Last year, even in the midst of the Coronavirus, CNBC reported that U.S. homes had a median selling price of $327,100.
Even though this seems expensive, on an intuitive level, this makes sense – doesn’t it?
After all, most people understand that houses don’t come cheap.
Between closing costs, furnishing costs, and property taxes, it can quickly start to feel as if you’re being forced to choose between your heart and your wallet when you’re looking to buy a home.
If you know how to pick your spots, however, it’s possible to buy your dream home while also getting a few discounts along the way.
Here’s a list of 4 methods that you can use to potentially save big dollars on your next home purchase.
Method #1: Being Patient
When you desperately want to be a homeowner, it can be tempting to snap up the first property that looks good and fits your budget.
And in fact, depending on your market, this is a strategy that may even make sense.
However, as a general rule, being too quick to buy a house can prevent you from getting the best deal possible.
Not just in terms of finding once-in-a-lifetime deeply-discounted foreclosure bargains, but also in terms of spotting opportunities to knock a few thousand dollars off of your dream property.
Is the patio extra worn out and in need of sanding and repainting?
Could the carpet use a serious deep clean?
These are the types of finer details that can really help you establish a position during the negotiation process.
Method #2: Get Quotes from Multiple Lenders
If you’ve been doing most of your daily financial transactions through a particular bank or credit union, it can be tempting to apply for a mortgage at the same place.
After all, there’s something to be said for the value of centralizing your finances, right?
However, simply because your mortgage interest rate has such a major impact on your expected monthly costs, you stand to save a lot of money if you’re willing to shop around.
Not only will comparing quotes give you a solid sense of whether or not your offered rate is a little steep compared to other places, but it’ll also make it possible for you to get a hold of some genuinely awesome service providers who offer equally fantastic rates.
Method #3: Have a 20% Down Payment
There are a lot of reasons to have feelings of “Meh” towards the idea of a 20% down payment.
It takes time to raise the funds. It’s a substantial amount of cash that could just as easily be broken up into a 10% down payment and a substantial emergency fund. And even when you can raise the money, it’s not always realistic to hit that 20% marker within a reasonable timeframe.
But here’s the thing:
A larger down payment can save you money in at least two ways.
First, because you won’t have to ask for as large of an amount for your home purchase. And second, because you also don’t have to pay for mortgage insurance.
Even if you change nothing else about your home buying efforts, you can potentially save yourself a substantial amount of money just by having a higher down payment amount.
Method #4: Work on Improving Your Credit Score
Remember how we talked earlier about how getting a lower interest rate by shopping lenders can affect your monthly mortgage payments?
It turns out that the number with the biggest effect on your interest rate is actually your credit score.
The exact number you need to snag those ultra-low interest offers differs from source to source. While Business Insider recommends a 740 credit score, CNBC suggests that the ideal number is 760. But in any case, it’s clear that a higher credit score will save you money in the long run.
The good news is that improving your credit score isn’t difficult to do even if it sometimes takes a bit of time. Adopting solid financial habits that include lowering your balances and taking steps towards a manageable credit utilization ratio can do a lot to boost your credit score in a relatively short amount of time.
If you’re like most Americans, your future home could very well be the most expensive asset you personally own.
But just because your home is the definition of a major purchase, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to save a few thousand dollars here and there. With the help of the four tips you just read, you might be surprised at just how much you can save during your home buying journey.