How to Budget for a New Home

Young couple working on budgeting for their new homeBuying a new home is one of the largest purchases we make in our lifetimes. Since it’s such a huge financial decision, it’s best to do your due diligence to determine how much you can afford before going to your first open house.

Reviewing and adjusting your finances is an important first step towards homeownership. Here are some great tips on how to budget for a new home.

Review your income

The key to creating a budget is knowing how much you have to spend. Add up your after-tax income sources for the month. Use this final number to build your budget around.

Write down current monthly expenses

List all of your monthly expenses so you can see where your dollars go each month, including any debt payments. Once you have your expenses figured out, you can calculate how much you’ll have remaining for housing costs.

List new regular expenses

In addition to your usual household expenses like mortgage and utilities, you’ll be responsible for some additional costs as a homeowner that you weren’t previously.

  • Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance: Check to see if these payments are included in your monthly mortgage payment. If you need to make separate payments, you’ll want to include that into your budget so you’re not surprised when the bill arrives. If they are included with your mortgage payment, be aware that your payment amount may vary by the year due to changes in property taxes and insurance premiums.
  • Homeowners association fees: Homeowners association (HOAs) dues are fees collected to maintain common areas in a neighborhood. Some fees are collected monthly while others are collected yearly. Its best to set some money aside each month so you’re not blindsided by a large payment all at once. Thankfully, Hayden Homes’ communities don’t have homeowners association fees.
  • Home maintenance: If you’re purchasing an existing (or used) home, home maintenance should be top of mind. A good rule of thumb is setting aside 1 to 2% of the value of your home each year for upkeep. One of the benefits of buying a brand new home is not having to worry about typical home maintenance. We offer each Hayden homebuyer one of the most comprehensive homeowner warranty programs. Each Hayden home comes with a one-year builder warranty on our work so the first year in your new home will be worry free!

Make adjustments

Once you have your expenses written down, review them to see if there are any areas you adjust your spending so you can save money or increase your allowable housing costs and/or paying down debt.

Save for a down payment

Many first-time homebuyers find saving for a down payment is typically the biggest challenge to overcome. Find out how much of a down payment you’ll need by getting pre-qualified for a mortgage and then create a savings plan.

Roll with the financial punches

Budgets are living breathing things so it’s okay to revisit your budget and make adjustments as your financial situation changes. Make sure you’re still building an emergency fund (ideally, you’ll have enough set aside to cover three to six months of expenses).

Find your dream home with Hayden Homes

If you have more questions on how to budget for a new home, our team is here to help and are available to get you in touch with a loan officer to go deeper into this topic with you. So when you’re ready to start the homebuying process, we’re ready to help you find your dream home. We have brand new homes for sale in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find your new home.

How the Recent Unchanged Federal Reserve Interest Rate Improves Mortgage Rates

Federal-Reserve-announces-they-will-not-increase-interest-rates-good-for-mortgagesA year ago, it was predicted that Federal Reserve Interest Rates (national interest rates) were going to continue to climb all through 2018 and carry into 2019 as the economy showed great signs of improvement. Then, as you may have heard, the Federal Reserve announced that they will hold rates steady for the remainder of the year. This is good news for those looking to purchase a new home. How, you may be wondering? First let’s briefly explain how interest rates affect your purchasing power as a current or future homebuyer.

If you’re going to use a home loan to purchase your new home, the question of how much you can afford can also be called your ‘purchasing power’. Any change in the national interest rates can either improve this power or make it harder for you to buy a home. The higher the interest rates the more expensive your home will become and the higher your monthly mortgage payment in terms of Principal and Interest, (P&I only), will be. This is not factoring in homeowner’s insurance or property taxes, since those vary depending on the home’s location and your personal coverage options.

These lower rates can make a huge impact on home affordability & purchasing power. The difference between 1% in rates on a $250,000 home mortgage can save you nearly $150 per month and over $42,000 in interest over the life of your loan! That’s a lot of money saved in the long run.

Back in November rates we’re higher than we’ve seen since March of 2011. And they are back to the lowest we’ve seen since February of 2018. Since the Federal Reserve announced that they will hold rates steady for the remainder of the year and if you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a home, now is the time to make a move and get into that new home.

Before you start looking at new home communities, make sure you get your pre-approval for a mortgage. This will help you confirm that the amount you think you can pay is in line with what you will qualify for. With new homes throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho, contact a Community Manager today and we can get you in touch with a Loan Officer to get pre-approved and get started down the path of buying the new home of your dreams.

Freddie Mac Source: http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.html

**Written as of 3/21/2019. Rates may change at any time. Please consult a Loan Officer for specific details on current interest rates and to get pre-approved for a home loan.

Tips for Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

Tips-for-Buying-and-Selling-a-home-at-the-same-timeAre you a homeowner looking to move into a new home? Navigating the homebuying process as a second-time homebuyer can be challenging, especially if you have a home you need to sell as well! There’s a lot of logistics you need to coordinate! This home buying guide will walk you through some strategies to keep in mind when you need to buy and sell a home at the same time.

Research your local housing market

The local housing market will play the biggest role in the timing of your home purchase and sale. Before you list your home or start looking for a new one, you’ll want to review your local housing market and see how long it’s been taking to buy and sell homes.

