No matter how good the credit rating, today's homebuyer no longer has the luxury of buying with little or zero down. Unless you are low-income with good credit, or a veteran, no-down loans are also a thing of the past.
Most lenders today want at least 20 percent of the loan amount as a down payment on a house. For a home priced between $168,300 and $287,500, a homebuyer would need to come up with between $33,660 and $57,500 just for a down payment. Then, there are closing costs to consider. These vary by state, but figure you'll pay over $2,000 on a $200,000 loan.
Saving up this money takes time and careful planning. The best way to start is by coming up with a budget that is realistic enough for you to stick with and by using other tips to help you get ahead financially.
The BudgetThe only thing more challenging than setting up the budget is sticking with it over the long run. Using personal finance software will help you set it up, but only self-discipline and the desire for a new house will motivate you to stick with it.
First, you need to determine your total income from all sources. The second step is to list all the money that goes out every month, beginning with your fixed expenses. These include anything that has a fixed payment due every month, including:
Rent or mortgage (if you have a fixed rate).
Child support and alimony.
Installment loan payments.
Next, list your variable expenses. These may be a little more difficult to track, so you may want to document them over the course of a week or two on a chart such as the spreadsheet offered for free by a Canadian credit counseling service. Common variable expenses include:
Cable or satellite TV.
Anything you purchase on a daily basis (morning coffee, etc.).
Amy Fontinelle, writing at Investopedia, suggests that you track and update your budget daily so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Make ChangesOnce you've used the budget for a month or two you'll be able to see where your money goes every week. This snapshot shows you where it's being wasted and, thus, where to make cuts. Any items cut from the budget mean more money to set aside for your house.
Some of these cutbacks might include bringing a lunch from home rather than hitting the café every day, riding your bike to work instead of driving or taking a cab, and using coupons to save money.
Make More MoneyCutting your budget expenditures and paying down debt aren't the only ways to move more quickly down the road toward homeownership. Finding ways to bring in more money gives your plan a turbo boost.
If you can take on overtime hours at work, do it. Consider holding a garage sale or selling unused items online. Sock away that extra cash for your down payment.
SavingsIf you're like a lot of us, you may be tempted to use the money you're saving for something else that comes along. To avoid the temptation, put it in an online savings account that makes it difficult to withdraw. If you have to wait a few days for the money, you may think twice about withdrawing it.
As you build your savings, avoid the urge to add to your debt. There will be plenty of time after you buy the house to buy furniture, a car or whatever else you might be thinking of purchasing. Keep that house you want top-of-mind to motivate yourself to stay out of debt and continue saving.
I recently read an excellent piece about five important things you should do if you're getting ready to buy a home:
1. Get you finances in order
2. Practice good credit behavior
3. Shop around for the best loan
4. Enter the market early
5. Find a real estate agent now.
Read the full article at www.NorthJerseyAbode.com.
If you're thinking about buying a home this year, give me a call and let's talk about how you can prepare for it. Start your search here:
Have you downloaded the KW real estate app for you phone or tablet yet? It's very cool, and the only app you'll ever need when house hunting. It's GPS enabled, so it gives you the latest information -- wherever you're looking. Check out this video, and click on the link below to download it today:
Happy New Year! I hope your 2014 is filled with peace, happiness and good health.
What will happen in the real estate market this year? Many pundits are predicting slightly better sales in 2014 than in 2013. But the KCM Blog‘s recent headline took a different view: Housing Predictions for 2014: Sales Will Surge
Among the reasons cited are (1) the number of first time home buyers are expected to rise, and (2) many move-up buyers, who have been trapped in their homes because of negative equity, will finally be able to make that move because of rising property values.
In addition, they are predicting that mortgage rates will increase significantly. See the story here: Predictions for 2014: Interest Rates Will Increase Significantly.
What does this mean? If you are a buyer who's been sitting on the fence, the longer you wait will diminish your buying power as interest rates increase. If you're a seller, now is a good time to get your home on the market: buyers are out there looking, inventory is low and you'll stand out rather than having to compete against so many more homes when the inventory spikes in the spring market.
