Buying A House As Is - Written by Libby Wells Libby WellsWritten by Arrow Right Credit Cards, a former contributing author, covers banking and deposit products. She has over 30 years of experience as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and online publications. Libby Wells and Rae Hartley Beck by Rae Hartley BeckArrow Right Contributing author Rae Hartley Beck is a writer and editor with more than eight years of experience in personal finance. Their work was most recently published in MoneyWise and Investopedia. Rae specializes in credit card rewards, investment, real estate, home remodeling, loans and financial advice for Millennials, Gen Z, Alphas and their parents. Rae Hartley Beck
Edited by Michele Petry Edited by Michele PetryArrow Right Senior Editor, Home Loan Michele Petry is the senior editor presenting the site's real estate content. Connect with Michele Petry on LinkedIn Linkedin Contact Michele Petry via email Email Michele Petry
Buying A House As Is
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Renting gives you the freedom to move whenever you want without the responsibilities of hosting. But at some point many people miss their own home. Buying a home is a great way to start building financial security. As you pay off your mortgage, you create a valuable financial resource, home equity.
Of course, home prices and mortgage rates aren't exactly working in your favor these days. Rates have essentially doubled from 2022, and home prices have risen sharply as well. While the housing market has slowed somewhat, high rates mean monthly mortgage payments can be challenging, even a barrier to owning a home.
“Now, driven by rising mortgage interest rates and the continued and significant rise in home prices nationwide, the affordability of homes is becoming a challenge for many prospective homeowners,” says Hamrick. “When it's time to buy, it's worth doing research to find the best mortgage interest rate. While there are other factors that help determine monthly payments, too many buyers focus solely on the price of the house.”
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Do you often find yourself wondering whether you want to rent or buy a house? Here are eight signs you're ready to make the transition from tenant to landlord.
Rental prices have increased significantly across the country over the past few years, according to Rent.com. The data show that the national average rent was $1,682 in March 2020, at the beginning of the epidemic, and increased to $1,937 from March 2023.
Rising rents make it harder to budget for monthly housing costs and save for other financial goals. When paying rent starts to feel like a bad investment and you want to build equity for the future, it's time to consider a mortgage, says Bill Golden, Keller Williams Realty Realty Intown Atlanta Realtor.
Many tenants are willing to buy a home when they are financially stable, motivated by pride of ownership, and want more control over their home, Golden says. "If you're interested in one or more of these, at least look into the possibility of having it," he says. “If you see your rent increase significantly and you feel trapped, the balance may be shifting in the direction of buying. Your monthly cost may be lower on a purchase."
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Some tenants are unable to transition into home ownership because they are not eligible for a mortgage. Low credit scores are a common cause: A late payment history or too much debt hurts your score. Bruce McClary, senior vice president of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Washington DC, says that one of the signs that you are ready to buy a home is that you have a stronger credit score.
Borrowers with a credit score of less than 500 may qualify for some home loans, but will need to make larger down payments and pay higher rates. A good credit score gives you better interest rates and loan terms.
"It may take time to build a credit history or overcome a loss of credit, but the goal of home ownership under these circumstances is still realistic," says McClary. "Getting help from a nonprofit housing advisory agency that also offers credit counseling programs can make a huge difference for anyone struggling with these barriers to owning a home."
If you want to fix your credit before you buy a home, get a free copy of your credit report and review it carefully. Look at what lowers your score and focus on improving in these areas as well as paying off debt in general.
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Another thing lenders look at when screening mortgage applicants is the debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. This is an important metric that is calculated by adding up all monthly liabilities and then dividing the total by your gross monthly income. The higher your DTI, the more risk you pose to the lender. Use the DTI calculator to find yours.
Some traditional loans allow a DTI of up to 50 percent, but most lenders opt for no more than 43 percent. A lower DTI will also give you more room in your budget to fund the emergency fund for home repairs and other unexpected expenses.
"Keeping low credit card balances and debt in check is beneficial in many ways," says McClary. "Keeping your balance at or below 30 percent of the current credit limit has a positive effect on your credit score." If your credit utilization rate is above this limit, you may want to improve it before applying for a housing loan. You can do this even after they've been paid, by paying your bills and keeping your credit cards open.
“First-time home buyers have no income from another home to help finance the down payment. This is one of the main reasons the down payment is the biggest hurdle.
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