Our Real Estate Blog
Saving for a down payment on a house can seem like an insurmountable challenge to first-time homebuyers. You don’t have the benefit of equity built from owning previous homes, and most, if not all, of your income could be tied up in other places like paying rent and bills.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry--you’re not alone. The good news is that there are some other things you might try before giving up on saving for a down payment.
In today’s post, we’re going to discuss a few techniques for saving for a down payment that you might not yet have thought of, and talk about how to can start saving sooner rather than later.
1. Know your options
Many first-time buyers aren’t aware of all of the different mortgage types that may be available to them. VA loans, USDA loans, and more are all available to buyers who don’t have a large down payment saved up.
There’s also the common myth that your down payment needs to be at least 20% percent of the cost of the home. However, this number is more like an ideal figure that will allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Before determining how much you need to save, make sure you understand all of your options.
2. Learn the art of budgeting
Most of us use the term “budget” as a vague word that means the amount of money we can spend.
The true point of a budget, however, is to gain a detailed understanding of where your money goes and to develop a plan.
One good method of budgeting is to do what budget experts call, “giving every dollar a job.” This means that you know where each dollar o your paycheck will go.
There are many tools available for you to use when budgeting. You can use a free app like a spreadsheet from Google Sheets, or a service that connects you your bank account like Mint. Mint will also let you set goals (such as saving for a down payment) so you can track your progress.
3. Asking for a raise
Depending on how long you’ve been at your job and your work performance, it might be time to ask your employer for a raise up front. Many employers are more than happy to reward hard work and dedication, but just don’t hand out money if they aren’t asked.
4. Start that side hustle
There are a lot of ways to earn extra money in a service economy. From waiting tables at night to delivering packages for Amazon, and giving lifts in your car for Uber, there are numerous ways to earn some extra cash in the evenings.
Just remember that you want this project to be something that’s enjoyable or interesting, otherwise it’s easy to burn out from overwork.
5. See if you have employee assistance options
Some employers offer housing assistance programs to their employees as a work benefit. If you haven’t flipped through your HR packet in a while, now might be a good time to make sure you’re taking advantage of your options.
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Looking to add your condo to the real estate market? Ultimately, you'll want to set a "fair" price for your property. By doing so, you can stir up plenty of interest in your condo and boost your chances of a fast property sale.
List your condo at a price that meets the needs of both property buyer and seller – here are three tips to ensure you can price your condo properly.
1. Study the Housing Market
How does your condo rate against similar properties? Examine the housing market closely, and you can understand what differentiates your property from others that are currently available.
Check out the prices of comparable condos that have been added to the real estate market recently. That way, you can learn how other condo sellers are pricing their properties and map out your condo pricing strategy accordingly.
Also, evaluate the prices of condos that have sold over the past few months. This will allow you to identify real estate market patterns and trends and may help you establish a competitive price.
2. Hire a Property Appraiser
A property appraiser understands what it takes to assess a condo both inside and out. Therefore, if you conduct a condo appraisal, you can learn about your property's strengths and weaknesses.
During a condo evaluation, a property appraiser will identify problem areas across your residence. Then, he or she will provide a report that you can review to understand how you can enhance your property's value.
Take the results of a property appraisal seriously. If a property appraiser finds minimal problems with your condo, you may be good to go to establish a fair price for your residence.
On the other hand, if a property appraiser discovers a wide range of condo issues, allocate the necessary time and resources to mitigate these problems. In this scenario, you may need to lower your expectations for your condo's asking price based on the current state of your property. Or, you can perform assorted property improvements to bolster your condo's value.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Want expert insights into how to price your condo competitively? Work with a real estate agent, and you can receive comprehensive support as you prepare to add your residence to the housing market.
A real estate agent can make a world of difference for a condo seller, and for good reason. This housing market professional will teach you about the current real estate market and help you determine the right price for your condo.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide throughout the condo selling process, either.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive help with condo showings, negotiations with condo buyers and much more. And if you ever have condo selling questions, a real estate agent will be able to provide instant responses.
Set the right price for your condo – use these condo selling tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your property.