Buying a home isn’t as easy as walking up to a lender and requesting a mortgage. You’ll need cash for a down payment and the loan’s closing costs, unless you’re applying for a VA or USDA loan.
If you’ll be going after a conventional loan, you’ll typically (but not always) need 20 percent of the loan amount as the down payment.
Right now, the median sales price of a home in the U.S. is $240,000. Based on that price, you’ll need to come up with between $8,400 and $48,000 (depending on the loan program) just for the down payment.
Then, there are closing costs to consider. These vary, but they are typically between 2 and 5 percent of the loan amount.
Unless you have a stack of cash sitting around, you’ll need to start saving, and that takes careful planning. A well-though out budget is your road map.
It’s important to get your budget in writing, whether that means using a spreadsheet, paper and pencil or personal finance software. Financial guru Dave Ramsey recommends the free budgeting software at everydollar.com or try Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe
The most basic of budgets includes your income and your outgo. Income should include all money from all sources.
Outgo includes not only your fixed expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments and installment loan payments, but variable expenses (utilities, telephone, etc.) and every single penny you spend on a daily basis.
Some spending that is frequently overlooked by budgeters includes:
- Money given to charity
- Dining out (yes, even that bagel and coffee you stop for each morning)
- Transportation expenses (fuel, insurance, tolls and parking)
- Auto maintenance
- Pets (food, accessories, vet visits)
Keep a small notebook on you while you’re away from home so that you can quickly jot down the small purchases we all make every day. These may include items such as coffee and bus fare.
Give it a Trial Run
Take the new budget for a spin for a month or two and see how it fits and adjust where necessary.
Your budget will show you where you spend your money every week. More important, it will show you areas you can cut ― unnecessary spending that you can add to your house fund instead.
By the way, open an online savings account in which to stash your house fund and forego the debit card. Without a debit card, these accounts are a bit harder to access than a brick and mortar bank so you’ll be less tempted to raid the account.
Choose a fee-free account such as those offered by:
Today’s homebuyer has options when it comes to buying a home for the least amount of cash out-of-pocket. Go for one of the low-down payment programs and ensure your real estate agent requests that the seller pay a closing cost credit.
These two items alone will slash your cash out-lay tremendously and you’ll be in your new home sooner, rather than later.
Follow along on Social Media:
Check out the link below to continue your journey on one of our signature Suburban Excursion Tours.
Email me for your free copies of Westchester Magazine’s Best of & Ultimate Guide. Include: Name, Address, Phone, Email.
Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS
Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.
Professional Associations & Accreditation
Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS). Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s
Jennifer Facebook Page: facebook.
Jennifer’s #FromNYCtoWestchesterLiving Facebook Group
Jennifer’s Instagram: instagram.com/TheWestchesterLivingTeam