The Down Payment
The amount you have available for a down payment will affect what types of loans for which you can qualify. Down payments typically range from 3 to 20 percent of the purchase price for the property.
Tips for Accumulating a Down Payment
SaveLook for ways to reduce your monthly expenditures to save toward a down-payment. You could enroll for an automatic savings plan at your bank to have a portion of your payroll automatically transferred into savings. Most people save a couple of years for their down payment.
Borrow the down payment from your retirement planCheck the provisions of your retirement plan. You can borrow funds from a 401(k) plan for a down payment or make a withdrawal from an Individual Retirement Account. Be sure you understand the tax consequences, repayment terms and/or possible early withdrawal penalties.
MoveYou may be able to save additional funds if you can move into less expensive housing.
Reduce other higher interest rate debtPaying off credit cards will initially reduce your savings, but the money you will save from higher interest rates will pay-off in the long run.
Make a deal with the sellerIn some circumstances, it is appropriate to ask the seller to carry a second-mortgage to cover your down payment. Typically, you will pay a slightly higher rate for this second mortgage.
Sell some investments
Get a second job and save your earnings
Skip a year's vacation
Gift from Family Parents and other family members are often anxious to help children buy their first home and may have the means to give you a gift of money for a portion or all of your down payment.
No-down and low-down Mortgages
FHA LoansThe Federal Housing Authority (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), plays a significant role in helping low- to moderate-income families qualify for mortgages. FHA assists first-time buyers and others who would not qualify for a conventional loan, by providing mortgage insurance to private lenders. Interest rates for an FHA loan are usually the going market rate, while the down payment requirements for an FHA loan are lower than conventional loans. The required down payment can be as low as 3 percent and the closing costs can be included in the mortgage amount.
VA LoansVA Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Service persons and veterans can qualify for a VA Loan, which usually offers a competitive fixed interest rate, no down payment and limited closing costs. While the VA does not issue the loans, it does issue a certificate of eligibility required to apply for a VA loan.
Piggy-back LoansA second mortgage that closes with the first. Often the first mortgage is for 80% of the purchase price and the "piggyback" is for 10%. The home buyer covers the remaining 10% with their down payment. (Some lenders will write a second mortgage of 15% or even 20% of the purchase price.)
"Carry Back" MortgageIn the case of the seller "carrying back a second mortgage", the seller loans you part of his or her equity. In this scenario, you would finance the majority of the loan with a traditional mortgage lender and finance the remaining amount with the seller. Typically you will pay a slightly higher interest rate on the loan financed by the seller.
Housing Finance AgenciesThese agencies offer special loan programs to low- and moderate-income buyers, buyers interested in rehabilitating a home in a targeted area, and other groups as defined by the agency. Working through a housing finance agency, you can receive a below market interest rate, down payment assistance and other incentives.
The primary mission of Housing Finance Agencies is to boost home ownership in targeted areas, among first-time buyers and those with little money for down payments. Most of these non-profit agencies were funded with state government seed money and now operate independently.
Click here for a list of Housing Finance Agencies.
Documenting Your Down Payment
Documenting that the down payment comes from your savings and that you will have savings and/or assets over and above the down payment gives the lender confidence in your strength as a borrower and your ability to repay the loan.
Take extra care to document the sources for any monies to be used for the down payment or closing costs.
Acceptable Down Payment & Closing Costs SourcesCash in a bank account Mutual funds / stocks / IRA / 401K Proceeds from the sale of another property Gift from an immediate relative
Acceptable Down Payment & Closing Costs Sources
Click here to learn more about verifying your down payment, closing costs, income and debt.
by David WelchOrlando Real Estate
Time it right
Fall and spring are the best times for homes to move and you want to consider the season of the year when buying and selling. And if the closing dates aren’t going to coincide, a gap – rather than two mortgages – is the better. It’s easier and usually cheaper to find temporary housing than juggle two mortgages.
Buying FirstIt happens. You’re only thinking of buying, and suddenly the right home shows up. Now you have to sell your old home quickly. Here are some tips on making things work in your favor:
Same Market or Across Country
Generally, if you’re buying and selling in the same market, you can negotiate closing dates to work for you. But when you’re dealing with a cross country move, it’s a lot harder. A real estate professional really comes in handy at this point. Legal documents can be faxed or sent via overnight courier and your focus won’t be stretched to the limit. You may end up renting one home or the other, or have to consider a bridge loan. But with someone local in the market on your side, it will hopefully be less stressful.
Show Me the Money
Make sure you have a tight hold on, and a clear understanding of, your financial situation. Cash reserves are always helpful, but never more so than during the purchase of a home. Two to three months is the recommended reserve, but if you don’t have it, this is where the bridge loan comes in handy. Some lenders are more inclined to make a loan if it’s for the purchase of a home. If you’re a smart shopper/seller, you’ll accept an offer from someone who’s flexible about move-in dates. It can save you money in the long run. Too many moves with storage costs can quickly eat up any profit you may have made in the transaction. by David WelchOrlando Real Estate