A new home is no small purchase, and finding ways to save money both before and after buying can be a huge help. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or in the market for a new place, try these money-saving tips:
Always Use a Real Estate Agent
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to buy a home without a licensed real estate agent. A professional can be of immense help during the purchase process. Not only can an agent help with paperwork, but they’ll also know how to negotiate the price using fair market value, the actual condition of the home and other various factors.
Shop Around for Lenders
Like with any purchase, shopping around is a smart way to save. When seeking a mortgage, contact multiple lenders. You’ll be able to better understand your loan options, as well as compare estimated monthly payments and interest rates, to get the best deal for you. Do some research to find reputable lenders, and ask your real estate agent for recommendations.
Try Not to Pay PMI
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is tacked on to your monthly mortgage payment if you buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment. This extra expense can add thousands of dollars to the cost of homeownership. Save money in the long run by trying to save at least 20 percent for your home, or purchase a home that fits into a slightly smaller budget.
Find Better Insurance Rates
Similar to auto insurance and health insurance, monthly property insurance premiums vary depending on the company that underwrites the policy. Spend time shopping around at different insurance companies until you find the one that offers an affordable rate and sufficiently covers your property. After buying your home, check periodically to see if you can find a better deal.
Reduce Your Property Taxes
This is a very popular and often effective way to save money on a new home. If you think the assessed value of your home is too high, ask for a review. A different assessor will come out, perform an inspection and make any adjustments, if necessary. While this doesn’t always work, it’s worth a shot if you want to save as much money as possible.
Make Additional Monthly Payments
If your mortgage payment is low enough where you can consistently pay more each month, doing so could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of the mortgage and reduce the number of months you’ll need to pay. However, be aware that some lenders may penalize borrowers for paying off loans early. Check with your lender to see if your mortgage includes pre-payment penalties.
There are a variety of methods consumers can use to save money, both upfront and during the course of their mortgage. To avoid financial issues in the future, always purchase a home that’s within your set price range and never buy a home with zero money down; doing so will make it much harder for you to borrow against the property in the future.
Source: Kara Masterson/RISMedia’s Housecall