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Mortgage News Matters

Costs to Consider When Purchasing a New Home

It is important to keep in mind that the total cost of your new home, includes more than just the sale price. Unexcepted costs, from insurance to move-in expense, can leave the homebuyer in both financial and emotional distress and take away from the excitement of their new home purchase – if they don’t plan for them. To avoid such concern, we’ve created a list of some unexpected costs that could come with purchasing a new home.

  • Down payment. Your down payment is typically the first expense a homebuyer will begin to save towards. Down payments vary depending on what type of mortgage you choose. To help you better determine which loan program is right for you, visit our Loan Options page on our website. Once you have chosen the right loan program for you, you can start saving towards your down payment.
  • Closing costs. These costs, which begin to accrue as soon as you start the home buying journey, can often be overlooked. But that does not mean that they shouldn’t be budgeted for. These costs can include, but are not limited to; your application fee, origination and/or underwriting fees, title insurance, title search fee, and in some cases a transfer tax.
  • Move-in expenses. From hiring a moving truck to purchasing cleaning supplies, moving expenses are inevitable and should always be considered in the total cost of your new home.
  • Insurance. Homeowners can be eligible for two different types of insurance programs:
  1. Homeowner’s insurance. This type of insurance protects you from unexpected damages to your home, such as effects from a natural disaster, theft, or vandalism, to name a few. Though this insurance is not required by law, it is highly recommended and can be required for some lenders.
  2. Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI or private mortgage insurance is required when a homebuyer puts less than 20% towards their down payment. This insurance provides protection for the lenders if the buyer defaults on their loan. It’s helpful to note that this insurance does not last the lifetime of the loan and is eventually eliminated as the buyer pays down their mortgage.
  • Property Taxes. These taxes, which are often included in your monthly mortgage payments, vary in geographic location. Property taxes are a variable cost and are not always based on the initial price you paid for your home. Meaning, they change over time, as the value of your home changes. Some possible reasons for an increase in property taxes would be a home improvement to you or a neighbor’s home or the development of a new school nearby.
  • HOA. HOA, or homeowner’s association fees, are applicable when buying a home or condo in a community that is run by a homeowner’s association. These fees are used towards services provided by the association such as security, maintenance, landscaping, and amenities like a pool or a gym. These costs vary from place to place.
  • Home maintenance, repairs, and utilities. Having a fund available for things like maintenance, repairs and your new utility bill is always a good idea when purchasing a new home. Some experts suggest saving 1% of the home’s value as an emergency maintenance fund in the case that these almost certain expenses arise.
Categories
Mortgage News Matters

How to Start Saving for a Downpayment

So, you’ve decided to purchase a home? Congratulations! As one of the largest financial purchases you may make in your lifetime, it is important to be aware of and start saving for your new home as soon as possible – starting with your downpayment.

The best way to begin is to create a plan of action that reasonably fits within your current lifestyle. Every homebuyer’s situation is unique to them. That is why we’ve included a range of techniques for saving towards your big purchase.

  1. Create a goal. The first step in any money-saving plan is to create a goal. To determine this, it is helpful to first decide which mortgage loan program is right for you. See our full list of Mortgage Loan Programs and the down-payment amount required for each. Once you know this information, you can start to work towards your goal.
  2. Implement money-saving techniques. Saving towards any large monetary goal doesn’t happen overnight. To help you start working towards your savings, we’ve listed a few techniques that can help get you on your way:
    • Set up an automatic transfer to a savings account. This can be done through most banks, making saving virtually effortless.
    • Save tax refunds. Tax refunds are another helpful bonus you can add to your down payment fund.
    • Save unexpected income such as bonuses or raises. Though it may be tempting to spend this unexpected income right away, think of it as a bonus you can add to your ever-growing house fund.
    • Apply for a credit card with cash rewards. If you’re going to apply for a credit card, it can be helpful to make sure you go for one that gives you cash rewards. This way, you can save this cash towards your home.
    • Don’t take on any new unnecessary expenses, such as a new car payment or car lease. Try to eliminate expenses that you can.
  3. Take advantage of first-time homebuyer programs. These are state-specific so make sure you know what is available to you based on your geographic location. For a comprehensive list of first-time homebuyer programs in each state, check out this article by Nerdwallet.com.
  4. Put your money in a high-yield savings or money market account. These accounts can accumulate interest while remaining liquid enough to be accessed at any time.

    You can also open a CD, or certificate of deposit. This allows you to accumulate more savings than a high-yield or money market account.

    Keep in mind, the money you put into a CD is inaccessible to you for a period of time and has a penalty to open. This is a good way to save money that you do not see yourself needing in the near future.