START THE YEAR OFF RIGHT BY REVIEWING YOUR BILLS

The start of the year is a great time to review your finances.

2020 is around the corner and —hopefully starts with a bang—it is an ideal time to take a look at all of your bills. As the past year cruised by you may have added cell phone plans, changed cable and internet subscriptions, and signed up for trial offers (which automatically turned into pay subscriptions).

It is a good habit to look at your bills and inspect them for ways to save money. Call your services and see if you can take advantage of new promotional offers or remove services that you are no longer using. Common bills to find new savings on are cell phones, cable TV, internet service, home phone, streaming video services, and any other online subscriptions you may have.

WHICH DOWN PAYMENT STRATEGY IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.

But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.

THE DOWNSIDE

The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.

THE UPSIDE

The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you put down 20 percent or three percent, the increase in equity is the same. If you’re looking at your home as an investment, putting down a smaller amount can lead to a higher return on investment, while also leaving more of your savings free for home repairs, upgrades, or other investment opportunities.

THE HAPPY MEDIUM

Of course, your home payment options aren’t binary. Most borrowers can find some common ground between the security of a traditional 20 percent and an investment-focused, small down payment. Your trusted real estate professional can provide some answers as you explore your financing options.

Chris Booth, Realtor® @ eXp Realty, LLC SL3338071

Cell: 407-473-0160

Email: chris@chrisboothrealtor.com