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Home Purchase Options You Might Not Know About

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Home Purchase Options You Might Not Know About

When most people think of buying a home, their minds immediately go to the standard process of saving for a down payment and getting a traditional mortgage. But there are other options available that can help you reach the goal of homeownership. Some can make saving the down payment a non-issue while others help current homeowners looking to move from their current home to a new one.

So, before you begin walking the most traveled path for purchasing a home, see if these options will help you get there faster.

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Ways to Skip Saving for a Down Payment

One of the biggest hurdles between most people and homeownership is the down payment. Most conventional mortgages require borrowers to put down 20 percent of the sale price of the home. And that is no small feat.

However, certain loans require smaller down payments. For example, FHA and VA loans often have less stringent requirements, as well as USDA loans. Specialty loans on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foreclosures are also available without a full 20 percent down payment. The exact amount required can vary over times, so it is important to see what options are available at the precise time you are looking to buy.

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Another Option for Down Payments is Gifts. Certain family members can provide funds for use towards the down payment without some of the time-based eligibility restrictions that can affect the buyers own savings. However, only certain familial relationships qualify, and the person providing the gift must legally attest to the fact that the money is a gift and not a loan.

Those within certain income limits may qualify for down payment assistance through local government organizations. Certain states, counties, and other municipalities provide funds for down payments to individuals who meet specific criteria. Often, only those buying a primary residence can apply, and a minimum stay in the property may be required before a sale. Failing to meet the terms often means the funds must be paid back, so it is important to understand the details prior to accepting assistance.

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Bridging the Gap When Selling One Home to Buy Another

Another situation that complicates the home buying process is when the borrower is currently paying a mortgage on a primary residence they intend to sell. Trying to coordinate the timing of a sale and purchase isn’t easy, and juggling multiple mortgages only makes things more complex.

It is common for current homeowners to have their “down payment” tied up as equity in their current property. That means they have an appropriate amount of assets, but it might not be accessible as cash. Additionally, certain home loans have restrictions regarding whether they have to be associated with primary residences. Additionally, some banks may be hesitant to offer a favorable mortgage rate on the new loan if the amount remaining on the current mortgage is high.

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In some cases, the best course of action is to consider bridging loans for the house purchase. What these loans provide is a short-term financing solution to help you transition from one mortgaged property to the next.They can be used to tap your current properties equity to obtain a down payment or can pay the current mortgage off making it easier to obtain one on the new property. Then, once the current property sells, the borrower simply pays off the bridging loan and continues with their new mortgage.

Otherwise, the best alternative is often to wait until your current home sells before jumping into the market. In those cases, you may need a temporary housing solution for the interim.

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The Traditional Method

While some of these alternatives can make buying a home easier, there is also nothing wrong with going the traditional route. In fact, it can be the smartest move financially in most cases. So, if you aren’t sure about any of these other methods, or don’t have access to them, go ahead and save the 20 percent first. In the end, there is no such thing as having too much savings for a down payment.

Featured photo credit: http://goodmanrealtyaz.com/ via goodmanrealtyaz.com

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Shelly Green

Entrepreneur writer and a blogger

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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