Enjoy helpful home buying and selling tips as well as market updates, community events and local love.

Sept. 9, 2022

August 2022 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

August 2022 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

While we had 349 active homes come on the market last month, that number was down from 390 August 2021. The big difference is the amount of properties sold. We had 240 last month which is down considerably from August 2021 with 315 sold. That's 23.8% less homes sold than the previous year.

 

The buyer demand isn't as strong as it was last year. While the average sales prices increased slightly at 2.5%, the average days on market increased another 9.4%. Our monthly supply of inventory has increased 135.7% since this time last year.

 

With this market adjustment, it takes the right skills and knowledge to sell a home with competition so high. I am that agent. I've been a full time agent since 2007 and also a real estate author. Contact me today to discuss your situation and options.

 

Laurel Jonas

Northwest Realty Group

208-758-9000

208HomesForSale.com

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 6, 2022

What to Know About Today's Busy Market

What to know about todays busy market

You’re probably well aware that the real estate market is more competitive than ever (due to low inventory, among other things). Still, it’s not a bad time to buy a house. Mortgage rates are low, home values are on the rise and, in many cases, buying is still more affordable than renting. Are you considering purchasing a house in today’s fast-paced market? Here are five tips that can help.

 

Get pre-approved.

Applying for a mortgage pre-approval is critical in a competitive market. Not only can it give you a good price range to shop in, but it can also help sellers feel more confident in your offers (and maybe even choose yours over others).

 

Be flexible.

If you can be flexible on your closing date or willing to waive a contingency or two, it will often work in your favor. Sellers are looking for the easiest, most lucrative sale in most cases. We can discuss what makes sense for you when the time comes. 

 

Make a decent earnest money deposit.

Earnest money deposits are “good faith” deposits that indicate how serious you are about a home purchase. A larger deposit may help your offer stand out.

 

Be prepared to bid more than the asking price.

Consider searching in a lower-than-maximum price range so that you have room to bid upward if necessary. In many cases, you’ll need to increase your bid to compete with other buyers, so maxing out your budget from the start probably isn’t the best strategy.

 

Be patient (but stay alert).

In the current conditions, you may not find what you’re looking for immediately. On the other hand, things could start moving quickly at any time. To find success, remember that communication and flexibility are key.

 

It can be challenging to buy a house in today’s market — but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Reach out today if you need assistance.

 

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

 

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Aug. 30, 2022

5 Mortgage Myths — DEBUNKED!

5 Mortgage Myths —

DEBUNKED!5 mortgage myths-debunked

 

 

MYTH: You must have a 20% down payment to buy a house. 

TRUTH: Different loans require different down payments—some as low as 0%!

 

MYTH: Pre-qualified means the same thing as pre-approved. 

TRUTH: A pre-qualification is a quick assessment of how much money you can borrow based on info you provide—no documentation necessary. A pre-approval letter indicates you’ve provided financial information to a lender, and they have approved you for a designated loan amount. Serious about buying? Get pre-approved.

 

MYTH: You need a stellar credit score to get a mortgage.

TRUTH: For a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the minimum score required is 620. The lowest credit score to buy a house with an FHA loan is 580. Mortgages are out there for folks with a wide range of credit scores. Plus, there are things you can do to improve it along the way. 

 

MYTH: You don’t need to shop for mortgage rates. They’re the same no matter where you go.

TRUTH: Just like any major purchase, shop around! Not all mortgage rates are the same. Closing costs and other fees can vary from one lender to another.

 

MYTH: It’s cheaper to rent a home than it is to own a home.

TRUTH: Owning builds equity, offers tax benefits, and gives you a predictable payment year after year. Not to mention, buying now allows you to lock in historically low rates.

 

Don’t be fooled by every mortgage myth you hear! Talk to folks who know the truth and can help make homeownership a reality for you. 

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

 

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Aug. 29, 2022

Home Selling Tip- Be flexible with showings

Be flexible with showings! Accommodate the buyers as much as possible. Buyers want to view homes on their schedule. If you as the seller make it complicated, they may just skip it all together. Have your home ready to show before you leave for work. Have a plan for last minute showings. You never know when and where that buyer that writes an offer on your home will schedule to view it so treat every showing request as a potential offer.

