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Are you ready to buy?

Home buyers have faced tough challenges -- housing prices have risen, a dollar doesn't go as far as it once did and rent is more expensive than the past, but the economy is doing well and things are moving!

Looking for some tips to make such a large purchase? With more flexibility and a bit of financing creativity, there are many simple ways to achieve homeownership.

Financing First: The first step to knowing if you can afford a home is figuring out what financing options are available to you, including what mortgages you're eligible for and how much you need (and can afford) to put down upfront.

Learning the minimum FICO score required by lenders and understanding your own credit score are important starting points.

Many who dream of owning a home aren't sure how much they have to put down, what the lender-required minimum down payment will be (it's not always 20%), or what programs are available to help with down payments, like FHA loans.

Before buyers even start thinking about saving for a home, they should know what their financial resources are and if they're eligible to buy.

Make enough money to save: With fewer resources to pull from than their older, wealthier counterparts, renters wanting to buy face tough financial headwinds.

According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, renter households typically earn a median income of $37,500 annually, which is nearly $40,000 less than the median household income netted by households who recently bought a home (of whom the median household income is $75,000 annually).

2 Income households can help you save enough cash: One of the most daunting parts of home buying? The down payment. In fact, two-thirds of renters cite saving for a down payment as the biggest hurdle to buying a home, according to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report.

For people buying the national median home valued at $229,000, with the traditional 20% down payment, that's $45,800 upfront -- just to move in. While that is the norm for some, there are many cases where 20% down is not needed. Find a good lender that you can be open and honest with and they can guide you towards your goal.

Although putting down less than 20% means additional considerations, such as the cost for private mortgage insurance (PMI), some find it worth the hassle. In fact, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019, only one-fifth of recent buyers (20%) put 20% down, and just over half of buyers (56%) put less than the traditional 20% down.

Buyers are also getting creative about piecing together a down payment from multiple sources. According to the report findings, 34% of buyers who get a mortgage also get help in the form of gifts or loans from friends and family to come up with a down payment.

Know your deal breakers, but be flexible: To get into a home -- even if it's not the home of their dreams -- some of today's buyers are considering homes and locations outside of their initial wish list and getting increasingly flexible when it comes to neighborhood, house condition and even home type.

Affordably priced homes do exist, it will just be harder to find one you love and that meets your criteria.If you are willing to be flexible and prioritize your wish list, you can most definitely find a home that will suite your needs!

If you need help finding that home, let one of our expert Taos brokers help you find a Taos condo for sale, some Taos land for sale to build the home of your dreams or a fully furnished home in Taos to hang your boots. Whether it's a vacation home for family and friends or a permanent residence in Taos, let us help you with all your real estate needs!Call 575-377-2626 or 575-758-5852 for Paula.

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