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3353455_SYou have an excellent credit score and a good job but not enough in the bank for a down payment. Sure, you can ask your parents for money or start saving money. But if you’d rather purchase property now, while interest rates are still very low, here are other options.

Talk to the sellers

You can ask the sellers to pay for the closing costs on your mortgage loan. If the property has been sitting on the market for a long time, or the sellers are otherwise motivated to get the deal done, they can agree to such “seller concessions.” There are limits, which depend on what type of mortgage product you’re using. Your lender can walk you through the options. This reduction in your upfront loan costs can go toward your down payment.

Give yourself a gift

Getting married? Skip the traditional wedding registry and ask for contributions toward your down payment. Having a birthday? Tell your friends and family to give you the money they’d usually spend on a fancy dinner and other gifts for your new property.

Liquidate your possessions

That’s a fancy way of saying “sell your stuff.” It’s unlikely you’ll clear $5,000 from a yard sale, but ridding yourself of higher-dollar items might make a dent in your shortage. Do you have two cars? Consider selling one for the short-term. It’s much easier to pick up another vehicle without much of a down payment than it is to find the money for your property purchase. Or if you’re moving a great distance, sell the big-screen TV instead of transporting.

These are only a few ways to boost the money you can put down for a property. Before you follow any strategy to help with your down payment, talk to your mortgage lender. There are government products and down payment assistance programs that may apply in your situation.


3486735_SVisiting open houses in your dream neighborhood is a fun way to spend your weekends, but it won’t get you closer to your goal of buying property. When you’re serious about purchasing your first home, you need to know how much money you’ll have to spend. That’s why you should talk to a lender and get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage loan.

What’s prequalification?

The lender will perform an initial evaluation of your creditworthiness. Provide your income, debt and other relevant financial details, and the lender will crunch the numbers to figure out how much money you might be able to borrow. Of course, the lender hasn’t confirmed any details of your financial situation, so the prequalification number is just a rough estimate.

What’s preapproval?

A step closer toward a mortgage application, loan preapproval means you go through the full mortgage-application process. Fill out the paperwork, and the lender verifies your income, employment history, credit report and other details. Then the lender will decide what interest rate you’re eligible for and how much you could borrow.

Does that mean I have a loan?

Being preapproved or prequalified for a mortgage loan doesn’t guarantee anything. You still could fail to secure a mortgage loan for your desired amount or terms. However, both processes let an expert give you a sense for how much money you could have to work with. And a buyer with a prequalification or preapproval letter from a lender may be more appealing to sellers.

Before deciding where to put the couch in your dream home, talk with a lender. He or she will help you make sure your home-buying aspirations line up with your financial situation.


Tips for a stress-free move

Aug 18
5:30
AM
Category | General

35856318_SSure, no one really enjoys moving, but it doesn’t have to be a downright awful experience. Packing, organizing and getting on with the move can all be accomplished a smooth and coordinated manner.

Be Thrifty
There’s no reason to go to a specialty shipping store and pay top dollar for boxes. Check the “free” section of Craigslist and ask your friends. Sometimes you can find boxes hanging out behind large department or chain stores.

Clear Clutter
A big move creates a perfect opportunity to sort through your things and clear the clutter. Pare down your possessions and leave room for open spaces in your new home.

Plan Ahead
There are little things to consider when you are planning for a move. From defrosting and cleaning the fridge to contacting the utility and moving companies, planning ahead is crucial to a smooth move.

Take Pictures
We often like to have our things arranged a certain way, especially where electronics are concerned. If you are worried about how something is connected, take a picture of it. Like a way a certain decoration is arranged? Snap that shot!

Pack for Night One
All too often people forget to pack for the first night in their new home. Next thing you know, they end up rummaging through who knows how many boxes to find some toiletries. Ensure your “first night” box has everything you’ll need for the following morning after a move-in.

With these tips at your side, get ready for a stress-free move!


3871040_SMost lenders require a down payment equal to at least 20 percent of the purchase price for a conventional loan. Anything less and you’ll have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

But what if you don’t have the funds to put down 20 percent? One option is a piggyback mortgage.

Three parts, one mortgage

Also called an 80-10-10, the piggyback mortgage is made up of three things. There’s the first or main mortgage loan, which is usually for 80 percent of the sales price. The next piece is a second mortgage for 10 percent of the sales price. It’s also referred to as a second mortgage, home equity line of credit or home equity loan. The final part is your 10 percent down payment.

The good and the bad

You already know that a piggyback mortgage can help you avoid PMI on your loan. So, what’s the disadvantage of this type of loan?

You’ll pay closing costs on both loans. Also, the second loan will have an adjustable rate that’s likely to be higher than the first loan’s rate, so climbing rates will hit your checkbook. Piggyback mortgages usually require a high credit score than other low-down payment options, such as a Federal Housing Administration loan. But these disadvantages can be overcome with some careful planning and the counsel of your lender.

A piggyback mortgage isn’t right for everyone — each borrower’s situation is unique. However, it’s a great option to consider if you’re a strong mortgage candidate who’s a short on the down payment.


Pile of boxes junk inside a residential garageWe all know that person who has way too much stuff. But what happens when that person has to pack up and move away? It can take large amounts of time, sweat, and tears to move a pack rat. We have a few tips you can use that will hopefully make moving the pack rat a little bit easier.

Start by sorting
Before you even begin the packing process, you must go through all of the clutter. It’s the only way to ensure that you’re only moving the important items and not wasting time moving items that should be thrown away. Create piles of stuff that can be trashed, can be sold, and can be moved.

Use rational reasoning
While you’re sorting, it may get emotional and the person may want to keep every single item. You must reason with them rationally by reminding them that moving is a great time to declutter their lives and start over. You will also likely not have time to pack up every single item in their house. Be strong and know when it’s time to put your foot down.

Take your time
It’s no secret that moving someone with pack rat tendencies takes time. But we’d argue that you should start sorting and preparing to pack long before your friend has to move. This is because you need to take your time and prevent high levels of stress that can result from trying do too much in too little time. When you take your time, this process will feel a lot easier than if you’re rushing.

Set mini deadlines
With time in mind, remember that it’s easy to get behind. This is why you must set strict, mini deadlines. You will have the kitchen sorted and packed by a certain date. Use this same method for the bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, and all other rooms in the house. Once you set a deadline, you have to stick to it, so make sure the deadlines are reasonable. Otherwise, you’ll just stress yourself out.

Remember that moving a pack rat is absolutely possible. It just might take some more patience and creativity. But we have absolute faith in you! Good luck and happy moving!


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