You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think!

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state. Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense. By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, … [Read more...]

It’s Tax Season… Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,840 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $2,895, last year. Tax refunds are often thought of as ‘extra money’ that can be used toward larger goals; for anyone looking to buy a home in 2018, this can be a great jump start toward a down payment! The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state. (The refunds received for the 2017 tax year should continue to reflect these numbers as the new tax code will go into effect for 2018 tax filings.) Many … [Read more...]

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that “eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.” Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment” Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report: “Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, … [Read more...]

61% of First-Time Buyers Put Down Less than 6%

According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Realtors Confidence Index, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% from October 2016 through November 2017. Many potential homebuyers believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying. The median down payment for all buyers in 2017 was just 10% and that percentage drops to 6% for first-time buyers. Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas’ recent comments shed light on why buyer demand has remained strong, “Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining. More widespread rent … [Read more...]

3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: shared their “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy a Home.” Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking a lot about it. Living within a budget will not only help you save money for down payments but will help you pay down other debts that might be holding you back. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

Home Prices Up 7% from Last Year

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated by 7.0% from October 2016 to October 2017. This marks the second month in a row with a 7.0% year-over-year increase. A lack of supply of homes for sale has led to upward pressure on home prices across the country, especially in areas where both existing and new home inventory have not kept up with buyer demand. CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft elaborated on the significance of such a large year-over-year gain,  “Single-family residential sales and prices continued to heat up in October. On a year-over-year basis, home prices grew in excess of 6 … [Read more...]