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Saving for a down payment

Purchasing your own home is one of the greatest and most rewarding experiences you can have. However, one of the hardest parts of becoming a home owner is getting your down payment together.  While there are many different loan types available, several require a 20 percent down payment.  Trying to get that money together can be difficult and will require a few years of commitment.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help to reach that 20 percent.

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Calculate what you can afford– First thing you need to decide on is your budget.  How much do you want to spend on a house and what will the down payment be?  What is the ultimate goal?  Knowing what you need and having a set number in mind can help ease anxiety and help jump start the savings.  I can help you calculate numbers to see what best suits your life.

Budget– Decide how much money needs to go to specific areas in your life (bills, grocery, gas, play) and any overage can allow for a small amount to go towards your savings goal.

Open an account– Have one account that is strictly for your down payment.  Do not borrow money from this account for other expenses.  Budgeting in a small amount to be deposited in monthly will help slowly, but surely, build the account.  When bonuses are given, put these directly into this account.

Splurge less– Try to skip a coffee run and instead prepare your drinks from home or eat in more than dining out.  These few dollars every day can add up quickly over the years.

Visualize the goal– While it may take years to get the whole 20 percent together, visualizing and setting steps towards that goal can be very rewarding.  Setting small yearly goals (save $2000 this year) and meeting them will very satisfying to see how much closer you are to owning your new home.

Don’t force it– Remember to be consistent and in time it will all work out.  It may be a long process but in the end, you will be happy to have that 20 percent down, with lower payments and a great investment.



Spring Fever Comes Early for Las Vegas Home Buyers

While most of the country is huddled indoors for the winter, Las Vegas, Nevada enjoys spring-like weather in February which makes it the perfect month to start looking for your next home. Whether you are looking for a dream home in Summerlin, a ranch in Henderson, or your first home in North Las Vegas, there are a number of things you can do to make your home buying process run smoothly.

Couple signing financial terms for future property

  1. Credit Report: Take a look at your credit report and address any issues that may be affecting your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better the rates will be for your loan.
  2. Loan Officer: Select a loan officer. Ask you friends and realtor if they recommend a lender but don’t feel that you have to go with that person if they are not a good match. Select an experienced loan officer with a stellar reputation who is personable and available to answer your questions as they come up.
  3. Loan Fees: Make sure your lender fully discloses all fees. Some lenders tack on a loan origination fee or processing fee where others do not. No need to spend money on unnecessary lending fees. Make sure to compare rates when selecting a mortgage lender.
  4. Get Prequalified: Serious home buyers begin their search by becoming prequalified with their lender. Being prequalified tells a prospective seller that you are can obtain a loan. If you decide to make an offer on a home, the seller will consider prequalified buyers more strongly than others which comes in handy when a home receives more than one offer. Besides, when you are prequalified for a loan, you know exactly what you can afford, which helps narrow your search.
  5. Down Payment: Depending on the type of loan you get, the amount of money needed for a down payment will vary. FHA and VA loans offer smaller down payments but a conventional loan may be your best option if you have 20 percent to put down on the home. A 20 percent down lets you avoid Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI, (which protects the lender should you fail to make payments).
  6. Make an Offer: Chances are, you will find just the perfect home for your needs and taste. When that time comes, feel assured that you’ve taken every step to prepare yourself for home ownership. Your Realtor® will walk you through the offer process until you and the seller reach an agreement and have a contract.
  7. Complete the Home Loan: With a contract in place, your loan officer will get to work gathering various documents and processing your loan to get you the best rate possible. Before you know it, you’ll be handed the keys to your new Las Vegas home!


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