How To Buy A Home in 2016


How To Buy A Home in 2016 – The new year is finally here! Are you planning on buying a home this year?  In addition to the tips and tricks that will help you get into your new home, there are also a number of things to keep in mind before you begin the process. Here are five things to remember throughout your search for a new home in 2016.

Choose the Right Agent

Having the right agent will help you in numerous ways. He or she will be able to help you identify things that are must-haves in your new home, and will do everything in his or her power to make sure those must-haves are obtained. Your agent will also have incredible knowledge about the homes in the area, providing you with the best resources for what to look for.

Where to Search

In addition to consulting with the proper agent, you can also check out websites like Zillow and Trulia. If you find something up your alley, talk to your agent about what you like and don’t like about the home. They will be able to take that knowledge, in addition to their knowledge of the market and community, and find the home that best suites you.

Save For A Down Payment

Saving for a down payment is one of the most important steps in the home-buying process. You may need to save between 10 – 20% of the cost of the home you’re trying to buy, depending on the type of loan you’re looking for. Knowing what you have saved and what type of home you’re looking for will also play a big factor when determining your budget.

Look For The Right Loan

Looking for the loan that works best for you and your family can become stressful, but be confident in knowing that you have plenty of resources to help you make an informed decision. Whether you choose to have a 30-year or 15-year mortgage, a fixed-interest or split, make sure to do your research thoroughly to determine which option is best for you.

Choose The Right Home

When you finally find the home you love, you will know. Whether it’s move in ready or you need to put some elbow grease into it, it will be worth it. Not only will you feel emotionally satisfied by your choice, but you will feel financially comfortable in your decision.

For more information about buying a home in 2016, visit here.



10 Reasons To Start House Hunting In The Winter

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10 Reasons To Start House Hunting In The Winter – House hunting can be a huge task during any time of year, but looking for your next home in the winter months can have its benefits. Whether you are looking to move now or within the next few months, it is a great time to begin your search. Check out these ten reasons to start house hunting in the winter.


It’s A Good Test

Winter is a great time to test out your potential new home. You can find out how good the heating, plumbing, roofing, etc? How the home holds up in the winter weather will be a good indication of the shape it’s in overall.


Low Competition

Not many people house hunt in the winter when compared to the spring, summer and fall. When you find a home you love, you are less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.


Realtors and Mortgage Brokers

While many people think that the professionals are hard to find in the winter months, that is not always the case. They will likely have more time on their hands to focus on your specific needs.


Landscaping vs. Larger Expenses

You may not be able to see the full potential of the curb appeal in the winter, but hiring a landscaper in a few months will be less expensive than having to repair the heating system.


Sellers Are Motivated

Sellers in the winter are more motivated than during any other time of the year. They are not getting as many offers as they would in other seasons so they are more likely to negotiate.


Easier Scheduling

You are more likely to be able to view homes at your convenience, as there is not as much competition and they can work with your schedule.


Neighborhood Atmosphere

In the winter, you will be able to see the entire neighborhood without the lush greens and bountiful plants. Seeing every home for what it is during the winter will give you a much better idea about how much your home will be worth in the future.


People Are in the Holiday Spirit

It is a rather festive time of year and everyone is in the holiday spirit, making the home-buying process much more pleasant.


Get The Deal

Getting the deal you want can be easier in the winter, especially if the home you are looking at has been on the market for a while.


Better Rates

Mortgage rates tend to be lower and easier to get in the winter because not as many people are applying for mortgage loans, so you should be able to take advantage.


For information about the top markets for house hunting this winter, visit here.

Benefits To Buying A Home At The End Of The Year

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Benefits To Buying A Home At The End Of The Year – Buying a home at any time of year has its benefits and downsides depending on what you’re looking for. While the industry has its busier seasons in the spring and summer, there are also many homes to check out in the colder months. Here are six benefits to buying a home at the end of the year,


Test Drive

When you go to a viewing in the winter, it takes the guessing out of whether or not certain home features such as heating, roof, and pipes will work when it’s cold outside.


