Overcoming Anxiety as a First-Time Home Buyer

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 3rd, 2021

Overcoming Anxiety as a First-Time Home BuyerThere are many people who are thinking about buying a home for the first time. Even though this is an exciting experience, there are also people who develop anxiety when purchasing a home. This is a major financial decision, and it is critical to get it right. What do people need to do if they want to overcome anxiety as first-time homebuyers?

Maximize The Credit Score

Before applying for a home loan, everyone should maximize their credit score. Everyone has the right to request one free credit report per year. This is an opportunity for people to take a look at their credit reports and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. The higher the credit score is, the easier it will be to qualify for a home loan. Furthermore, those with high credit scores may also qualify for lower interest rates. 

Pay Down Existing Debt

It is also a solid idea for people to pay down as much of their debt as possible. Having a lot of debt can put a significant strain on resources when trying to buy a house. Car loans, auto loans, and credit card debt can make it difficult for people to afford a home. Debt consolidation may be a great way to make it easier for people to afford a home. 

Safe Enough For A Down Payment

Housing prices are going up, and it might be difficult for first-time homebuyers to save enough for a down payment. Even though the traditional number is 20 percent down, it is possible for first-time homebuyers to qualify for a home loan with as little as 3.5 percent down. Remember to save enough money for closing costs as well. 

Stay Under Budget

Finally, anyone purchasing a home for the first time should also stay under budget. It is critical to work with a professional who can calculate what an affordable home price might be. That way, individuals do not have to worry about falling behind on their mortgage payments. Remember that a mortgage payment is going to stay the same for the life of the loan. Therefore, as income goes up, the home should become more affordable, helping people put their anxieties at ease. 


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How Much Will Your Child Tax Credit Be?

Posted in Taxes by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 22nd, 2021

How Much Will Your Child Tax Credit Be?There are millions of homeowners that are parents waiting for their advance child tax credits to arrive; however, they might not be sure exactly how much money they are going to get. This makes it difficult to set a budget. Some parents could expect to receive $300 per month between now and December. The rest of the credit should arrive after filing their tax returns next year. How much will parents receive?

The Process Of Calculating A Child Tax Credit

Because of recent changes in federal tax laws, the expanded child tax credit has increased the limit from $2,000 (the limit in 2020) to a maximum of $3,600; however, not every parent is going to receive $3,600.

Children under the age of five years are eligible for the maximum amount of $3,600. Children who are in secondary school (between the ages of six and 17 years) are eligible for a maximum payment of $3,000 per child. Children who are 18 years of age or in college full-time (up to age 24) are eligible for a one-time payment of $500 each.

In addition, these payment amounts will vary depending on the adjusted gross income of the family. Keep in mind that these numbers are estimates only and could vary from family to family. Anyone with questions or concerns about how much money they are going to receive should speak with a tax professional for more information.

Will Expanded Child Tax Credits Be Expanded In The Future?

Fortunately, there are online payment portals available, saving families the trouble of filing an amended tax return for these payments; however, will these payments be extended into the future? There is a possibility that Congress could decide to extend the duration of monthly child tax credits in upcoming stimulus bills. With millions of people still collecting unemployment benefits, the government might be forced to extend child tax credits to make life easier for the millions of people who are suffering.

Right now, families should not assume these tax credits are going to get extended until Congress passes formal legislation. While the government might decide to pass another law similar to the American Rescue Plan, passed earlier this year, nothing is guaranteed. Families should budget for this year’s child tax credit accordingly.

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It’s Not Just a Mortgage: Understanding the Financial Implications of Buying a New Home

Posted in Home Buyer Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 18th, 2015

It's Not Just a Mortgage: Understanding the Financial Implications of Buying a New HomeWhen it comes to home ownership, the biggest buzzword of them all is mortgage and it’s often all people think about when it comes to price. While the ‘m’ word will be a large part of the expense that goes into owning a house, it’s important to be aware of all of the other costs that are aligned with having a home. From taxes to utilities, here are some of the other items that you won’t be able to do without once you’ve made the big purchase.

