Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 1/30/2019

It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most peopleís paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.

Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, youíll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.

In todayís post, weíll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.

How much to save

In order to make the most of your first home purchase, youíll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount youíll pay toward interest.

If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, youíll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.

Smart ways to save while renting

If youíre ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, letís talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.

Pay off small debts

If youíve had that lingering credit card debt that youíve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.

This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.

Open a dedicated account or CD

The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).

A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before theyíre ready to buy a home.

If youíre comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.

Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.

Direct deposit a portion of your pay

Opening a bank account or CD wonít do you any good if you donít commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.

By following these tips, youíll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Donít  wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner youíll be able to purchase your first home.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 1/24/2018

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who donít want the responsibilities of homeownership, it can also serve as a longterm lifestyle for those uninterested in equity. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is a difficult question to ask yourself. Youíll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

In todayís post, Iím going to discuss several of these considerations to help you determine if now is the time to buy a home or if you should continue renting for the time being.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of homebuying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates.


While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to 4.1%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first homes are more concerned with whether itís  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals.

Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, itís a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about a timeline.

First, are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the costs.

Next, would you have better career or education prospects if you were to move elsewhere in a few years?


Of course, these questions are not objective--you may never know for sure which is the best decision. However, having the conversation is vital to moving forward.

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, youíll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that previously your landlord was required to do.

The good news is you can learn most things on YouTube. However, some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has itís associated upkeep expenses.

However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.


Start considering these questions now and in due time youíll have a better understanding of your current and future goals. This way, youíll be able to choose the best possible time to buy a home.




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