Blog

4 Smart Money Habits That Will Help You Save up a Mortgage Down Payment Faster
By Peta-Gay
September 7, 2017

Are you ready for home ownership? The prospect of owning your own house or apartment is an exciting one, but with any financial transaction this large, there are some things to consider. The first is your down payment – that is, the initial payment you'll put against the cost of the house to reduce the amount that you're borrowing in a mortgage. Let's have a look at four habits that will help you to get your down payment saved up faster.

Build (And Stick To!) A Reasonable Budget

The first and most obvious tip is to stick to a reasonable budget. Determine how much you have coming in and going out of your bank accounts and credit cards each month. Group everything into areas like 'food,' 'utilities,' 'dining out,' 'entertainment' and more. Then, reduce each area to a reasonable amount and avoid any overspending.

Figure Out Your 'Latte Factor' – And Eliminate It

If you're unfamiliar with the term, a 'latte factor' is that one consistent purchase that you make each day which, over time, drains your bank account. For example, if you spend $5 each day on your coffee habit that adds up to almost $2,000 per year in unnecessary costs. Pay close attention to your spending habits and try to eliminate anything that you can.

Make Automatic Payments To A Down Payment Fund

If you're working a stable job and have regular pay periods, you may want to explore setting up a separate savings account for your down payment. Once you have this account opened, set up automatic deposits from your regular bank account after each pay day. This limits your ability to spend your cash while building up your down payment fund automatically.

Don't Carry Credit That You Don't Need

Finally, try not to carry credit that you aren't going to use. This includes department store credit cards, extra bank credit cards or lines of credit. While it won't necessarily harm your credit score to have available credit, if you do have it you're far more likely to use it than if you don't. You'll need to be disciplined to save up your down payment. So, don't bother with extra credit that may be too tempting to resist using.

These are just a few of the smart money habits that will help you get your mortgage down payment saved up as quickly as possible. When you're ready to look for your new home, contact our trusted real estate professionals. We'd be happy to share options that suit your budget as well as other tips for getting your down payment saved up.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Thinking About a New Home? 3 Reasons Why a Mortgage Will Be the Best Money You Ever Borrow
By Peta-Gay
August 23, 2017

In these days of low interest rates, it can be a great idea to get into the real estate market and invest in a home. Unfortunately, if you don't have the funds saved up for a down payment, it can seem like more of a burden than it's worth to buy now. While borrowing the money for your down payment might seem like the road backward, here are a few reasons you may want to consider acquiring your mortgage funds from someone else.

Taking Advantage Of Low Interest

Interest rates have been relatively low for a few years, which can be a definite financial boom when it comes to your monthly mortgage payment. Unfortunately, though, the predictions forecast that rates are on the rise and that means home ownership may be a more difficult dream in the coming years. If you're interested in getting a home at a lower price with a better interest rate, it may be worth getting a short-term loan for the long-term gain.

Begin To Invest

It will certainly improve your financial outlook if you have a financial plan and a monthly budget you stick to. Fortunately, real estate is still one of the best investments you can make in terms of helping your money grow and ensuring your future fiscal success. While RRSPs and mutual funds can be a bit topsy-turvy if you're not knowledgeable about investing, real estate can be a more reliable asset that's easier to understand.

Giving Up On Rent

When investing in a home, there are few things more rewarding than not having to pay rent anymore. Not only that, instead of effectively tossing away money each month that you'll never see again, you will be able to see your equity grow in the property you purchase. This cannot only be used as leverage for investment in another home, it also means that no matter the downturn in the market, you'll have a solid investment in something.

You may not like the idea of borrowing money for your mortgage, but it can be a good fiscal choice with interest rates on the rise and the opportunity to say goodbye to rent forever. If you're currently considering borrowing and are planning to buy a home in the short-term future, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Investing in a New Home? 3 Reasons You Can Not Skip the Pest Inspection
By Peta-Gay
August 21, 2017

There are so many small details involved in the final sale of a home that it can be easy to forget about all the things that need to be done. While you won't be able to forget about a home inspection, a pest inspection can be every bit as important before you sign on the dotted line. If you're wondering why you shouldn't forego this important step, consider the following information.

The Final Offer

For many people, a pest inspection can reveal problems with a home that they may not be willing to deal with. However, if you want to move forward with the deal, it's important to have this information so you can adjust your offering price and negotiate a new deal. Whether you want the homeowner to fix the pest problem or you want the home at a reduced price, it's necessary to have the information at hand so you don't discover an unpleasant surprise early on.

