Traditionally, you might think the only way to make buying a home more affordable is by negotiating a better price on the home. That’s not true, in fact, there are three steps you can take before you even start looking at houses to make homebuying a lot more economical. This article explores how to make buying a home affordable.
IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT
Many lenders won’t offer mortgages to those with bad credit. The ones who do justify their risk with extremely high interest rates (often 10%-20%). Meanwhile, those with good credit will likely get a rate around 2.5%. When comparing the monthly cost difference between those two rates (on a $500,000 home) the buyer with good credit will pay $2,188, while the buyer with bad credit will pay at least $4,419. That’s over $2,000 more a month on the same house.
Improving your credit will definitely save you money on your monthly payments, but it can be a tough job. Follow these top tips to make the ultimate impact on your credit.
- PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME: Your credit score is largely based on your history of paying debts. Automating your bills will not only improve your credit score, but it’ll save you from making late payments.
- PAY DOWN YOUR CREDIT CARDS: A high balance on your cards is a bad sign for credit bureaus. Just be sure you don’t cancel your cards when you pay them off. Credit bureaus like to see customers with lots of credit available to them, but little accumulated debts.
Learn more about your credit score and how to buy a home with bad credit here.
MAKE A LARGER DOWN PAYMENT
If your credit cards and loans are paid, then start saving for your down payment. In Canada (for homes under $500,000) we need to make a minimum down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price. If possible, though, putting down 20% is preferable.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) is additional protection for lenders. They provide mortgagedefault insurance on houses with less than 20% down. The monthly premiums are added to your mortgage payments, drastically increasing your overall spending.
Compare these examples of a $500,000 home with a five-year fixed mortgage of 2.24%. By only putting 5% down, you’re paying $9,680 over the course of the five-year mortgage term on just mortgage insurance alone.
Feeling tempted to put down a larger down payment now? This article can help with tips for saving for your down payment.
SHOP FOR A GREAT MORTGAGE
If you have good credit, then your options are wide open for mortgage lenders and terms. Take the time to compare your options. It’s important to find a lender or a broker that will work with you, not just now while you’re house hunting, but down the road when life throws surprises at you.
Mortgage Forces is known for flexible mortgages designed to support veterans and active-duty service members. That means we find you the best possible rate, but are also adaptable with relocation mortgages.