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Tampa Branch

With its perfect mix of historic architecture and modern landmarks, Cuban and Spanish culture-infused flavor, vibrant business districts, beautiful waterways and beaches, Tampa is a wonderful place to work, play and unwind.Land Home Financial Tampa

Its downtown has come alive in recent years with more urban parks, including the gorgeous Tampa Riverwalk, more hip bars and innovative restaurants and amazing restorations to turn-of-the-century buildings

Tampa is known for being a great city for all ages and tastes, offering hotel accommodations that fit any budget and catering to everyone from the families to outdoor adventure seekers to foodies and wine connoisseurs. Once known as a melting pot for all cultures and settlers, Tampa remains a welcoming place for those seeking fun, opportunity and a chance to try new things.

New Homes TampaFor its 2018 Housing Forecast, realtor.com rated the top 100 markets according to factors including employment growth, household growth and unemployment. In all categories, Tampa Bay fares considerably better than the national average. The biggest demand will continue to be for “moderately priced homes” under $300,000.00.

The one category in which the bay area especially shines is new-home starts, predicted to soar by more than 20 percent next year.

That would ease one of the biggest constraints on the local real estate market — a shortage of homes for sale.

This will help increase inventory because it creates new homes for existing homeowners to trade up to and frees up existing homes. Tampa is not expected to have brisk sales growth but 1.3 percent is a pretty healthy market from the sales side.


Have You Considered Refinancing?

A tight budget, an expensive home renovation and the desire to get your home paid off quicker are all good reasons to refinance your home. But what does refinancing your home mean and how can it help you achieve your financial goals? Take a look at the definition of home refinancing and what it can do for you:Refinance with land Home financial

What is Refinancing?

When a homeowner is refinancing, it means the homeowner is attempting to acquire a new mortgage for their home. The new mortgage pays off the original mortgage, usually giving the borrowers a better interest rate and/or a shorter term, or even cash.

Why Refinance?

  • To Lower the Interest Rate– Most mortgage lenders say that shaving even .50% off of a mortgage interest rate is a good enough incentive to consider refinancing. The long-term savings by getting a rate reduction can outweigh the cost of a mortgage refinance.
  • Shorten the Term of the Loan– The most common mortgage terms are 15-year and 30-year. In some cases, with a lower interest rate, getting a new 15-year can leave monthly payments very similar to what they were at the 30-year mortgage rate inevitably getting the home paid off much quicker. Changing from an ARM to a Fixed-Rate – Adjustable rate mortgages can offer lower interest rates at times. However, an arm isn’t for everyone. When homeowners need to control their monthly budgets with a more steady payment, changing to a fixed-rate mortgage when rates are low may be the best way to go.
  • Draw From the Equity– Sometimes homeowners need large sums of money to cover expenses such as a remodeling project, school tuition, or to consolidate other debts like credit cards and auto loans. It’s important to evaluate overall financial health and spending habits before tidying up other debts and expenses using your mortgage.
  • Eliminate PMI– Another possible benefit to refinancing is the elimination of private mortgage insurance. If the original down payment on the home was less than 20% PMI is usually required by the lender. A borrower may be able to refinance and if the value of the home has increased enough, thus eliminating PMI.

Points to Consider

  • Cost of the refinance– Application fees, title fees, lender closing fees, and loan origination fees are all costs to look into before deciding to refinance. Lenders, like Land Home Financial will help homeowners figure out when and if the costs would be recuperated.
  • Overall Financial Health– If the main goal of the refinance is to pay off the mortgage earlier, borrowers should also consider their other financial goals. The ability to save appropriately for retirement and pay off other higher interest loans should be factored into the decision to refinance. If refinancing doesn’t affect the monthly payment very much, refinancing could be just the ticket to achieving personal financial success.
  • Requirements– Contact Land Home Financial to find out the requirements for refinancing.

Final Words

By working with a trusted residential mortgage lender, homeowners can find a loan that is tailored to their specific financial situation, offering just the right term and interest rates. The refinancing process will operate quickly and smoothly, giving them true financial security and peace of mind.