The Perils of Property Tax

Outside of the mortgage, one of the other more marked expenses you’ll be paying when you delve into home ownership is property tax, which will be determined by the place you live in. While this amount can be quite pricy or more modest, you’ll be able to determine how it will impact your bottom line by dividing it into twelve monthly costs per year.

All the Utilities that Matter

In a small apartment where many utilities are often included, power and heat might seem like a minor cost, but a bigger space means a bigger cost when it comes to the basic necessities of home life. From heating your home during a cold winter to using the stove, this can be a significant cost if you have a sizeable living space.

The Necessity of Insurance

Insurance may seem like something you can forgo if you’re in an apartment building, but when you’ve already invested considerably in the purchase of a house, it’s very important to protect your assets. With insurance, you can often customize a package that will best serve the interests of your home in case something goes wrong.

Don’t Forget About Maintenance!

One of the great things about having a landlord is that you don’t have to worry about small fix-ups like your cabinet falling off or your kitchen sink springing a leak. Unfortunately, when purchasing a home you become your own landlord and this means that the responsibility for all the issues that arise is in your hands, so you‘ll have to pay out of your own pocket.

There are a lot of costs that go along with purchasing a home, but by being prepared and knowing what they are you can make a more informed decision. If you’d like to know more about other costs associated with home ownership, you should consider contacting your local real estate expert for more information.

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Worried About Mortgage Rates Going Up? Steps to Prepare Yourself Financially

Posted in Home Mortgage Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 8th, 2015

Worried About Mortgage Rates Going Up? 3 Steps to Prepare Yourself FinanciallyMortgage rates have been at record lows for quite some time, making it easy for new homebuyers to finance their dream homes. But what comes down will eventually go back up, and with the world economy expected to rebound in 2016, we’re about to start seeing more expensive mortgages.

So what can you do to prepare yourself before mortgage rates start to rise? Here are some strategies that will keep you ahead of the game.

Start Saving More Money Now

If you have a variable rate mortgage, you’ve benefited from great interest rates that this world won’t see again for quite some time. Hopefully, you’ve taken advantage of this low-interest period to save up some cash. If so, you’re going to be in a great position for when interest rates rise – and if not, you’ll want to start saving as much as you can now to ensure you can weather the storm.

It’s far easier to save money now, with interest rates low, than it will be when your mortgage payment starts to rise. So start squirreling away as much of your paycheck as you can.

Pay Down as Much of Your Principal as Possible

Another great way to prepare for the rise in interest rates is to pay down your principal amount. The total amount of interest you’ll pay goes up when rates go up, but by paying down your principal, you can take a big bite out of your debt before it has a chance to snowball. So pay down as much of your principal as you can afford – it’s easier to pay down interest on a smaller principal amount.

Switch to a Fixed Rate Mortgage

One of the best ways to take advantage of low rates and ensure you get a great deal is to switch your floating rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage. Locking in your low interest rate with a fixed rate mortgage means you’ll pay less interest over the term of the loan, but it also means you’ll only have a set amount of time to pay your mortgage in full. If you’re in a position to predict when you can pay back your mortgage, you’ll save a lot of money by locking in your low rate.

Move to a Smaller More Affordable Home

If the home that you have now is just too much for you, you may consider downsizing. Moving from a large home into a smaller house or condo has not only the benefits of a smaller mortgage and more flexibility, it can also offer a lower utility bill and less cleaning. Downsizing can be stressful, but with a solid plan  you can transition to a smaller home and and save a good amount. If you are considering this option, contact your trusted real estate agent for more information on what would work best for your situation.

Mortgage rates haven’t been this low in a long time, and likely won’t be this low again for many years to come. That’s why, if you’re a homeowner, you’ll want to do everything you can to prepare for higher interest rates before they get here.

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