Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. Itâs the culmination of years of intense saving and budgeting, months of open houses, and weeks of late-night strategizing and offer planning.
In 2020, buying a home has gotten even harder as the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the United States. Shopping for real estate during a crisis has always been difficult, but necessary safety measures taken to stop the spread of the virus have had a noticeable impact on how most people shop for homes.
One silver lining of this unfortunate situation is that many people in the real estate industry are finally seeing how technology makes the home buying process easier on both buyers and sellers. At Homie, we understand how technology like ours can help buyers and sellers save time and money. Letâs explore how you can leverage technology and other strategies to save money when you buy a home.
If youâre thinking of buying a home, the first thing you should do is take a long, hard look at your finances. The two most important financial factors are the amount you have saved for a down payment and your debt-to-income ratio.
The down payment amount is simple. Most of us grew up thinking that 20% was standard, but that isnât the case anymore. According to a 2017 industry survey, most homeowners only pay 7% down. Letâs all breathe a collective sigh of relief! With the average home value in Idaho rising every year, itâs a huge relief to know that you donât have to save the full 20% down payment.
While youâre saving for the down payment, you also need to think about your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). This value compares what you make each month to what you owe. You can still buy a house if you have debt from student loans or another source, but you need to ensure your DTI is as low as possible, preferably at or below the 28% standard.
Once youâve gotten your finances in order, you can start exploring mortgage rates and loans. Most people start with their bank. Thatâs a good start. However, they often make a critical mistake: they donât shop around for a good rate. If you only check at your bank, youâre missing great deals from companies like Homie Loans. Theyâre so confident no one else can beat their locked loan rate that theyâll give you $500 cash if you find a better deal.
Homie Loans doesnât just give you a good rate, the entire application online, so you donât even have to leave the house to get approved.
In addition to shopping around for a great mortgage rate at private companies and commercial banks, you can save tons of money by checking out your options for federal home buyer programs.
These programs are designed by the government and government agencies to ease the burden of homeownership. Each program is different: some require applicants to fall into certain income thresholds, while others are designed to assist veterans or individuals looking to buy homes in rural areas.
In addition to exploring federal home loan programs, many state agencies in Idaho have these programs available to residents. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has state-by-state guides for homeownership assistance programs, and lists many area-specific programs throughout Idaho.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find specific assistance for homeowners in your region. These programs may be smaller, but since theyâre regional, itâs usually easier to talk to a person on the phone and get practical advice for getting started on your journey to homeownership.
If youâve started your search and all of the suitable homes in your area are out of your price range, you may want to expand your search. The switch to remote work has affected many of us, making cities and other centers of work less reliably desirable. If youâre currently working remotely or have the opportunity to do so in the future, you may be able to expand your search to include larger homes in less urban areas.
Buying in a more urban location like Boise might also get easier with the rise of remote work. Since Boise is such a student-heavy town, classes and work going virtual have opened up real estate in the city. If youâre looking for a good deal on a smaller urban home or condo, this may be a good time to invest.
Another great way to save money when youâre buying a home in Idaho is to use a service like Homie. Instead of paying a high percentage of the final costs, youâll pay your Homie agent a low flat fee.
Homie also leverages technology to make the home buying process easier. The Homie family of companies makes everything that much smoother. Weâve brought everything from the mortgage to insurance under one roof, ensuring you donât have to run all over town to get papers signed and contracts approved. It all happens through Homie.
The best part of working with a Homie agent while buying a house is the refund of up to $2,500 we send you at the end of the process. The Homie team is always here to help buyers in Idaho save money. Get in touch with us today to start your journey towards homeownership.
Get more homebuying tips!
4 Ways to Outsmart the Competition When Buying a Home
5 Tips to Help You Afford Your First Home
Common Home Buying Fears and How To Overcome Them
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