Should I Pay For Points When Buying a House?

Whether or not you should pay for points when buying a house depends on your specific financial situation and long-term goals. Points, in the context of a mortgage, are a form of prepaid interest that can lower your mortgage interest rate over the life of the loan. Each point typically costs 1% of the total loan amount and can lower your interest rate by a certain percentage, often 0.25% per point, although this can vary. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to pay for points: 1. Your Financial Situation:– Do you have the funds available to pay for points upfront without straining your finances?– Will paying for points affect your ability to cover other homeownership costs like a down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses? 2. How Long You Plan to Stay in the Home:– If you plan to stay in the home for a long time, […]

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How Do First Time Home Buyer Programs Work

First-time homebuyer programs are designed to assist individuals who are purchasing their first home by providing financial incentives, guidance, and support. These programs vary by location and can be offered at the federal, state, or local level. Here’s a general overview of how these programs typically work: 1. Eligibility Requirements:   – First-time buyer status: Typically, you must be a true first-time homebuyer, meaning you haven’t owned a home in the past several years. The exact definition of a first-time buyer may vary by program.   – Income limits: Many programs have income limits to ensure assistance goes to those who need it most.   – Home price limits: There may be restrictions on the maximum purchase price of the home you can buy.   – Credit score: You may need to have a minimum credit score to qualify for certain programs.   – Homeownership education: Some programs require completion of homebuyer education courses. 2. […]

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VA Appraisals: What Items Will They Call

During a VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) home appraisal, the appraiser’s primary goal is to determine the value of the property and ensure it meets the VA’s minimum property requirements (MPRs).  The MPRs are in place to ensure that the home is safe, sanitary, and structurally sound for veterans and their families. Here are some common safety items that an appraiser may call out during a VA home appraisal: Structural Issues: The appraiser will look for any significant structural problems, such as a sagging roof, foundation issues, or serious cracks in the walls. These issues can pose safety risks and may need to be addressed. Roof Condition: A damaged or deteriorating roof can lead to leaks and structural issues. The appraiser will assess the condition of the roof and may recommend repairs or replacement if necessary. Electrical Systems: Faulty wiring, outdated electrical panels, or other electrical hazards can be safety […]

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3 Tips to Decrease that Pesky Tax Bill

Tips to Decrease Your Tax Bill

Many families dread the week of April 18th (I cannot as my husband’s birthday falls within this week) because of the looming deadline that comes up every year – tax bill time.  Many families are excited at the prospect of receiving their W2s because it means refund time aka vacation money, house repairs, or maybe even stock in adult beverages to get them through the chaos until next month.  No judgment.  However, what I think many families do not know is that when you fill out your W-4 with your employer to withhold a higher amount of tax, you are in essence giving the government an interest-free loan. Wait, what?  Yes! You are paying taxes into a system that they ultimately use and are then responsible for repaying you for the “overage” that you have paid.  You do not get to collect interest on the “loan” you are providing.  This […]

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