Posted in Selling Tips
Aug. 24, 2022

6 Ways HomeBuyers Mess Up Getting a Mortgage

6 ways homebuyers mess up getting a mortgage

Getting a mortgage is, by general consensus, the most treacherous part of buying a home. Many homebuyers said they found the mortgage experience stressful and complicated. Even lenders agree that it’s often a struggle. If you’re out to buy a home, you have to be vigilant. To clue you into the pitfalls, here are six of the most common ways people mess up getting a mortgage.

 

Waiting until you can make a 20% down payment

A 20% down payment is the golden number when applying for a conventional home loan, since it enables you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), an extra monthly fee of 0.3% to 1.15% of your total loan amount. But with mortgage rates where they are today—in a word, low—waiting for that magic 20% could be a huge mistake, since the more time passes, the higher mortgage rates and home prices may go!

 

All of which means it may be worth discussing your home-buying prospects with lenders right now. To get a ballpark figure of what you can afford and how your down payment affects your finances, punch your salary and other numbers into a home affordability calculator.

Meeting with only one mortgage lender

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about half of U.S. home buyers only meet with one mortgage lender before signing up for a home loan. But these borrowers could be missing out in a big way. Why? Because lenders’ offers and interest rates vary, and even nabbing a slightly lower interest rate can save you big bucks over the long haul.

 

In fact, a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed rate conventional loan can get rates that vary by more than half a percent So, getting an interest rate of 4.0% instead of 4.5% on a $200,000, 30-year fixed mortgage translates into savings of approximately $60 per month, or $3,500 over the first five years.

 

So, to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, meet with at least three mortgage lenders. You’ll want to start your search early (ideally, at least 60 days before you start seriously looking at homes). When you meet with each lender, get what’s called a good-faith estimate, which breaks down the terms of the mortgage, including the interest rate and fees, so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison between offers.

 

Getting pre-qualified rather than pre-approved

Mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval may sound alike, but they’re completely different. Pre-qualification entails a basic overview of a borrower’s ability to get a loan. You provide a mortgage lender with information—about your income, assets, debts, and credit—but you don’t need to produce any paperwork to back it up. In return, you’ll get a rough estimate of what size loan you can afford, but it’s by no means a guarantee that you’ll actually get approved for the loan when you go to buy a home.

 

Mortgage pre-approval, meanwhile, is an in-depth process that involves a lender running a credit check and verifying your income and assets. Then an underwriter does a preliminary review of your financial portfolio and, if all goes well, issues a letter of pre-approval—a written commitment for financing up to a certain loan amount.

 

Bottom line? If you’re serious about buying a house, you need to be pre-approved, since many sellers will accept offers only from pre-approved buyers.

 

Moving money around

To get pre-approved, you must show you have enough cash in reserves to afford the down payment. (Presenting your mortgage lender with bank statements is the easiest way to do this.) Nonetheless, your loan still needs to go through underwriting while you’re under contract for your loan to be approved. Because the underwriter will check to see that your finances have remained the same, the last thing you want to do is move money around while you’re in the process of buying a house. Shifting large amounts of money out or even into your accounts is a huge red flag. So if you’re in contract for a home, your money should stay put.

 

Applying for new lines of credit

If you apply for a new credit card or request a credit limit increase a few months before closing, watch out: Credit inquiries ding your credit score by up to five points. So, don’t let the credit inquiries add up.

 

Applying for multiple lines of credit while you’re buying a house can make your mortgage lender think that you’re desperate for money—a signal that could change your mortgage terms or even get you denied altogether, even if you’ve got a closing date on the books.

 

Changing jobs

Mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of consistent income history when pre-approving a loan. Consequently, changing jobs while you’re under contract on a property can create a big issue in the eyes of an underwriter.

 

Your best bet? Try to wait until after you’ve closed on your house to change jobs. If you’re forced to switch before closing, you should alert your loan officer immediately. Depending on the lender, you may simply need to provide a written verification of employment from your new employer that states your job status and income.

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Aug. 16, 2022

What If The Square Footage Is Wrong?

What If The Square Footage Is Wrong?

When buying a home, what do you do if the square footage is wrong? Learn how to determine if it's indeed wrong,  why having the correct square footage matters and how to correct it.

