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It looks like the real estate market is finally on a roll. After two years of solid recovery, 2014 is projected to continue the trend!
In 2013, home values increased by more than 10% nationwide. According to Clear Capital, a real estate tracking firm, prices will continue to rise this year but at a more modest pace—between 3% and 5%. That should be enough to encourage many homeowners who’ve stayed on the sidelines to go ahead and put their homes up for sale.
And, since average home prices are still more than 30% below their 2006 peak, this year’s buyers will still find good deals on great homes.
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If you’ve made buying a home one of your goals for 2014, we have some tips to help you make it happen.
First, no matter how awesome the deals look, never buy a home until you are financially ready. That means you must first reach your goal of becoming debt-free with a 3–6-month emergency fund in place. This is the foundation you need to make sure you can handle the unexpected expenses that come along with owning a home.
Imagine how different a leaky roof looks when you have the money to repair it. Sure, it’s still a hassle, but it’s not the end of the world.
Get Busy Piling Up Cash
Next, if you’re planning to borrow money to buy your home, you need to have a good down payment. Set a goal of saving at least 10%, but 20% will put you in an even better position.
That’s quite a chunk of cash, but if you make it a priority, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll make progress toward your goal. You could get an extra job or work overtime and set that money aside for your down payment. If you’re getting an income tax refund, throw that into the down payment fund as well. And how about a yard sale? Get rid of stuff you don’t need and make money while you do it!
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You might get such a kick out of saving up for a home that you decide to go with the 100%-down plan—Dave’s favorite, no-debt way to buy a home.
If you decide to go ahead with a mortgage, stay conservative. Keep your payments at no more than 25% of your take-home pay on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Get A Pro’s Advice for Successful Home Buying
Buying a home is serious business, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. An experienced real estate agent can make reaching your goal of homeownership an enjoyable experience by helping you find great deals on homes, negotiating the contract on your behalf, and handling all the paperwork.
Work with a high-energy agent like one of Dave’s real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). Your ELP is an expert in your market who will do all it takes to find the right home for you. Talk to your ELP today!