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Home Purchase Options You Might Not Know About

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.

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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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