: You bought a house when prices were low and wages were tight, and now that you have some equity and a higher income you'd like to bump up your standard of living.
Saving money is a lot like losing weight. It's no fun, requires sacrifices and no one at a dinner party wants to hear about your plan. For many first-time home-buyers, trying to save enough money for the down payment on a house can seem like a diet that won't end. It might even be tempting to click one of those email links that promise magical results, even though you know there's no magic pill for weight loss and no magic plan for saving money.
As the summer begins, you may be considering how you’re getting in shape for that beach bod you promised yourself a few months ago. As your credit union, we’d like to encourage you to make one of those changes a dedication to financial security and success. Don’t just resolve to become physically fit this summer; become financially fit, too.
Every corner of the personal finance world seems to hammer home the same point: Debt is the wealth killer. Debt is the single greatest threat to your retirement planning, college savings and financial independence.
Except, as it turns out, there is one kind of debt that defies all of these rules: mortgages. Money you owe on real property can, in fact, be a boom to your financial independence in a lot of ways. While we’ve seen the financial trouble that occurs when people finance their lifestyles using the value of their home, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see mortgages as a reasonable and realistic financial tool to build your wealth. Let’s talk about six reasons why mortgages are different from other kinds of debt:
Buying a home is a big deal. It can be fun, exciting and even a little scary because chances are, it’s the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. I’ve done it four times and I’ve learned some valuable lessons I’d like to share.
First and foremost, make sure you’re really ready to take on the financial responsibilities of owning your own home. Are you prepared to pay for all the upkeep, improvements and repairs that come with owning a home? You may start out thinking that your mortgage payment will be less than your current rent, but when you add on the taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs, that’s usually not the case. And keep this in mind: if you think you may get a job transfer, go back to school or need to move within the next five years, renting, instead of buying, may be the smart choice.
Are you looking to take the plunge and buy your first home? I just did and let me tell you, it is about 300% more complicated than just renting an apartment.
After my boyfriend and I decided we were ready to buy and house and figured out what we could afford, we started our house hunting adventure! A few days (yes DAYS) later I stumbled upon a house in our budget and in a location that we LOVE (after all, it’s all about location, location, location). So we quickly started working on getting our financial ducks in a row. Let me tell you what, even though I work at a credit union and couldn’t give the credit union industry enough praise, there is no way I would ever call the mortgage process fun or easy. Here are the steps with went through when buying our house, with some advice thrown in.