Tax Savings

If you purchase your home prior to the end of the year, there are a number of deductions specific to homeowners that you will be able to take advantage of.


Mover Availability

Due to the fact that not many people are moving during the winter season, there will many movers to help get you into your new home.


Realty Professionals

While many people think that there are not a ton of available professionals at this time of year, it is actually the opposite. They will likely have more time to spend on you, as they’re not working with as many clients.


Low Competition

Not many people are searching for a new home at the end of the year, making it a great time to be a buyer. You will have the opportunity to find what you want and negotiate the cost to satisfy your needs.


Motivated Sellers

Sellers are more motivated to sell away their home, especially if it has been on the market for a while. This also means that sellers will be more willing to negotiate the sale.


For more information about benefits to buying a home at the end of the year, visit here.

Tax Benefits Of Buying A Home Before The New Year

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Tax Benefits Of Buying A Home Before The New Year – If you are interested or in the process of purchasing a home before the end of the year, know that there are several tax benefits you may want to take advantage of. Check out the tax benefits below of buying a home before the New Year.

Here are some ways in which the tax benefits break down:


1. Deductions in closing cost: A long list of deductions on your tax return is always a plus. If you close now, you may claim origination fees from your new loan.


2. Mortgage deductions: You may be able to deduct the interest from your mortgage, which might mean more money back to you, once taxes are filed. It works through a point system, equating one point to 1% of the principal of the loan. These fees can be fully deducted and included on the income tax deductions list you give.


3. Property tax deductions: Property taxes can be fully deducted too! This is one more reason to close now and take advantage of this annual deduction, so you don’t have to wait a whole year to do so. This can be done on your 1040 form.


4. Moving Costs: If you are going to be moving more than 50 miles away to a new home, you may be eligible to deduct a portion of your moving costs. However, there is also a commitment requirement, that makes sure you work a certain number of weeks in the new job, following your move, so talk to you tax accountant before considering this option.


5. Lock in Mortgage Rates: You may want to lock in 2015 mortgage rates now, in case 2016 rates go off the charts. By locking them in now, you will not be stuck forever with a higher rate. If the rates do drop, you can refinance. If you wait and rates increase, refinancing to lower your rate will not be an option. Smart financing will benefit your tax return for many reasons.


6. Get the Best Lending Option now: Lending rules are subject to change in a new year, which could resultant in less options for borrowing. It is up to you if you want to take the risk of waiting. These lending rules affect your financing options in addition to your tax deductions, so if there is one that meets your needs, lock in in now!


Owning a home before the New Year allows you to become eligible for many tax benefits. To maximize the benefits, consider talking to the experts; a finance advisor, tax accountant, or even your real estate agent. Make sure you get the most out of your purchase in order to ensure smart financial ownership of your home for the future.

5 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid

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5 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes To Avoid – When you are a first time home buyer, it is important to avoid mistakes when purchasing a home.  Learning the typical home buyer mistakes now will help you save time and money in the future.  Here are 5 first time home buyer mistakes that you should avoid.

1. Not researching the neighborhood

When purchasing a home, it is very important to research the neighborhood to make sure it is the right fit.  The majority of buyers often first look at the schools to see if it fits the needs of the family.  Another item to research is the crime rate of the area because it is important to live in a neighborhood where you would feel comfortable. Find out if the neighborhood has the amenities that you would like to take advantage of if you chose to live there.  Is there a park within walking distance, is the shopping close, the drive to work or school reasonable?  Ask yourself these questions when considering the perfect house.  It is important to look at the surroundings and not just the house itself.

2. Borrowing the maximum amount allowed by the lender and not creating a realistic budget of expenses

Frequently, lenders could approve a buyer for a loan that is bigger than they can afford. Therefore, the buyer may splurge on a larger home and not take into account the extra costs because a bigger house could have larger utility bills and general upkeep.  You should make a budget, and then stick to what amount feels comfortable. Don’t forget to add in extra house expenses.

