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Posts tagged ‘down payment’

More Money, More Problems: When a Big Down Payment Could Spell Trouble

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Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making a sizable down payment—if you’ve got the money to support it. Financial experts advocate putting at least 10% or 20% down, and we’ve got to agree: The more you can pay at the start, the easier managing your mortgage will be.

But there’s a caveat: Sometimes putting down a ton of cash can actually wind up compromising your quality of life or future savings goals. In some cases it can actually hinder your ability to close on that dream home you spent so long saving up for.

Here are five reasons you might want to dial down your payment.

You’ll flush your emergency fund

“Under no circumstances should buying a house be an emergency,” says Jeff Jones with Longview Financial Advisors in Huntsville, AL.

Raiding your emergency fund for the sake of a giant down payment isn’t smart—and it means you’re more likely to find yourself in a terrible position if you lose your job or wind up otherwise financially incapacitated.

Jones recommends building a three- to six-month emergency fund—the longer the better, especially if you have kids—and “not touching it unless it’s truly an emergency.”

And remember: Building this emergency fund comes firstbefore buying the house or even building your 401(k).

If your home-buying aspirations mean you’re skipping the safety net, you need to take a step back and save first. Don’t plunk down a huge down payment if it means leaving yourself vulnerable.

You won’t be able to cover closing costs

Don’t let the massive specter of your down payment make you blind to all of the other expenses that come with closing on a home, which can run about 3% to 6% of the purchase price.

If you’ve put all your money toward one massive down payment, you’re sure to be surprised by the myriad expenses—fees, taxes, the cost of an independent home inspector—all of which need to be paid once your sale is final.

 And, of course, the ultimate closing cost: moving itself.

It might not be much—maybe just the cost of pizza and beer for your buddies—but if you’re moving cross-country or even cross-city, costs can easily inch into the thousands, Jones says.

You might not be able to afford the mortgage

Ever heard the term “house poor”? It refers to buyers who have more house than they can afford, and are in over their head with mortgage and tax payments. Scary stuff.

Trust us—you don’t want to be one of those people.

While this is common among buyers who can offer only the smallest possible down payments, it’s also a potential problem for people who put down more than they can afford. If 20% down strains you, chances are good that the costs associated with owning that home are going to strain you, too.

Your home might be empty

Let’s face it, an empty home is hardly a home at all—and if you’ve spent all your money on the excessively massive down payment, your home might be empty for a while. What’s the purpose of buying a new home if you can’t afford the sofa sectional to put in it?

Especially if you’re moving from a smaller apartment into a home, there’s nothing sadder than an endless succession of empty rooms. It’s not that you need lavish accommodations—really, this is just another symptom of buying more than you can afford—but wouldn’t it be nice to at least put a bed in the guest room?

Retirement, vacations, college—all might be out of reach

So you’ve poured all your money into a down payment, and you’re squeaking by just to pay the mortgage. The potential result: no money left over for the other things that matter in life.

read more via http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/when-a-big-down-payment-could-spell-trouble/?identityID=10250946&MID=2015_0807_WeeklyNL&RID=361386642&cid=eml-2015-0807-WeeklyNL-blog_2_big_down_payment-blogs_buy

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The Truth About Buying a Home: You DON’T Need 20% Down

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In a recent survey, How America Views Homeownership, it was revealed that 68% of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home and 95% said they want to own a home if they don’t already.

Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo home mortgage production, explains:

“Although the home buying process has changed in many ways in recent years, our survey found Americans still view homeownership as an achievement to be proud of and many believe that now is a good time to buy a home.”

Confusion Creates Paralysis

However, the survey also reported that many are afraid to purchase a home because of uncertainty about “qualifying for a mortgage or navigating the home buying process”. Though 74% said they “know and understand” the financial process involved in buying a home, they also gave answers that suggest otherwise. For example:

•30% of respondents believe that only individuals with high incomes can obtain a mortgage
•64% of respondents believe they must have a “very good” credit score to buy a home
•44% believe that a 20% down payment is required

In actuality many of these beliefs are unfounded. Let’s look at the question of down payment:

Freddie Mac, in a recent blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:

“Did you know 40 percent of today’s homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three fold. So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today’s purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

•A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
•Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family, grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Education is the Key

Boyle talked about the importance of educating potential buyers:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Codel agreed:

“It is important for prospective homebuyers to feel empowered to ask lenders and real estate agents questions about available options, such as down payment assistance or FHA loan programs or VA loans for veterans.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

via http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2014/09/23/the-truth-about-buying-a-home-you-dont-need-20-down/