Home-Buyers Guide: Savings and Down Payments

Image result for Down Payment on a home

Your First Step Toward Buying a Home

When preparing to buy a home, the first thing many homebuyers do is look at the real estate ads in newspapers, magazines and listings on the Internet. Some potential buyers read how-to articles like this one. The next thing you should do – before you call on an ad, before you talk to a REALTOR®, before you shop for interest rates – is look at your savings.

Why?

Because determining how much money you have available for down payment and closing costs affects almost every aspect of buying a home – including how you write your purchase offer, the loan programs you qualify for, and shopping for interest rates.

Mortgage Programs

If you only have enough available for a minimum down payment, your choices of loan program will be limited to only a few types of mortgages. If someone is giving you a gift for all or part of the down payment, your options are also limited. If you have enough for the down payment, but need the lender or seller to cover all or part of your closing costs, this further limits your options. If you borrow all or a portion of the down payment from your 401K or retirement plan, different loan programs have different rules on how you qualify.

Of course, if you have enough for a large down payment, then you have lots of choices.

Your loan choices include such varied programs as conventional fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages, buydowns, VA, FHA, graduated payment mortgages and all the varieties of each.

Shopping for Rates

A very important reason you need to have at least some idea of your down payment is for shopping for interest rates. Some loan programs charge a slightly higher interest rate for minimal down payments. Plus, the interest rates for different loan programs are not the same. For example, conventional, VA, and FHA all offer fixed rate loans. However, the rates vary from one program to another.Image result for mortgage rate

If you shop lenders by phone, the loan officer will be able to tell you which programs fit and quote your rates accordingly. However, if you are shopping on the Internet, you have to develop some idea of your loan program on your own.

Writing Your Offer

Another reason you need to have a clue about your down payment is because it affects how you write your offer to purchase a home. Not only are you required to put your down payment information in the offer, but also different loan programs have different rules that also affect how you write your offer. This is especially important when dealing with FHA and VA loans.

If you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs, you have to be certain your loan program allows what you are asking. For smaller down payments, lenders allow the seller to pay less closing costs than for larger down payments. Some loan programs will allow a seller to pay certain types of costs, but not others.

Image result for writing an offer homeFinally, your down payment also affects your ability to qualify for a loan. When you make a small down payment, lenders are fairly strict about having you conform to their underwriting guidelines. For larger down payments, they will tend to make allowances or exceptions to the rules.

Conclusion

As you can see, the down payment affects every choice you make when you buy a home. Although you should look at ads, familiarize yourself with neighborhoods, learn about prices, and read as much as you can – when you get ready to take action – the first thing you should do is figure out how much money you have available for the purchase.

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Restaurant of the Moment: Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado

3302 32nd St

San Diego, CA 92104

www.grandolebbq.com

Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado has established itself as one of the most authentic barbecue spots in town.  This Texas style BBQ has all of San Diego raving! They are open from Wednesdays through Sunday from 12-6pm with a menu of Central Texas-inspired barbecue that ranges from Brisket to Tri-tip to Smoked Turkey to Pulled Pork and giant Beef Ribs. They also have Smoked Salmon and Smoked Lamb for those looking for something a little different.

Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado often sells out early so make sure to check their Facebook and Twitter for updates! And be sure to note they have only outdoor seating so dress for the weather!

Design Trends: Cow Hide Rugs

Looking for an unexpected and chic way to update your home? Try a cowhide rug! Not just for ranch house, cow hide rugs can provide a glam accent to a living room, office, bedroom, and more! They come in a variety of colors, so you’re sure to find something that will mesh with the design you already have. Check out these ideas for inspiration!

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Cow skin rug with jute. I have this cowhide bought from IKEA $240AU <3

@newdarlings: Little Kitchen Nook - Boho - Mid-century interior style - @LoloiRugs - Cow Hide Rug

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6 Reasons Layering Rugs Will Make Your Home More Stylish

Recipe: Sausage and Spinach Skillet Pizza

Sausage and Spinach Skillet Pizza

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:

  • 15 – ounce can tomato sauce
  • tablespoons tomato paste
  • tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 – 6 – ounce package baby spinach
  • pound frozen pizza or bread dough, thawed
  • Olive oil
  • ounces bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
  • 6 -8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 1/2 to 2 cups)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, the oregano, basil and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  2. Place spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons water. Cover with a microwave-safe plate and microwave on 100% power (high) for 30 seconds. Continue cooking in 10 second intervals until just wilted. Remove and let stand for 2 minutes. Carefully remove plate. Transfer spinach to a sieve; press out excess liquid.
  3. Brush a 12-inch cast-iron or other heavy oven-going skillet with olive oil; set aside. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to a 14-inch circle. Transfer to prepared skillet. Roll edges to form a rim. Brush dough lightly with olive oil. Spread tomato sauce mixture over dough and top with sausage and spinach. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  4. Place skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Transfer to a 475 degrees F oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese and crust are lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Using a spatula, slide pizza out of skillet to a large cutting board and cut into wedges.

