Blog

8 Secrets For Saving Thousands !

8 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Finding, Buying and Financing Your Next Home

Here’s A Helpful Guide For Buying The Right Home, At The Right Price, And Getting The Right Financing…

“You Don’t Make Money When You Sell Real Estate, You Make Money When You BUY It!”
Dear Home Buyer,

Do you see the statement above? Someone once told me it was written backwards…that you only make money when you SELL real estate. “How on earth could you make money when you buy it?” he said.

But that statement is accurate. You might receive your sales proceeds when you sell your home, but it’s how well you BOUGHT your home that will determine HOW MUCH your proceeds will be.

But the story doesn’t end there. Finding the right home, and making a prudent financial investment is more involved than just “buying right.” You also need to FINANCE it right.

Even Experienced Homeowners Make Costly Mistakes
When Buying And Financing Their Home

Hi, my name is Jessica Dodge, and I specialize in helping people buy the right home at the right price…AND right financing.

It’s no surprise that borrowing $100,000…$200,000 or more is a lot of money. And how to FIND the right home…how much to PAY for the home…how much to BORROW…and on what FINANCIAL TERMS can literally mean tens of thousands of dollars MORE or LESS in your pocket!

If you’re like most people, the decision to buy a home involves a number of stresses and strains. For about 80% of buyers, it’s the single largest financial transaction of their lives. Mistakes in any part of the buying process can cost you thousands.

That’s why I wrote this special report…to give you a number of helpful, straightforward tips for finding a home that meets your needs, AND becomes a wise financial investment for you.

Here are eight strategies (I call them “secrets” because so many home buyers disregard them when buying) you should consider when buying your next home…

Secret #1: Understand What You NEED In Your Next Home.

Two things you need to consider here: Your NEEDS…and your WANTS. They’re two very different things.

You may need four bedrooms because of your children, or need a 3-car garage because of your three cars.

What you’ll find is your needs are fairly basic. It’s the “wants” that take a little more time to clarify. Here is a list of needs you should consider before looking for your home:

  • General price range of home. We’ll cover this ahead when discussing financing options and the amount of home you can afford.

  • Approximate size of home (in sq. footage). Make it a reasonable range.

  • General location, area, or subdivision.

  • Number of bedrooms required. Don’t forget to include any home offices or guest rooms.

  • Number of bathrooms you need. Frequently determined by the number of children you have.

  • Style and layout of home. Do you want a more formal plan, or a contemporary plan with great room designs, etc.

  • School requirements or districts.

Secret #2: Understand What You WANT In Your Next Home.

A great way to get a handle on your wants is to take a good look at your present home. What do you like about it? Do you like its open floor plan? Do you like the kitchen and eating areas? Do you like the common area layout?

List out everything you like about your present home, or homes you’ve visited.

Now, let’s take a look at what you don’t like about your home. Do you hate the flat roof? Do you hate the master bedroom layout? Are the bedrooms too small? Is the kitchen too far from the garage?

If you dislike something with your present home, you’re going to dislike it with your new home. So the better you can identify these items, the more likely you are to avoid them.

Here’s a good suggestion: Take out a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. In the left column, write down everything you like about your present home. In the right column, write down everything you dislike about your present home. It’s also important you understand WHY you dislike something.

Now, from your list of “likes,” let’s compile a list of features you want for your new home. Here’s an important tip that will help you really narrow your focus.

Take out another sheet of paper and put two columns on it. On the left hand side, you will be listing out the features of your home. And on the right hand side, you’ll be listing out the benefits. For each feature, you want to list the benefit of that feature.

Features tell you what something IS: three bedroom, two bath, 3-car garage, etc. Benefits tell you what something DOES. Benefits fulfill desires.
For example, a great room concept (feature) will be ideal for entertaining friends and family at special times (benefit). So on the left hand side, you would put “great room.” And on the right hand side, list out all the benefits (or reasons) for the “great room” design: family entertaining, business entertaining, Thanksgiving holidays with the family, etc.

Understand What Each Other Is Looking For, And WHY

If you’re a husband and wife looking for a home, this exercise will eliminate many disagreements down the road. You will both understand what the other wants, and WHY they want it.

I recommend you RANK each feature in terms of its importance to you and your spouse. You’re both going to live in the home, so you better understand what the other is looking for.

For example, a well designed gourmet kitchen (remember, list ALL the features of the kitchen you’re looking for) may rank high with a woman, while having a workshop may rank high with a man. Try to understand each other’s priorities.

Most People Have More Dreams Than Money

Ranking will also show you areas you may need to eliminate because of price constraints.

And by having each person rank the importance of the features they want, you won’t be eliminating a high priority item and putting additional stress on an already stressful time.

Secret #3: Understand How Much Home You Can Afford.

Like it or not, there are two guidelines bankers and mortgage lenders use to determine how much loan you can afford.

The first guideline is the Payment To Income Ratio. This guideline compares your income, or your total household income, to the amount of mortgage payment you’re considering.

To calculate the “payment” part of the formula, the lender will take the mortgage payment (principal + interest) and add to it property taxes and insurance. Hence the term “PITI” (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

Usually lenders will loan up to a payment amount of 28% of your total household income.

But before you think you’re home free, there’s something else you need to know…

It’s called the Debt To Income Ratio. Debt refers to ALL the major monthly payments other than your mortgage payment (PITI). To arrive at this amount, the lender will consider…

Your car payment.
Your credit card debt and payment.
Any IRS liens or payments due.
Any other payments and debts you have (boat, second home, etc.)

Then, they’ll compare your total debt to your ability to make current payments with your new home loan added into the equation.

Now, here’s the “stickler.” Each mortgage company sets different limits on your Debt To Income ratio, which is why it’s critically important to find a MOTIVATED LENDER.

Don’t follow the “canned” financial advice like you see on TV. Most of that advice is “rule of thumb,” and designed for the lowest credit rating and highest interest rates.

Contact