Cheryl Deschenes' Blog
It's easy to think that investing in real estate is an incredibly expensive venture. You may think you need thousands if not tens of thousands saved before you can even think about it. But there are ways to jumpstart your portfolio even if you're renting one of the cheapest apartments in your neighborhood. Learn more about assumable mortgages and how you can use them to get ahead.
An assumable mortgage is one that's allowed to be transferred to another person. So if a property owner no longer wants to pay their mortgage, they have the option to put the property in someone else's name. You'll still need to qualify for the loan, and you'll need to go through the lender to work it out properly. Informal assumptions are liable to be canceled immediately (with the lender demanding full repayment on the loan).
You cannot assume all types of mortgages. As a general rule, insured loans, such as USDA, FHA, and VA loans, are assumable while conventional loans are not. In an assumable mortgage, the terms of the loan stay the same. A buyer won't have to worry about the interest rate or deadline changing. So a 15-year mortgage taken out three years ago gives you 12 years to pay it off.
Why Choose an Assumable Mortgage?
There are a few ways to get started in investing without saving for a large down payment, so it helps to understand the perks of each option before choosing one. The biggest advantage of an assumable mortgage is that you have the chance to lock in a property at a relatively low-interest rate. The closing costs are also more reasonable, given the strict limits on FHA, VA, and USDA fees for buyers.
Why Skip an Assumable Mortgage?
Assumable mortgages are not always recommended for buyers in rapidly exploding neighborhoods. This is because you're still paying the total value of the home at the time of sale. So let's say the property was originally sold for $100,000 two years ago and $20,000 has already been paid off, but the home is now worth $150,000. You'll still need to make up the difference in the home's value to complete the sale — which usually means taking out a second loan.
Assumable mortgages can be a great way to get started in real estate, but they're not for everyone. If you're shopping around for one, consult a real estate agent or financial advisor who can answer the nitty-gritty questions about how the loan works and what you can expect.
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The home selling journey sometimes can be long and complicated. Lucky for you, we're here to address home selling challenges and ensure you can seamlessly list your house and maximize your home sale earnings.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach the home selling journey with confidence.
1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
Let's face it – even though you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your home over the years, your house is far from perfect. Fortunately, if you take an objective look at your residence, you can identify problem areas and address them before you list your house.
In many instances, it helps to conduct a house inspection prior to adding a home to the real estate market. This inspection enables a property expert to assess your residence and provide valuable feedback. Then, you can use a home inspection report to prioritize house improvements.
For home sellers, it is important to do everything possible to transform various home weaknesses into strengths. If you perform home repairs, you may be able to boost your house's value. Plus, completing home repairs may help you differentiate your residence from the competition and speed up the house selling journey.
2. Analyze the Real Estate Market
The real estate market moves quickly, and a buyer's market today could morph into a seller's market tomorrow, or vice-versa. If you learn about the real estate market, however, you may be able to identify opportunities to distinguish your residence from comparable houses in your city or town.
For example, if you find that houses are selling at or below their initial asking prices and take many weeks or months to sell, you may be operating in a buyer's market. To differentiate your house in a buyer's market, you may want to upgrade your residence's curb appeal. Also, it may be beneficial to set an aggressive initial home asking price that is sure to garner buyers' attention.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a residence, it helps to work with a housing market expert. If you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to streamline the house selling journey.
A real estate agent is dedicated to helping you achieve the best-possible results. He or she first will learn about your home selling goals and craft a custom house selling strategy for you. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will provide a recommendation about whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
If you need assistance as you get ready to sell your home, you may want to contact a real estate agent. By working with a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support as you navigate the house selling journey.
You’ve been thinking it for a while: “I really should start putting some money aside for a down payment.” But, you just can’t seem to find any wiggle room in your budget.
You’re not alone. Saving for a down payment isn’t easy. Especially if you’ve got rent, car payments, student loans, and are trying to put money aside for retirement.
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to make a game plan for your down payment. This way, you can start saving immediately, bringing you closer to your goal of homeownership each day.
Step 1: Give each dollar a job
The first rule of budgeting is that you need to know where each dollar you earn ends up. From there, you can start re-allocating funds to the things you want to save for.
There are many apps and tools available to help you out with this process, including YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. If apps aren’t your thing, you can always use a simple spreadsheet.
First, account for all of your income. This could include your salary, rental income, or other forms of money that you have coming in.
Next, detail each of your weekly and monthly expenses. Everything from groceries to the internet bill and retirement contributions.
Step 2: Reassess your expenses
Now it’s time to make some tough decisions. Are there ways you can cut down on your weekly or monthly expenses? Maybe you aren’t using that Amazon Prime membership as much as you thought you would. Or, maybe you’ve decided you don’t really watch anything on cable but the news. There are a number of ways one might cut back on their monthly bills.
Get creative with family plans, bulk shopping for food, or cooking budget-friendly meals. All of these savings will add up quickly.
Step 3: Pay off small debts with high interest
Let’s face it, if you have thousands of dollars in student loans, you might not be able to aggressively pay them down by the time you want to move out of your apartment.
But, for small debts (under $1,000 credit card debt, for example), you could save more in the long run by paying them off and avoiding interest payments.
Step 4: Be smart about your savings
With the right savings account and credit card, you can earn money through savings interest and through cashback rewards on credit cards.
First, find a savings account with the highest possible interest rate. These can often be found from choosing an online bank who doesn’t have the overhead of running branches.
Next, direct deposit a set amount of your paycheck each week into that savings account. This way, you can be sure that you won’t dip into your down payment savings.
To generate additional income, you can use cash back rewards from credit cards for things like groceries and gas. Choose a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards for things like groceries and gas purchases. The key here is to only use your credit card on necessities and to always pay off the card in full at the end of each month.
If you follow these four steps, you should be able to streamline your down payment savings process and start saving right now.
Unfortunately, selling a house sometimes can be a long, complicated process. And if you're not careful, you risk costly, time-consuming mistakes that may prevent you from achieving your home selling goals.
When it comes to selling a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a fast, seamless home selling experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to simplify the home selling process.
1. Boost Your House's Curb Appeal
The first impression that your home makes on potential buyers can have far-flung effects on the home selling journey. If your house dazzles homebuyers, you may increase the likelihood of a quick, profitable home selling experience. On the other hand, if your home misses the mark with buyers, you may struggle to stir up interest in your house.
Perform home exterior upgrades to enhance your house's appearance. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and clear debris from any walkways. Also, repair any cracked or damaged siding to further bolster your house's appearance and ensure homebuyers will fall in love with your house as soon as they see it.
2. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter may dominate your home's interior, and if you don't clear it out, you risk missing out on opportunities to sell your house.
Fortunately, there are many ways to eliminate clutter. For example, a yard sale is a quick, effective way to sell assorted items before you list your residence. Or, you can list items online or donate them to charity.
If there are various items you want to keep, you may want to rent a storage unit. With a storage unit at your disposal, you can keep a wide range of items safe and outside your home until your residence sells.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is committed to helping home sellers achieve the optimal results. He or she will work with you throughout the home selling journey and ensure you can enjoy a successful home selling experience.
Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home and craft a personalized home selling strategy. This housing market professional then will promote your residence to buyers and host open house events and home showings. Furthermore, if a homebuyer makes an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.
A real estate agent also will respond to your home selling concerns or questions. Thus, if you are uncertain about how to navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to offer guidance.
There is no need to stress as you get ready to list your residence. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can eliminate the guesswork commonly associated with selling a house.