Six Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers

money saving tips for home buyers
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Buying a home can be both an exciting and overwhelming time in your life.  Adding up all of the expenses can get a little frightening for most people.  Paying attention to a few key points as you begin the home buying process can save you a lot of money later.

1. Try to save enough money for a 20% downpayment.  Putting down less than 20% of the purchase price in cash means that your lender will require you to hold private mortgage insurance (PMI).  This could add an extra $2000 per year to your home expense.


2. Don’t buy the biggest house the lender says you can afford.  Make a purchase that is well within your comfort zone so that you have financial flexibility for the unexpected.  You will want to have money available if you need to make a large repair or lose your job.


3. Talk to more than one mortgage lender.  It’s ok to shop around for the best deal.  Consider both the interest rate the lender can offer as well as the fees they are going to charge for originating your mortgage.


4. Be careful about loans with points.  Including points in a loan increases the effective cost for the borrower.  If you sell or refinance in the first three to five years, those points are only going to cost you money.


5. Get a good home inspector.  Your home inspector will provide you with an expert opinion about the foundation, the roof, and everything in between.  A thorough home inspection could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.


6. Factor the cost of repairs or improvements into your purchase.  Get details quotes for both supplies and contractors.  You may plan on saving money by doing the work yourself.  Honestly assess your time and ability to complete the project.  The house that needed some work might not turn out to be the deal you thought it to be.


Follow these six tips, and your home buying experience is sure to be a little easier.
Have you bought a home recently? Was there a particular expense that took you by surprise?


The Top Five Retirement States

top retirement states

For a long time, Florida and the states of the sunshine belt topped all the lists of best retirement locations. Unfortunately, in many cases the large influx of retirees changed the landscape of those locations. High demand for housing and large population increases lead to rising prices for housing along with other goods and services. Traffic increasingly becomes a problem with a booming population. In addition, tax rates increase to provide public services to this larger population. Thus, the list of top retirement states looks different in recent years.

1. Wyoming

top retirement states
Income tax rates are one of the biggest draws for retirees. Wyoming boasts the lowest income tax rates in the country at just 6.9%. While housing prices are around the national average, other living costs in Wyoming are well below the national mean. Wyoming residents experience minimal crime, and they enjoy amazing national treasures such as Yellowstone National Park and Teton National Park.

2. Colorado

top retirement states
Colorado weather ranks third in the United States for its mild summers and dry, mountain air. While Colorado can get a considerable amount of snowfall in the mountains, it does not have the frigid winters that tend to accompany such snowfall levels. Colorado ranks sixth in the country for satisfaction among retirees. Cost of living and crime rates in Colorado remain below the national average, and healthcare is rated above average.

3. Utah

top retirement states
Weather in Utah is ranked sixth in the nation due to its dry climate and sunny skies. Utah’s healthcare system is ranked seventh in the United States, and few of the state’s elderly are hospitalized each year with the flu. Utah also has few hospitalizations due to diabetes and a lower than average cancer rate among its citizens. In addition, cost of living in Utah is lower than the national average.

4. Idaho

top retirement states
Idaho has beautiful weather, which is perfect for enjoying the outdoor life in the Gem State. Over 70 percent of the land in Idaho is public, undeveloped land that boasts some amazing monuments, parks, and preserves. The cost of living is far below the national average, and the crime rate is the second lowest in the United States.

5. Virginia

top retirement states
It would be hard not to love Virginia because it truly has something for everyone from small towns to big cities and mountains to oceans. The climate is neither too hot nor too cold. Healthcare in Virginia ranks above average in the nation, and overall cost of living is relatively low (though higher in the Washington, DC suburbs). Virginia has the third lowest violent crime rate and the eighth lowest property crime rate in the United States.


Which of these retirement locations appeals the most to you? Have you thought¬†about where you want to retire? I’m already planning on retiring to a beach house and¬†just need to find the right state with the right beach.