If this is the year you plan to buy or sell your home, give me a call. Let's talk about your options.
759 Frederick Court, Wyckoff
5BR, 4FB, 2HB all-brick Colonial
Open Sunday, November 18, 12-3 PM
Stop by and experience this state-of-the-art home with ELAN "Smart House" technology system. They thought of everything when designing and building this home! A gracious home with a warm, welcoming feel. You are in for a treat!
Open House Sunday, July 15, 1-4 PM
31 Howard Street
Directions: Godwin to Park to Howard
Just reduced to $1,074,900. Such an incredible value! Top-quality construction and upgrades. The perfect floor plan that everyone wants -- top-of-the-line Kitchen is open to the Great Room with Fireplace. First floor Office, walk-in pantry and laundry.
Spacious, bright bedrooms. Amazing Master Bedroom with 2 walk-in closets and luxe Master Bath.
Huge basement with high ceilings.
If this is your price range, don't miss this one!
Wondering about the Wyckoff real estate market? Here are last month’s numbers for single family homes, according to the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service.
While ten listings sold in May, June saw a jump to 28 closed listings! Of the homes that sold in June, the average list price was $625,818 and the average sold price was $587,504, which means that homes in Wyckoff were selling last month at 93.878% of their list price, on average. For the listings that sold, the average number of days they were on the market was 65, down from 102 in May.
Here are the June sold listings, as reported in the NJMLS:
ADDRESS PRICE STYLE BR FB HB DOM
459 BAXTER AVE $315,000 COL 3 2 0 129
188 WYCKOFF AVE $350,000 C/C 3 1 1 55
365 AUBURN ST $380,000 RANCH 3 2 0 72
356 DARTMOUTH ST $380,000 C/C 4 1 1 15
16 HARVARD AVE $405,000 C/C 3 1 1 10
256 VAN HOUTEN AVE $410,000 C/C 4 2 0 33
475 FRANKLIN AVE $440,000 RANCH 4 3 0 27
479 LOUISA AVE $455,000 COL 3 2 1 38
56 PRINCETON AVE $455,000 RANCH 3 2 0 32
44 WOODSIDE RD $465,100 RANCH 2 1 1 21
120 CRESCENT AVE $470,000 COL 3 2 0 17
394 CORNELL ST $490,000 COL 3 2 0 31
516 FRANKLIN AVE $540,000 S/L 4 2 1 11
362 DRAKE RD $540,000 RANCH 2 1 2 10
19 SHADYSIDE DR $565,000 RANCH 3 1 1 9
206 GODWIN AVE $570,000 COL 4 2 1 183
28 SHADYSIDE DR $575,000 COL 4 2 0 77
244 VAN HOUTEN AVE $630,000 COL 4 3 0 30
530 LAFAYETTE AVE $645,000 COL 4 3 1 176
7 COLONIAL DR $655,000 COL 4 3 1 69
489 JAMES WAY $670,000 COL 5 3 1 380
45 CULLY LN $700,000 COL 4 2 1 15
151 FOX HOLLOW RD $725,000 COL 4 2 1 46
715 LAUREL LN $785,000 RANCH 3 2 0 30
42 HOWARD ST $800,000 COL 5 4 0 42
510 HARVEST CT $800,000 COL 4 2 1 27
387 CEDAR HILL AVE $1,050,000 COL 5 3 1 116
520 OLD POST RD $1,185,000 COL 5 3 1 8
What's currently for sale? As of July 2, there are 75 active listings in Wyckoff, with an average list price of $953,264.
*Note: These properties were listed and sold by various participants of the NJMLS based on information from the New Jersey Multiple Listing Service, Inc. for the period June 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. Information deemed reliable, not guaranteed.
Click to set custom HTML
Looking for that Stunning, High-End Wyckoff Home WITHOUT a Swimming Pool? This is IT! Open House Sunday, June 10, 1-4 PM. Don't Miss It!
31 Howard Street, Wyckoff - $1,129,000
257 E. Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
201-445-4300 x 222 (office)
Email me at: