Debra Parker's Blog
You already know that closing costs on a home can come at a hefty price. There are a few ways that you can actually cut down on the amount of closing costs that you may have on a home.
Compare The Costs
You have the right to shop around for a lender who offers the lowest closing costs. You can even ask your lender to match the closing costs of another lender that may have them for a lower fee. Certain fees that are included in the closing are negotiable and flexible. You’re allowed to shop around for inspections, title searches, surveys, and the like. There’s nothing that says you have to go with the company recommended by your lender for each. There should be a list of services that is included in the closing costs on your estimate that you receive form the lender.
Question What Each Fee Covers
When you get the loan estimate, don’t just accept it. Take a look at each item and inquire what the fee includes. See why each item costs as much as it does. Be on the lookout for fees with similar names. The lender could be double charging you without your knowledge. It’s always good to be informed especially where large investments are involved.
You have the right to negotiate with your lender on the closing costs. You can ask for obscure and unnecessary costs to be taken off from the closing. Getting the closing disclosure form as soon as you can will also help you to settle any discrepancies before it’s too late.
Ask The Seller
Some sellers will even be willing to sweeten the deal for you by either lowering the sale price of the home or covering some or all of the closing costs. Depending on the market, you may be able to get the seller to help reduce your burden of the closing costs.
If You’re Refinancing
Every time that you refinance your home, you’ll need to pay closing costs. There are a couple of ways that you can save in this situation. One is to waive the appraisal altogether. If the home has recently been appraised, you may be able to waive the appraisal completely. You can also request an automatic appraisal rather than a full appraisal in order to save some money.
The other option that you have when refinancing to save money is to save on the title insurance. You can ask for what’s called a re-issue date, which is a less expensive rate for the title insurance for refinancers.
Closing costs are a part of the process when you buy a home. If you’re careful, you might be able to save some money on these mandatory fees.
For many of us, it can seem like our paychecks are gone before we even get a chance to see them. With seemingly endless bills and expenses, both recurring and unforeseen, saving up for a house is a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are ways you can prepare yourself for those intimidating down payments and many closing costs.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through how you can start saving for a home right this moment. After all, every day is another day you could be contributing to your savings and taking another step closer to owning your own home.
Use a Budgeting Tool
The first step to saving and determining how much you can save is to start budgeting. Many people hear the term “budget” and get nervous thinking they’ll have to start counting the number of coffees they buy. However, there are less anxiety-inducing ways to budget.
From your phone, tablet, or computer you have access to a large number of free budgeting tools. Mint, You Need a Budget (YNAB), and PocketGuard are three of the top budgeting tools that will get you started.
With apps that integrate with your bank accounts and loan balances, there is little work required on your part. Just set an amount to save each week or month, and direct the funds into your savings account.
Set up a dedicated savings account
Speaking of savings accounts--now is a great time to set up a new one. It’s almost always free to open a new account with your bank. What’s more, it’s a lot less tempting to pull from a savings account when it’s labeled something like “HOUSE SAVINGS - DO NOT TOUCH.”
Once you have your budgeting app and bank account set up, it’s time to dig into some of the ways you can save money without skipping meals.
Cutting Monthly Expenses
Rather than telling yourself you can’t buy any more fancy Starbucks drinks anymore until you have a house (don’t torture yourself), make a list of all your monthly expenses. That can include anything from Netflix and Spotify to haircuts and car washes.
A great way to make this list is to go through your credit and debit card transactions. If you have autopay set up, you might not even realize how many services are withdrawing directly from your accounts each month.
For each item on your list, determine if you can either eliminate the expense or spend less on it. Maybe you go for the deluxe car war rather than the basic. Or, you might pay for services you don’t use as much as you used to.
If you’re worried about having no entertainment if you drop Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, you could try out your local library system. Most of the time you can have books, movies, and music shipped for free from all around your state.
When it comes to cable, cell phone plans, car insurance, and other monthly bills give your provider a call and tell them you’re thinking about switching over to a cheaper competitor. They’ll likely offer you a discounted rate. If they don’t, follow through on your promise and call other providers to see if you can get better rates.
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When you sell your home, there’s a cost associated with getting a return on your investment. Certain mistakes that many sellers make when deciding to sell their home can actually cost thousands of dollars in expenses. Before you decide to sell, read on to see what you can do to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Hire A Professional To Sell Your Home
Many people think that they can sell their home on their own. It’s the best practice to hire a professional to sell your home. Even in a seller’s market, a realtor can help you to get the best price on the sale of your home.
Remove Your Things Before The Sale Of The Home
Your clutter will undoubtedly affect the value of your home. People can’t see what their life would be like in your home if there’s too many things in the way. While one man’s trash sometimes is another man’s treasure, it certainly isn’t in the case of selling your home.
Don’t Leave An Empty House For The Showing
While too much clutter is bad, it does make a difference for the home to actually be lived in. If possible, don’t leave a completely empty home. Buyers need something to help them visualize what life will be like living in the home. Home searchers want to see how functional the home will be for them.
Don’t Neglect Repairs
You should take care of any repairs that need to be made before your home goes on the market. Any repairs that you don’t make will likely be discovered during the home inspection. Before you even list your home, make sure that you take care of any major issues that are around your home like a leaky roof or cracked tile. This will save you a major headache later, because you won’t need to scramble to fix things after the home inspection. Buyers will also be more impressed with the home if there’s little to fix.
Don’t Overprice Or Underprice Your Home
If you don’t properly price your home, it could lead to a few major issues. You may be left wondering if you could have made more money on your home. On the flip side, your home could sit on the market for a long time, leaving buyers wondering what could be wrong with your property as to why it’s not selling.
Be Sure To Stage The Home
People will purchase a home based on what they see and how they feel. If your on-the-market home doesn’t look polished, there will be less interest in it. You don’t need to go overboard and make your home look like something out of a magazine, just make sure it’s clean. Things like dirty laundry on the floor, trash laying around, and papers on the tables are big turn offs for buyers.
With a little planning, the sale of your home should be a smooth and profitable one.