Nutrition Facts:

Servings Per Recipe: 6,

Monounsaturated fat (g) 9, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2, Folate (µg) 58, Riboflavin (mg) 0, sat. fat (g) 9, Niacin (mg) 2, carb. (g) 40, Thiamin (mg) 0, chol. (mg) 53, cal. (kcal) 449, iron (mg) 14, vit. A (IU) 2094, Fat, total (g) 23, vit. C (mg) 13, sugar (g) 5, Potassium (mg) 378, pro. (g) 19, calcium (mg) 215, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 1, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, sodium (mg) 1237, fiber (g) 3

 

The Functions of an Escrow

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Buying or selling a home (or other piece of real property) usually involves the transfer of large sums of money. It is imperative that the transfer of these funds and related documents from one party to another be handled in a neutral, secure and knowledgeable manner. For the protection of buyer, seller and lender, the escrow process was developed.

As a buyer or seller, you want to be certain all conditions of sale have been met before property and money change hands. The technical definition of an escrow is a transaction where one party engaged in the sale, transfer or lease of real or personal property with another person delivers a written instrument, money or other items of value to a neutral third person, called an escrow agent or escrow holder. This third person holds the money or items for disbursement upon the happening of a specified event or the performance of a specified condition.

Simply stated, the escrow holder impartially carries out the written instructions given by the principals. This includes receiving funds and documents necessary to comply with those instructions, completing or obtaining required forms and handling final delivery of all items to the proper parties upon the successful completion of the escrow.

The escrow must be provided with the necessary information to close the transaction. This may include loan documents, tax statements, fire and other insurance policies, title insurance policies, terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing, and requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds.

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If the transaction is dependent on arranging new financing, it is the buyer’s or the buyer’s agent’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements. Documentation of the new loan agreement must be in the hands of the escrow holder before the transfer of property can take place. A real estate agent can help identify appropriate lending institutions.

When all the instructions in the escrow have been carried out, the closing can take place. At this time, all outstanding funds are collected and fees- such as title insurance premiums, real estate commissions, termite inspection charges- are paid. Title to the property is then transferred under the terms of the escrow instructions and appropriate title insurance is issued.

Payment of funds at the close of escrow should be in the form acceptable to the escrow, since out-of-town and personal checks can cause days of delay in processing the transaction.

The following items represent a typical list of what an escrow holder does and does not do:

THE ESCROW HOLDER:

  • serves as the neutral “stakeholder” and the communications link to all parties in the transaction;
  • prepares escrow instructions;
  • requests a preliminary title search to determine the present condition of title to the property;
  • requests a beneficiary’s statement if debt or obligation is to be taken over by the buyer;
  • complies with lender’s requirements, specified in the escrow agreement;
  • receives purchase funds from the buyer;
  • prepares or secures the deed or other documents related to escrow;
  • prorates taxes, interest, insurance and rents according to instructions;
  • secures releases of all contingencies or other conditions as imposed on any particular escrow;
  • records deeds and any other documents as instructed;
  • requests issuance of the title insurance policy;
  • closes escrow when all the instructions of buyer and seller have been carried out;
  • disburses funds as authorized by instructions, including charges for title insurance, recording fees, real estate commissions and loan payoffs;
  • prepares final statements for the parties accounting for the disposition of all funds deposited in escrow (these are useful in the preparation of tax returns).

THE ESCROW HOLDER DOES NOT:

  • offer legal advice;
  • negotiate the transaction;
  • offer investment advice.

Your local title company should be happy to provide additional information.

Article by CLTA

Pinteresting 5: Autumn Inspired Front Porches

Embrace the fall season and everything it has to offer! Turn your home into an pumpkin spice latte this season with these cool front porch ideas! There are a bunch of creative and unique fall-themed decorations and  designs to choose from. Using many classic, fall adornments ranging from pumpkins to haystacks, your front porch can be transformed into an autumn wonderland. Check out some of these amazing fall inspired front porches!

All images via our Pinterest

Spell out BOO on your front porch with Birch Twig Wreaths -- a festive welcome for neighbors, friends, and family who stop by.

Fall decoration                                                                                                                                                      More

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We can't get enough of fall front porch inspo from the Home Channel blog.

 

 

 

 

Design Trends: Marble/Stone Floors

Marble and stone floors are among the most luxurious of flooring materials. Often found in bathrooms, they can make a statement elsewhere in the home, in kitchens, hallways, entry ways, staircases, and more. It can even be mixed with hardwood flooring to create a spectacular effect. Marble and stone floors are also among some of the most expensive choices for flooring, depending on quality.

All images via Pinterest

Extravagant bathroom with marble all over and a big big tub... A place to relax! #luxury #bathroom #tub

Floors + ceiling. This is my favorite combination of color and texture.

Small gray u-shaped kitchen clad in polished marble floor tiles boasts stacked gray shaker cabinet fixed above gray shaker lower cabinets accented with polished nickel hardware, an under counter microwave, and a white quartz countertop.

Tundra Tumbled Marble Flooring | An antique finish in a random layout | Mandarin Stone

Calacatta white gloss floor tiles have a stylish marble effect finish in either grey or beige. These large white tiles are made from quality porcelain and are an attractive, hardwearing option for any home. Please contact Direct Tile Warehouse for help with choosing white floor tiles.