Our Real Estate Blog
You may have heard that you will need 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down in order to buy it. As the prices of homes continue to rise. 20 percent of the purchase price of any home may not seem like a small feat to save up. It’s not impossible to buy a home. You may be able to get around the 20 percent rule in a variety of ways. Keep in mind that putting down as large of a down payment as you can will help you to land the home of your dreams a bit faster.
The 20 percent down rule is sort of a myth. While the more you have saved up, the better your chances of standing out among other buyers are. You can still get a mortgage with less than 20 percent down from most banks. The drawback in not putting down 20 percent on a home is that you will need mortgage insurance (also known as PMI). Mortgage insurance is necessary if you put less than 20 percent down because the lender wants protection in case the home is foreclosed on due to a lack of payments.
All About PMI Payments
If you do put less than 20 percent down on a home, your PMI payments won’t go on forever. Once your loan is paid down a bit, you’ll be free and clear of PMI payments. As a rule, if the loan-to-value-ratio reaches 80 percent, you can ask your lender to cancel the insurance for you. When the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78 percent, the lender will automatically cancel the PMI. This is a welcome decrease in expenses since PMI insurance can add up to be hundreds of dollars per month.
Finding A Way Around 20 Percent Down
Before you even decide to buy a house, you should look at financing options. There are certain programs that are available to you to help. If you know about them ahead of time, you’ll be able to take advantage of them.
Many different government agencies have programs available to help people get a home easier. These programs will provide home loans with a low interest rate and little to no down payment. The downside to these programs is that many of them actually require you to purchase private mortgage insurance as a contingency to get the loan. You’ll need to plan for these extra expenses. There are even grants available to help you with your down payment. Check in your state or local HUD office for details on various programs that can assist you with your down payment on your first home. Through a bit of savings and research, owning your first home can be possible with or without 20 percent down.
Some communities also offer bike paths, walking trails, and town swimming pools, all of which can provide an endless source of recreation for you and your family.
Like any desirable feature of a neighborhood or community, some parks are better than others. While access to a nice park may not be uppermost in your mind when house hunting, here are some solid reasons for including it on your wish list:
- Exercise benefits: Many of the larger parks offer extensive walking trails, public tennis courts, and paddle boat rentals. Parks can also provide space for jogging, roller blading, bicycling, and Frisbee tossing. For families with younger children, a nearby playground can be a priceless resource for keeping the kids physically active and entertained. It can also be a convenient location for play dates, birthday parties, and picnics.
- Stress relief: Whether it's related to work, finances, or family issues, just about everyone experiences stress at one time or another. Having easy access to a peaceful place to walk, read a book, or fly a kite with the kids can provide a welcome distraction to the trials and tribulations of everyday life. When you need a change of scenery or a chance to commune with nature, a short jaunt to your neighborhood park can provide the ideal environment for relaxing and unwinding.
- Convenient meeting location: If you're considering hosting a family picnic, but your yard won't accommodate everyone on your guest list, reserving a pavilion at a local park can be the perfect solution. Public parks can also be conducive to volleyball matches, badminton tournaments, and football games. A park can often be a nice setting for events like family reunions, club meetings, and graduation parties.
- Easy access to special events: Most parks offer special events to local residents, ranging from free concerts to farmers' markets. Living just a short walk from a festival site, music event, or theatrical performance can enhance your enjoyment of a chosen neighborhood. Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare in the Park or flower shows and food festivals, living near a public park can provide you and your family with fun cultural events and weekend entertainment.
Wilmington, MA 01887
The real estate market can be tough to navigate, especially if you want to obtain the best price for your house. Fortunately, we're here to help you analyze the housing sector and make informed decisions as you sell your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you review the real estate market before you list your home.
1. Assess Housing Market Data
Learn about the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own residence. That way, you can establish a price range for your house.
Furthermore, it often is beneficial to check out the prices of recently sold residences in your area. This real estate market data will enable you to see how quickly houses are available before they sell. As such, this information may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market.
2. Conduct a House Inspection
A home inspection generally is reserved for buyers who request an inspection after a property seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, taking a proactive approach to a home inspection may go a long way toward helping you distinguish your residence from others in a competitive housing market.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence both inside and outside. This property expert then will offer an inspection report that details his or her findings. And once you have this report, you can prioritize home repairs.
Ultimately, a home inspection may help you take an objective view of your residence. After you conduct an inspection, you can complete home repairs that may help you boost your house's value as well.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you are struggling to understand how the housing market works, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can collaborate with a real estate agent and receive housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and help you map out a home selling strategy. This plan will account for the age and condition of your home, your home selling goals and the current state of the real estate market. As a result, your home selling strategy will enable you to achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide as you navigate the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. Also, if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.
Perform a deep analysis of the housing market before you list your residence – you'll be happy you did. By reviewing the real estate sector, you can find unique ways to ensure your house stands out to potential buyers and accelerate the home selling journey.
As a home seller, it is important to keep your house show-ready. By doing so, you can ensure your residence will look great, regardless of when a homebuyer wants to see it.
Ultimately, home staging can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. And with the right home staging advice, a home seller can learn what it takes to maintain a house's appearance both inside and out.
When it comes to last-minute home staging, here are three tips that every home seller needs to consider.
1. Illuminate your residence
Open up the shades and let sunlight into your residence – you'll be glad you did. By taking a few minutes to ensure that the shades are open, you can illuminate your residence and transform an ordinary home interior into a dazzling one.
In addition, turn on lights throughout your residence. This will enable you to brighten up each room in your home, thereby increasing the likelihood that homebuyers can see the true beauty of your entire house.
2. Wipe down bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks
Let's face it – messy counters and sinks are eyesores that no homebuyer wants to see. Fortunately, wiping down bathroom and kitchen counters and sinks is a fast, easy way to help your house stand out in homebuyers' eyes.
Keep paper towels or washcloths and a general-purpose cleaner near bathroom and kitchen counters. That way, you can wipe down these surfaces without having to search far and wide to find various home cleaning essentials.
Also, don't forget to remove clutter from in and around a bathroom or kitchen sink. Whether it's dishes in the kitchen sink or leftover toothpaste in the bathroom sink, it pays to be thorough as you complete last-minute preparations for a home showing.
3. Check for odors in your home
Pungent smells that come from a refrigerator or other areas may impact how a homebuyer perceives your house. Thus, you'll want to do a quick odor check as part of your last-minute home staging routine.
Empty any garbage cans as needed. This will allow you to eliminate nasty odors that may be coming from garbage cans.
Furthermore, feel free to use scented candles to deal with tough smells. If you decide to use scented candles, however, make sure the odors that they provide are not too overwhelming.
If you need any extra assistance as you get your house ready for a home showing, don't hesitate to reach out to your real estate agent as well.
Typically, your real estate agent can offer expert advice throughout the home selling journey. He or she will make it easy for you to prep for home showings and stage your home properly. As a result, your real estate agent can increase your chances of receiving the best price for your residence.
As the clock ticks closer to a home showing, there's no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and a home seller can get a house show-ready in a matter of minutes.