What to do if the square footage is wrong on your house_Laurel Jonas Blog

The square footage of your home is an important specification for valuation purposes, but sometimes the appraiser’s calculation of your property’s square footage differs from the square footage used in your tax assessment. Here’s what to do in that situation.

 

How to Determine if the Square Footage is Inaccurate

You should start by requesting to see your home’s property card from your county’s department of assessment. Many cities and counties allow you to look it up online. Make sure that any recent (permitted) additions are included in the records.

 

Here’s how to calculate the square footage of your home on your own, without the help of a professional appraiser. You might want to try that first to make sure the square footage is really off, before contacting a professional. Keep in mind that below grade spaces (like a finished basement) do not usually count toward a home’s square footage.

 

Reasons for Appraisal Square Footage Discrepancy

There are many reasons why the government’s assessment of your property and the square footage calculated by a home appraiser may differ. If your assessor uses an estimation to determine square footage, there’s a good chance that this figure may not be precise.

 

In other cases, simple measurement errors are to blame, and these mistakes can originate with the home builder, the assessor, your home appraiser, or communication errors if the wrong information is provided to the county assessment office.

 

Finally, there may be conflicts between original plans or additions and the permits obtained for the work, depending on whether the work was ever completed. For instance, you might obtain a permit for an addition yet decide later not to move forward with those plans. It’s easy for the assessment office to make incorrect estimations based on these records.

 

What to Do If the Square Footage is Wrong on Your House

If you believe that the public records are inaccurate, you should contact your local assessment department to request that the data be reviewed. The process varies by location; some may ask you to file an appeal or submit a grievance.

 

It may help to hire a professional appraiser to assess the square footage of your home, so you can submit the recent appraisal to the department to review and make any adjustments if necessary.

 

Keep in mind that square footage can affect your home’s assessed value, which has an effect on how much property tax you pay. If the actual measurements taken by a home appraiser result in a higher square footage than the tax assessment office has on record, using the higher square footage calculation could increase the value of your home. That’s great if you want to sell, but it may also increase your property taxes.

 

Why the Correct Square Footage Matters

If you’re selling your home, the square footage is one of the most important specifications buyers look for. A difference of even a few hundred square feet can lead to potential buyers overlooking your property if they are searching for a home with a minimum amount of square footage. Since many real estate websites pull information about homes from public records, it can also result in incorrect square footage on online listings. In addition, your local governing agency will look at the square footage of your house when assessing its value, which has an effect on how much property tax you will pay.

 

 

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Aug. 9, 2022

How to Make the Best Offer On A Home

How to Make The Best Offer on a Home?

Learn the differences between writing offers at list price, below list price and above. Trying to determine what a seller will accept is a mind game but setting yourself with a successful strong offer is key.

 

How to make the best offer on a home

Making the right offer is crucial when you have your eye on a home.  Offer too little, and you may get passed over for the next buyer. Offer too much, and you may need to reevaluate your budget for furnishings or upgrades. This can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a new property.  Want to make sure you have a strong offer at a price you can afford? Here’s when you might offer above, below and at the listing price.

 

At List Price:

A home that's within your budget, move-in ready and comes with all the amenities you want could be worth an offer at the listing price. But you'll want to make sure there's not much competition for the property.

 

Below List Price:

Does the home need serious work? If so, you may want to offer below the selling price. In this case, bidding less money could free up cash for future repairs and necessary upgrades. You can also try a lower offer if there are tons of homes listed in your area (but little demand for them). Get in touch to learn about the properties for sale in your desired neighborhood.

 

Above List Price:

You may want to go beyond listing price if you're in a particularly active market or you know you're up against several buyers. Together, we can determine what other homes in the area are going for, and we'll make sure your best offer aligns with those bids.

 

Negotiating isn't for the weak of heart. It's stressful and can be a bit of a mind game trying to determine what the seller will accept. When writing an offer, no matter the market (sellers market or buyers market), writing a clean offer with all the correct documentation is a good start. 