  • Buyer’s Market: a buyer’s market means there are more homes available than buyers looking. This means homes will typically stay on the market longer and buyers have more options to choose from. In a buyer’s market, you’ll have an easier time buying a new home than selling your current one.
  • Seller’s Market: a seller’s market means there are more buyers than homes available. This is a hot market! You’re more likely to sell your home first before you’re able to buy.

Choose an experienced real estate agent

Navigating the ins and outs of home buying and selling can be difficult so it’s helpful to have a professional available to guide you through the process. Hire a trusted real estate agent who understands your housing market. They will be able to advise on the expected market value of your home and the best strategy to buy and sell your home at the simultaneously.

Selling your home first
Selling your current home before buying your new home can be the less stressful option. The benefits of selling first mean you know exactly how much you can spend on your next home and have funds for the down payment. However, you may need to find alternative housing to tide you over until you’re able to move into your new home. Here are some options you can consider if case you sell your current home first:

  • Make an offer with a settlement contingency. Once your home is officially on the market, begin looking for new homes. You’ll want to hold off on making any offers (if possible!) until you’ve accepted an offer on your current home. The settlement contingency means you’ll buy the new home once your current home closes. This method is best in a seller’s market when you’re more likely to receive multiple offers.
  • Get a short-term rental. Secure temporary housing and storage (whether a short-term rental or staying with understanding family) until you’re able to close on a new home.
  • Create a rent-back agreement with the new owners. If the new owners of your current home agree, you can sign a rent-back agreement that will allow you to stay in your home for a set period of time in exchange for rental payments. This will give you some additional breathing room to find your new dream home without the stress of finding temporary housing.

Buying your home first

Sometimes you find your dream home faster than planned. This is great because then you’ll only have to move once, instead of having to find a short-term rental or stay with family in the interim. If you happen to buy your new home before selling, you have a few options:

  • Extend your closing. If you’re sure your home will sell quickly, you can request to extend the closing date of your new home past the typical 30-45 days.
  • Apply for a bridge loan. Bridge loans are short-term loans that cover your down payment until closing. This is an enticing option; however, it can be difficult to qualify for a bridge loan and not every lender offers them, so you’ll want to check if this is available through your lender early in the buying process.
  • Apply for a HELOC. HELOC stands for home equity line of credit. This enables you to use your home as collateral and borrow up to a certain amount.
  • Rent your current home. If you’re financially able to purchase your second home without needing to sell your current home, you can consider turning it into an investment property and rent it out.

Don’t let the process rush you

Whether you buy or sell first, try your best to keep fear from rushing you through the decision process. You may want to create a contingency plan in case you sell your home before you buy. This will help keep some of the anxiety at bay since you already know where you’ll be going next. Conversely, if you buy your home first, don’t feel pressured to accept a less than ideal offer because you’re unable to float two mortgages.

Buying and selling a home certainly has his challenges, but if you’re properly prepared, you can navigate this journey with flying colors.

With new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, we offer affordable new homes that fit your needs at any stage in life, backed by our commitment to quality. Visit us online at Hayden-Homes.com to learn what makes a Hayden Home the right new home for both you and the entire Pacific Northwest.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas for Buying a Home

New Years Resolution Ideas for Buying  a HomeNew Year’s Eve is just around the corner, which means that if you haven’t already started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to get on it! If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to figure out how to buy a home in the coming year, then make a series of smaller, more manageable resolutions to help you reach the big one. Here are some ideas to help you prepare!

Set a Savings Goal

If you’re buying a new home, you’ll most likely need to make a down payment on that home, and it could be the full 20 percent, or a lesser amount. Most people don’t have the kind of cash lying around without diligently saving for months or years, which means you should start saving now. Even if it’s only a little bit, having a clear picture of your finances and committing to putting away a certain amount each month can help a lot in the long run. Keep in mind that you will most likely be approved for a loan, even if you don’t have the full 20 percent down payment.

Fix Your Credit

Your credit will have an impact on whether or not you get approved for a mortgage loan, and if so, what your mortgage loan interest rate will be. If you have poor credit, you should start working to fix your credit asap. This means putting a plan in action to:

 

    • Pay down your debt;
    • Making all payments on time and in full;
    • Reduce your credit card balances or stop using your credit cards completely; or
    • Consolidate your debt.

 

If you have poor credit, you may be unable to secure a loan, or may get stuck with a high interest rate.

Get Your Documents in Order

Alright – you’ve fixed your credit score, saved up a good chunk of change for a down payment – what’s next? Now you need to start getting all of your mortgage loan documents in order. In order to get pre-approved for a loan, and certainly before the mortgage lender will issue you a loan, you’ll need to provide a variety of documents. These documents will likely include: at least two years’ worth of tax returns, W-2s, employment history, income/bank statements, and proof of assets. The sooner you start organizing these documents, the sooner you’ll know where you fall short and can start taking steps to correct this.

Find the Perfect New Home

Of course, before you can buy your new home, you have to find it first! Take time to explore your options, look at homes in different neighborhoods, determine your budget, and consider whether you want to buy brand new or used. Newer homes often have many benefits that older homes lack, require little maintenance, and can be personalized to fit your style!

Our Home Builders Can Help

At Hayden Homes, we have your dream home for sale! Come see our new homes sprinkled throughout the Northwest, in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Buying your first home is exciting – let us help!