Insurance May Not Help

Homeowners insurance may provide coverage for a variety of problematic situations from flooding to fire, but damage due to pests often occurs over time so it may not be included in the standard insurance package. While insurance usually covers sudden events like natural disasters, it is often expected that incurred long-term damage will be known before it can cause unavoidable problems. Luckily, inspecting for pests ahead of time can save you the grievance of needing the costs covered.

Feeling Home At Home

Much like experiencing a burglary, discovering a pest problem in your home can be an unsettling experience. Unfortunately, if you've just moved into your new home, it can be even more difficult to get comfortable in your new place. Instead of risking the good vibes of your new home, it's important to schedule a pest inspection so you can be sure there are no impediments to enjoying your new home. There may be a few costs involved before the deal is sealed, but the cost will be well worth your comfort.

It can be tempting to skip out on the pest inspection given the costs involved in buying a home, but it will be worth your comfort and the money you may save to get it checked out. If you're currently getting ready to invest in a new home, you may want to contact one of our  trusted real estate professionals for the inside scoop.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Forget About the Bank of Mom and Dad. Here Is How You Can Save Your Own Down Payment
By Peta-Gay
August 14, 2017

Since you'll want to have approximately 3.5-20% of the purchase price of your home for a down payment, it can seem nearly impossible to come up with the funds. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can save a little over time and not have to borrow from the Bank of Mom and Dad. If you're looking to invest in a home in the short-term and are looking for solutions to save up, here are some tips on how to get to your down payment amount more quickly.

Create A Budget

Most people don't like the idea of a budget, but few things are going to help you reach your financial goals like having one. Instead of sticking your head in the sand, add the numbers up and see approximately how much you're spending each month. It may not seem like it, but getting a sense of what your monthly costs are can help you get a good idea of your overall financial picture and how much you really should be spending.

Get An Extra Job

Whether you want to do a freelance job on the side or get some part-time work, there are few things that are going to help you achieve your goal of home ownership like a little extra money. It may seem like a drag to go to a part-time job from your full-time gig, but it can be well worth it when you begin to see the coins stack up. It's just important that your part-time pays enough that it's going to make up for the extra time you'll be giving up.

Trim The Excess Costs

If you've got some extra money coming in and you've created a budget, you're certainly on the right road for saving up. However, a lot of life's little luxuries can take a lot away from your savings rate. While you'll want to keep a little aside for meals out or entertainment, if you have sizeable costs like a car, eating out or cable, you may want to dial these back to save for your greater goal.

It can take some time to save up for a down payment, but you may be able to avoid borrowing money if you bring in more each month and get rid of excess costs. If you're currently getting prepared to buy, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

3 Ugly Truths You Will Discover Trying to Buy a Home Without a Real Estate Agent
By Peta-Gay
August 9, 2017

Many people, whether they are new to the market or have purchased a home before, consider investing in a home without the help of an agent. While there are benefits involved with going it alone, there are also a few drawbacks that can significantly impact the success of your home sale. If you're wondering about the difficulties involved in an agentless home sale, consider the following points.

It's A Lot Of Legwork

It might seem simple if you've found a house and you like it, but a lot more goes into investing in a home than just finding a place that seems amenable. While you can do research on your own end, an experienced real estate agent will have knowledge of the market and the neighborhoods you're searching in and will be able to give you the lowdown. As a result, they may be more successful at providing you with insights about the local community and the price you should be paying that would be hard to determine on your own.

Navigating The Process

Home ownership can be considered as easy as signing on the dotted line, but there are so many steps that go into making the final purchase that having someone along to assist can be very beneficial. In addition to requiring paystubs, tax returns, employment records and bank statements, you'll need to compile the information on your own and make sure you've gotten the information home sellers will need. Fortunately, an agent will be familiar with what's needed and will be able to simplify the process wherever possible.

The Right Home Takes Time

The right agent may make finding a home look easy, but it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to be able to find what works for you. As a result, it's very easy and common to underestimate the amount of time you'll need to invest in research and open houses and even negotiating to find your next home. If you don't have the time to do what's needed to find the right place for you, it may be worth enlisting the services of a professional.

It can be tempting to forego the costs of an agent when it comes to buying a home, but the right agent can save you time and help you find the right place at the right price. If you're currently preparing to invest in a home, you may want to contact one of our trusted real estate professionals for more information.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com