Your agent will guide you through this process and inform you of the recent sold as well as active and pending comparable properties in the area so you are familiar with the current values. Then determine what price and terms you are comfortable making. Regardless of if the offer is at, above, below or at list price, make sure the offer is completely filled out. An incomplete offer shows the other agent incompetency and a lack of confidence. Have your proof of funds or pre qualification included along with any pertinent information that your state requires. Any missing documents again with show a lack of competency, This is especially true if you are writing an offer below list price. You should be showing confidence in your offer and even back up validation such as other comparables supporting your price.

Ready for a new home (and don't want to overspend)? Reach out today, and we can begin looking for a property that's perfect for you and your family.

 

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

Posted in Buying A Home Tips
Aug. 3, 2022

July 2022 Coeur d'Alene Area Real Estate Market Update

July 2022 Coeur d'Alene Real Estate Area Market Update

The market has changed from a seller's market to more of a balanced market quickly. Inventory has increased 128.6% within 12 months. Closed sales went down 46.1% compared to this time last July. Homes are taking longer to sell because there is more inventory to choose from and the buyer frenzy is not there anymore.

 

The sellers who price their home accordingly and take the proper steps to prepare their home to sell, do sell in this market. If you price your home too high, you'll be one of the hundreds of price reduced properties we are seeing. 

 

With this market adjustment, it takes the right skills and knowledge of how to sell a home with competition so high. I am that agent. I've been a full time agent since 2007 and also a real estate author. Contact me today to discuss your situation and options.

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

 

Posted in Market Updates
July 26, 2022

What is the MLS?

What is the MLS?

What is MLS_Laurel Jonas Blog

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. It is a database of homes for sale that is produced and maintained by real estate professionals to help their clients buy or sell property. Homes for sale on an MLS are called listings. The MLS listings typically include important property information, such as exterior and interior details, asking price, taxes, and other costs. 

 

The MLS was first created in the United States in the late 1800s. Members of the Board of Realtors in a given area would come together on certain days and share information about what properties were for sale. During these meetings, realtors exchanged information about properties and carried out the purchase of properties on behalf of buyers they represented.

 

Today, a local MLS provides publicly available information about listings to interested buyers. However, some information is kept private. This includes anything that could expose the seller or the property to certain risks. For example, contact information about the seller is not publicly listed to protect their privacy, and details about when the home is vacant for showings is never listed to prevent break-ins. To access those details, buyers need to work with a licensed real estate agent. 

 

MLS systems range in size, sometimes covering the local municipality— such as the Chicago MLS Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). In rural areas, like Portland, ME, one regional MLS can cover several counties. Potential buyers can also access MLS information via home search websites, where listings can be viewed before buyers decide on their agent. 

 

How does the multiple listing service work?

The multiple listing service works to make the process of buying and selling property easier. Each MLS works a little differently, but here’s how it works in most cases: When a homeowner is ready to list a home for sale, they get in touch with a broker or agent and grant them access to create a listing. The agent will gather the necessary details to complete the listing and will likely arrange for photography to be captured – all with the goal of making the home and listing as attractive as possible for buyers. It’s important to note that home sellers can’t post their home directly to the MLS, because posting access is reserved for licensed agents and brokers who pay for membership

 

Once the listing is live, it can be shared with potential buyers. Buyer’s agents will assist in getting the listing information out to their clients, so long as the property fits their client’s needs. The buyers then indicate which properties they want to view in person and their real estate agent can then schedule a showing. And from there, if the buyer likes the home, they can enter the negotiation process. 

 

What information does an MLS include for a typical listing?

The MLS contains information and details to help understand the current value of the home, its carrying costs, and its potential value. In other words, information that aids in real estate investing. Details you should pay attention to include:

  • Photographs and videos of the property
  • House style, such as Tudor or Victorian house styles
  • Lot dimensions and square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Detailed descriptions of the property room by room, including flooring
  • Details of the exterior features, such as type of siding and roofing
  • Asking price, taxes, and, if any, homeowners association (HOA) dues
  • Days on market and original listing price if it has changed
  • County and township, plus subdivision information if applicable
  • Year built or at least a notification if the home was built before lead paint was banned (1978)
  • School district information— elementary, middle/junior high, and high school
  • Utility information, such as how you get your water (well vs. city)
  • “Green” features, if applicable, including solar capabilities and green building rating score
  • Seller’s disclosures, if any

When viewing condo listings, you’ll also find information about the type of management for the HOA. A condo listing should also include a pet policy, storage availability, parking availability, and whether or not the parking spot is deeded. Finally, the unit’s exposure— north, south, east, or west— should be noted, which will indicate the level of natural light you can expect. 