3. Put too much faith in online loan information

Searching for loans on the internet could be a somewhat tricky.  Working with a lender in person will help clarify the process of acquiring a loan, and they can also determine if a buyer may qualify for special products, such as FHA and VA loans.

4. Not shopping around for loans

You could save money on your new home by talking to various lenders because some lenders may be able to get a lower interest rate and closing costs, etc. because many banks have different processes.  Shop around, and try to get 3 or so no-obligatory quotes from different lenders and choose the best one for you.

5. Not considering the resale value of your home

When looking for a brand new home, sometimes it helps to look at the big picture, which ultimately could be the resale of the house.  When considering a new house, take into account preferences a usual home buyer might look for–something they can see themselves making their own.  One home buyer may love the coral pink tiles in a bathroom, while other buyers may not.  When adding new additions to the house, consider what it will do to the future resale value of that home.

I Have Bad Credit, Can I Buy A Home?


I Have Bad Credit, Can I Buy A Home? – You’ve scrimped and you’ve saved and you are finally ready to purchase your very own home. However, you’re slightly worried about your credit rate. You’ve been working hard on bringing it up the past few years, but will it be enough? The answer could be… yes! Lately creditors are considering lower credit rates when lending, with some specific additional requirements from the buyer. However, it is always important to understand the ways in which your credit score effects your mortgage rate so that you can make the best choice for you and your finances when it is finally time to buy.

Qualifying With a Low Score:

A credit score is one of the most important factors that lenders consider before approving home loans. More and more, individuals or couples with low credit scores are qualifying with these creditors. According to, some can even qualify with a FICA Score as low as 580, but are required to pay a 10% down payment.

Luckily, lenders look at additional factors as well when approving loans. Proof of steady payment of utilities and rent for a full year can increase changes of loan approval. Additionally, companies like FHA, consider factors such as recession effects and job loss when reviewing lower credit scores from applicants.

How Credit Affects Mortgage Rates:

The higher the credit score, the lower your mortgage rate will be. The lower the credit score, the higher your interest rate will be. Interest rates variations such as one percent may seem trivial, but can dramatically affect your monthly payment. These small amounts will add up substantially over the length of your loan term.

Improving Your Credit Rates:

Always check your credit rates at least a year in advance from the time you wish to buy. Furthermore, recommends viewing your rates through reputable sites, such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Thoroughly check each report to make sure all personal and credit information is accurate and then work diligently to increase your rate over the next year.

Creditors are looking for buyers with good scores, steady payments, a level of savings, and a combination of credit payments such as a student loans and few credit card uses.

With a little bit of saving and hard work you can qualify for the loan you need, or increase your credit score enough to get you the mortgage rate that you really want. So if your credit score is lower than you’d like, when it comes to buying a home, all hope is not lost.  You may be able to get what you need to make your dream home a reality.


5 Money Saving Tips for First Time Home Buyers


Buying your first home requires a ton of research and careful planning. Let’s face it, you’ve never done this before, so money is probably the first thing on your mind – it is a huge expense; however, it’s incredibly rewarding to become a homeowner for the first time. Here are 5 tips for first time home buyers to save some money throughout the process.

Pay for an Inspection

At first glance you might think that this is an added expense that you can skip – wrong. If something is wrong with your potential new home, hiring a professional to conduct an inspection before you sign any papers can save you money in the long run.

Choose the Right Mortgage

This can be tricky, a 30-year mortgage might appear to be the best option at the beginning, but if you go with a 15-year mortgage right from the beginning, you will end up paying less in interest fees overall. Do your research to figure out what works best for you, but don’t forget about interest rates!

Negotiate Closing Costs

These costs typically account or 1-8% of the purchase price, so don’t be afraid to negotiate this added expense.


Bundle Cable/Internet/Phone

Cable, internet and phone are things that most people see as a necessity, so when you are moving into your new space, consider bundling these services to provide you with the most possible savings.

Consult a Professional

A local real estate agent is one expense that will actually save you time and money. He/she will act as a resource and provide you with the right type of guidance to get the most bang for your buck.

To learn more about money saving tips for first time home buyers, visit here.