Buying a home is one of the most exciting events in many consumers’ lives. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. Between the down payment, closing costs, brokerage fees and furnishing the property, the overall price tag for homeownership can be more than many first-time buyers realize. However, there are several ways to keep these costs low.
First and foremost, it’s crucial that individuals choose a home that they can truly afford. Most industry professionals discourage consumers from purchasing a home with a mortgage payment that exceeds 28 percent of their take-home pay. This ensures that they are not using too much of their resources on housing costs. Even if homeowners can feasibly make the payment, a large mortgage obligation may prevent individuals from building sufficient savings and contributing to their retirement nest egg. Enrolling in housing counseling prior to submitting a mortgage application can give borrowers the resources they need to make a more informed choice about how much they can afford.
In addition to saving money on the actual home, there are several ways to negotiate closing costs, fees and the price of the house itself. Many Americans may not realize that when it comes to a home purchase, everything is negotiable. Individuals should begin with the price of the home itself.
If there are several repairs that need to be made or the home is priced significantly higher than the market estimate, it’s okay to make a lower offer on the home. In some cases, buyers may agree to the seller’s asking price, but ask that they make repairs or upgrades before closing, the Washington Post explains. In addition, buyers may request that sellers cover the costs of closing on the property or even paying for the first year of home warranty coverage.
Other costs are also negotiable, namely certain expenses associated with closing on the home. For example, most sellers will agree to pay the cost of title insurance if the buyer is adamant about it. In addition, there are several fees that typically called garbage costs and refer to the price of processing certain documents. These include settlement costs, underwriting fees and application fees. Consumers who come across these should immediately question their lender and ask that these be waived.