 

Often the listing should also mention any tax advantages the previous owner has received, but sometimes this information is left out. For example, in most states, senior citizens get a reduced property tax rate. If the listing doesn’t note this discount, you could be surprised by a high tax increase in the second year of ownership. Your accountant or financial advisor should be able to assist you in understanding the tax implications of the property. 

 

Can I look for homes on the MLS?

To look for homes on the MLS, you will need help from your real estate agent or broker. MLS access is limited to real estate brokers and agents who pay an annual fee, so when you work with an agent or broker, they will give you access to a portion of the MLS that matches your search criteria. Typically, this is done either through email, a special log-in, or both. 

 

If you have a real estate license and pay a small fee, you may be able to access the MLS on your own— it depends on the MLS in your area. Some MLS databases are made accessible to anyone with a license, while others require a license and that you are active in the real estate market in your area. In other words, you are actively assisting buyers and sellers with their real estate transactions. 

 

How many MLSs are there and who updates them?

The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) sets standards for and certifies multiple listing services. According to RESO, there are 580 certified MLSs operating in the United States, with dozens more in the certification process. You can look up an MLS’s certification report on the RESO website. More in-depth reports are set to be released and searchable by the end of 2021. 

 

The MLS of a specific area is managed by a group of real estate professionals, agents, and brokers. For example, the Colorado Springs, CO multiple listing service is run by Pikes Peak REALTOR® Services. Some of the time, the group managing an MLS has some connection with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), but not always.

 

The listing agent updates individual property listings. Exactly how often the MLS updates differs based on the MLS and how it integrates its data. If the listing agent has made any changes to the listing, the MLS will pick up those changes and the new information will be shown. 

 

Are all homes that are for sale listed on the MLS?

No, not all homes available for sale are listed on an MLS. There are three instances where a home may be for sale but is unlisted. The first instance is homes for sale by owner (FSBO). 

 

FSBO properties are not allowed on many MLSs. This happens when the MLS only accepts listings from licensed agents and brokers. In some areas, FSBO sellers can list their property for a flat fee. At Redfin, we source the FSBO listings from Fizber.com and FSBO.com. 

 

The second instance where a property might be for sale but remain unlisted is that the property is a pocket listing. Pocket listings are homes for sale where the selling agent only shows the home to a select group of buyers. In some markets, as many as twenty percent of properties for sale are pocket listings. 

 

The third instance where a home may not be listed on the MLS is new construction homes. Sometimes builders opt out of working with a real estate agent to sell their development. You’ll see this happen more often when the market is hot, and builders don’t necessarily need to bring buyers in.  

 

The National Association of Realtors banned this practice in 2019. But the ban wasn’t enforced, and pocket listings have been on the rise ever since. The reason these listings can be problematic is that it prevents certain buyers from participating in the real estate market, leading to unfair housing practices.

 

Why the MLS is important for everyone

While the MLS is created for and maintained by real estate professionals, it benefits many aspects of the real estate market and the people with stakes in the market. The MLS brings transparency to the real estate system— everyone can see what’s selling at what price— which is crucial to creating and maintaining a fair housing market.  

 

How it benefits agents

An MLS is a great real estate agent resource and has many business benefits. The MLS makes it easy to share listings with buyers, usually by setting them up with a portal to view their matches. When the buyer finds something they like, they can easily communicate their interest with the agent and get set up with a viewing. 

 

Agents can also promote the homes they are representing for sale with thousands of potential buyers. They can easily tweak the listing details to make the property more appealing or update the listing if anything significant has changed. 

 

How it benefits sellers

Home sellers also benefit from the MLS. The service makes it very easy to share their listing with potential buyers— exposure they wouldn’t typically get if selling on their own. During the comparative market analysis (aka “comps” process) the seller will get information about what other properties are selling for and the features they offer. This is how the initial asking price is determined. 

