Although the housing market in our country has a relatively steady rhythm throughout the year, Spring is typically the time referred to as Home Buying Season. Winter months, the holidays and inclement winter weather make homeowners reticent to open their homes to prospective buyers. Better weather signals opportunities for home improvements, home inspections and home repairs. School age children are wrapping up the school year leaving the summer months an ideal time to move in and out of housing.
To Rent, or To Buy?
Renting a home or apartment has many benefits. The terms of a lease are fixed and can be calculated into your budget. Although your utilities and services may be an extra expense, routine maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the landlord. Once the lease expires, a renter has the flexibility to renew or to move elsewhere. This can be particularly important if work or family circumstances change.
Although home ownership can be daunting, there are also many advantages as well. All the money you would spend towards rent helps build equity into your own investment. You become the landlord and can make improvements and upgrades to your property to suit your sense of style. School zones, tax structures and stability can also be factored in.
Not sure if renting or home ownership is right for you? Sometimes it simply comes down to the numbers. Bank Independent offers a Rent or Buy calculator to help you take a look at the cumulative costs of both renting and buying and how that can be forecast over the life span of a home loan.
Time to Sell?
People move for many reasons. Perhaps there is a job offer that requires a new location. Or, your family is expanding, and you want to move closer to good school districts or closer to extended family. Or maybe your children have grown up and you are considering downsizing or moving closer to them.
Understand the value of your home and its current state of repair as you prepare to sell your home. There are multiple real estate sites on the internet that can provide estimates of your property’s value based on home sales in your area and tax evaluations of your neighborhood. Before listing your home, you may also want to have a home inspection to determine if there are any repairs needed that would stall or hamper the sale of your home.
Whether you work with a realtor or try to sell your home by-owner, there are costs involved. If you have a mortgage on the existing property, proceeds will go to pay off the remaining loan. Realtor commissions, property taxes, transfer taxes and closing fees will need to be determined before issuing the seller their proceeds. Check out the Proceeds from Sale of a Home calculator to get an idea of what the sale of your home might look like.
Time to Buy?
You’re ready to make the move to buy a home. You’ve researched the perfect neighborhood and found the home of your dreams. But did you take the time to research how much home you can afford?
The general practice for a conventional mortgage is to have a down payment of 20% of a home’s cost, and that the total cost of the purchase be no more than 3 to 5 times your annual household income. There are loan options that allow less than 20% for a down payment but may require the buyer to take private mortgage insurance, or PMI. There are also other qualifying loans such as VA or FHA which might provide an alternate solution.
Mortgage lenders can work with you to get pre-qualified and pre-approved for credit so that you know exactly how much home you can afford. When you are ready for a mortgage loan, lenders can assist you in choosing the right loan for your needs and answer the many questions sure to arise.
Time to Consult an Expert?
Bank Independent is a one-stop shop for all things mortgage related. Our team of mortgage lenders, processors and closing agents can offer guidance and advice to help make the borrowing experience as smooth as possible.
Request a call today and a mortgage lending expert will be happy to walk you through the process.