The holidays are behind us and the new year is in full swing, so it’s a great time to make the most of your existing mortgage – or the one you hope to have.
Here are 8 tips to help you save money, renovate your space or buy a new home.
- Renovate your home by accessing equity with a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 203k rehabilitation loan. Homeowners with an FHA mortgage are able use funds for approved repairs or upgrades.
- Save money by refinancing your mortgage to a lower rate or shorter-term loan. In addition to paying less interest overall, if refinancing reduces your principal balance to 80% or less, you may also be able to eliminate PMI.
- Pay your mortgage down faster by implementing one of three simple strategies. Read about them here.
Make the most of your money by buying off-season. Although it’s common knowledge that spring is a hot time for real estate, you can sometimes negotiate a better price during winter months.
- Begin saving for a down payment by making 7 small changes, such as brown-bagging it to work.
- Buy a home even if you don’t have a down payment or have limited funds available. Some financing options, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, don’t require a large down payment.
- Ask if you qualify for no down payment USDA loan. Some borrowers are surprised to realize that you don’t need to purchase a farm in order to take advantage of a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Loan program. Many small towns, as well as suburbs of major cities, fall within the USDA definition of “rural.”
- Borrow bigger – but only if you can afford it. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced an increased borrowing limit for conforming loans. However, it’s wise to not acquire a mortgage that will cause cash flow problems down the road.
Fortunately, buying a home or refinancing doesn’t take magic. It just takes a bit of time, research and good financial habits. Now is the perfect time to get started!
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