Home Buying: Quick-Step Guide

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2/13/17 @ 5pm

Tax Refund 101 : For Homeowners and Future Homeowners

tax-refund-picIt’s that time of the year again –TAX SEASON! After filing and receiving a return, you may find yourself with extra dough in your hands. Let’s face it – most people end up spending their refunds quickly on things that they do not “need”. Don’t let that be you. If you are a homeowner or have goals to become a homeowner in the future, here are some tips on how you can use your refund for your benefit.

Use as Down Payment

Your tax return can be an excellent source for your down payment. FHA loans only require 3.5% down. Example, if you plan to purchase a $100,000 home you will only need $3500 for a down payment. Saving your return for down payment will be wise if you are choosing this type of loan.

Did you know that you can purchase money with no money down in rural areas? Contact me for more info.

Pay Off High-Interest Debt

This is it – an opportunity to increase your credit score. Paying off high interest debts will increase your credit score and also improve your debt-to-income ratio. This will allow you to meet the lender requirements for a home loan.

580 – that’s the score you need to qualify FHA loan. Let’s get you pre-qualified today.

Save for Closing Costs

When purchasing there will be additional cost such as inspection fees, appraisals, deed recording fees, title fees, etc. You want to make sure you have the funds available for these cost. Set your tax return aside in your savings account to show your lender you have the funds to close your loan.

Pre-pay your Mortgage

If you already own a home, making extra payments on your mortgage can be a great way to save money over the long term. Because so much of your payment on a long-term note goes to pay off the interest, reducing the principal can have an exponential effect over the life of the loan. Just an extra payment or two now can make a huge difference in your future obligation to the bank.

Make Home Improvements

If you live in an older home, spending some of your refund around the house can lower energy bills. Replacing old windows can improve the efficiency of your A/C in the summer and reduce the electric bill. Old appliances can be replaced with models that use less energy. Lower energy costs can even be used as a tax credit for next year’s refund.

Also, if your kitchen or bathroom is outdated, a remodeling project can not only improve the functionality of your house now but also make it more attractive when you decide to sell.

If you are interested selling your home. Contact me today!

Your refund should feel like “found money” – and if you’re smart, you can put it to work for you and improve your situation as a current homeowner or help you  reach the goal of homeownership.

Reverse Mortgages

reverse-mortgages

Reverse Mortgreverse-mortgage-pic-2age – is a special kind of home loan that allows  homeowners to convert a portion of the homes equity into cash. The equity that is built up over years of making mortgage payments can be paid to the owner.

While this may be a smart option for some, reverse mortgages can be complicated and may not be the best fit for you or your loved one. Also, many people inherit property financed by a relatives reverse mortgage and are unsure how to handle the with property once the parent passes.

Here are few tips to remember when dealing with reverse mortgages:

1. Dont allow the property to automatically revert back to the reverse mortgage company. If someone you know currently has a reverse mortgage. Make sure that there is a plan in place for the property once it is left behind.

2. Dont lose the equity in the property. If there is still equity in the property at the the time of an inheritance; heirs can sell the property by giving back what is owed to the reverse mortgage company. The rest will become profit to those who are inheriting the home.

3. Dont Fail to continue to pay taxes and insurance on the home. This could allow the lender to foreclose on the reverse mortgage and cause the homeowner to be forced to move. 

4. Dont let reverse mortgage companies make you feel like you are stuck. You may not be receiving as much income as expected or the monthly income does not compare to the equity that is lost. Its not too late to eliminate the mortgage if you feel like it is not beneficial. 

Do you or someone you know have questions about their reverse mortgage? Have you inherited a home with a reverse mortgage and are unsure on how to handle it? I can help! Contact me for assistance and to answer any questions you may have. (803)-567-5478 or kiswuana@ericahomes.com.