 

But a seller can use this information to their advantage in other ways. For example, if their home has a competitive disadvantage the seller may be able to address that disadvantage before putting the home on the market. Sellers should examine the property details of similar homes that are selling at the higher end of the spectrum for ideas for home improvements. Often a few small projects can result in less time on the market and a higher sales price. 

 

How it benefits buyers

Through the help of an agent, a buyer can also benefit from the MLS. As they’re in the process of buying a home, a buyer will have more options to choose from that meet their criteria and the MLS will provide more detailed information about the listing such as size, features, style, neighborhood, and more. This makes sorting through the potential hits much easier for the agent, which in turn saves the buyer time.

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

 

July 19, 2022

6 Mortgage Tips for Single Parents

6 Mortgage Tips for Single Parents_Laurel Jonas Blog

If you’re a single parent, it’s arguably more challenging to buy a home than for those in a partnership with dual incomes. Yet it’s easy to see why so many single parents are eager to purchase a house. Beyond finding a perfect kitchen and playroom, owning a home is an integral part of building a healthy financial future. And while homeownership may seem like an increasingly out-of-reach dream for single moms and dads, buying a house is definitely an achievable reality for most folks. To help inform you on this journey, we reached out to experts for tips on how to land a great mortgage as a single parent.

 

1. Leverage benefits

When applying for a mortgage, be sure to include any alimony and child benefit payments you receive. The most significant leverage a single parent has against lenders is their benefits. As a borrower, it’s essential to establish the capability to pay. So highlighting the monetary amount received from child benefits, tax credits, and maintenance fees is important as all of these can be taken into account.

 

2. Remember the 25% rule

Single parents have to carry a mortgage by themselves. With that in mind, it’s wise to leave plenty of financial wiggle room when shopping for a home. (An affordability calculator can help you determine what monthly payments you can swing.) As a single parent, there are more ‘what ifs’ to worry about, so it’s important to give the budget breathing room for emergencies and extra child care costs. They should aim for the monthly mortgage—including taxes and insurance—to be around 25% of their income. This way, there is enough to cover house costs, child costs, and still reach savings goals, such as saving for retirement and college.

 

3. Make a significant down payment if possible

No matter who you are or your financial and life situation, making a substantial down payment on a house will pay off. Getting a good mortgage rate can be a challenge for a single person. Making a big down payment will not only improve their chances of getting a good lender but also getting a better deal on the mortgage. It will also lower their monthly payments moving forward. Also to add, having a good credit score (740-plus is considered optimal) will improve the odds of getting a reasonable mortgage rate, because good credit lets lenders know you can keep up with financial commitments.

 

4. Consider specialty loans or down payment assistance

Can’t swing a large down payment? That’s OK. As a single parent, there is an opportunity to maybe be able to qualify for loans that require much less than the standard 20% down payment. A conforming, aka conventional, loan may only require a down payment as low as 3%, with a mortgage insurance add-on. One of the best loans for single parents is from the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA loans are particularly helpful because most feature low-interest rates and do not require a down payment. The catch? You have to ensure that the property is within the USDA-eligible area. It also requires you to pay a mortgage insurance premium upfront, but it’s significantly lower than many other premiums.

 

And if you’re a teacher, firefighter, EMT, or member of law enforcement. the Good Neighbor Next Door program can get you up to 50% off on a foreclosed home.

 

5. Look for local loans

No matter what type of loan they ultimately try to secure, try to find a local lender. Working with a mortgage professional who is local to their market can be a huge asset. There are so many online platforms offering seemingly great deals, but that utilize loan officers out of the area or in call centers that may be completely out of the market. This can make sorting out market-specific details very challenging.

 

6. Beware of adjustable rates and multiple applications

The Federal Reserve may hike interest rates soon, so getting a mortgage with a fixed rate is critical. A 30-year fixed mortgage will allow a single person with kids to accurately forecast their monthly expenses. They should also watch out for prepayment penalties. These are penalties the lender would charge for selling the home within a set period of time. And beware of applying for multiple mortgages with different companies in a quest for the best offer. Each time you apply, they pull your credit, which reduces your credit score.

 

Laurel Jonas- REALTOR®

Northwest Realty Group

2022 N. Government Way Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

208-758-9000

208homesforsale@gmail.com

208homesforsale.com

 

Posted in Buying A Home Tips