Office Location: 5328 Primrose Lake Circle Tampa, FL 33647


20 Reasons to Join Land Home Financial

20 Reasons to join LHFS

Land Home is a privately-owned mortgage banker, opened in 1988. We strive to promote and live by a community-based philosophy with our external customers and internal LHFS community. Land Home Financial is committed to servicing its customers by providing home loan options that best fit their needs.

Does Your Company do the following:

  1. Service over 90% of your closed loans?
  2. Send monthly mortgage statements with your picture and contact information?
  3. Pay you a yearly Residual bonus on your serviced loan volume, year over year?
  4. Pay you same BPS on all funded loans including DPA’s and Bond Loans? With NO pay tiers!
  5. Have payroll cycles that DO NOT end on last day of the month? (This is huge)
  6. Offer a zero-employee cost health insurance plan for employee only coverage?
  7. Allow MANUAL U/W down to 580 on FHA & VA loans
  8. Have zero hits to price due to credit score or loan amount on FHA & USDA loans above 620?
  9. Have zero price hits due to credit score or loan amount on VA loans over a 600?
  10. Respect our Veterans by not charging any lender fees on VA Loans?
  11. Is the Master Servicer of their own Down Payment Assistance suite of products?
  12. Offer a 1% down Freddie loan with lender paid MI?
  13. Offer DPA products down to a 620 score?
  14. Offer a full suite of products for Manufactured Housing, including Construction to Perm?
  15. Have an internal appraisal desk, thus eliminating the need for an AMC?
  16. Has their own US based Contact Center that will call on behalf of your realtors to invite the public to their Open Houses?
  17. Have a Boarding Department resource that helps you navigate and get acclimated during your first 120 days.
  18. Has a one-page sheet of internal overlays? We U/W to the AUS Findings!!
  19. Have over 5 Billion dollars in their Servicing Portfolio? Significant monthly cash flow!!
  20. Locate your branch on “Main Street” in your community?

How many NO’s did you come up with? At Land Home Financial, we say YES to all of these and more.

With all these features, could you see yourself making more money? We would enjoy the opportunity to have a confidential conversation to see if Land Home Financial is a fit for you!

 

 


Experience the Difference

Experience the Difference

At Land Home Financial we pride ourselves on smart communication to our buyers and expediting the process as efficient as possible. Experience the Difference with Land Home Financial and allow us to find you the perfect home mortgage product.

Land Home Financial VA Loan

Meet Ms. Annie M.: A spouse of a veteran that used her deceased husband’s VA eligibility.

We were able to offer her our Amazing VA Loan Program and the mortgage transaction closed with no lender fees, no down payment, no PMI and no funding fee.

VA Loan Land Home Financial

 

Meet Nicholas K! Land Home Financial Down Payment AssistanceHe was able to take full advantage of an “exclusive” option to Land Home, our HOUSE2HOME mortgage product!

He was able to save thousands with this down payment assistance program. Feels great helping like we do!!

House2Home Land Home Financial

Before you get started, call us (813) 918-1620, we’ll do our diligence to get you pre-approved quickly and guide to the best home mortgage product for your situation. By being a Direct Community Lender, we simply provide programs that other lenders simply cannot offer!

 

 


Your Preferred Community Lender

The Heart of a Community Based Lender

Core Values & Mission

The heartbeat of Land Home Financial is promote and live by a community-based philosophy with our external customers and our internal community. We’re committed to servicing our customers by providing home loan options that best fit their needs. Behind every loan is a person, a family, and a home within a community, which is why we all work so hard for those seeking real estate financing. Each customer is a member of the Land Home community.

Land Home Financial

When the transaction funds, the relationship continues because we retain almost 100% of our servicing. Land Home Financial is also committed to servicing its community of employees. Looking for ways to make our company excel is always a priority. Exceptional, stronger resources and new helpful tools are always on the agenda as Land Home Financial pursues ways to rise above competition. Suggestions and feedback provided by Land Home Financial employees is valued and helps in shaping the course for change when there is a benefit for all.

Plans for the Future

Maintaining a sustainable business plan for growth is always a main priority. Where many mortgage companies may retract their expansion goals or stop them altogether, Land Home Financial has positioned itself to stay on the course for opening branches in more markets across the country. Not only does the business plan contain new office expansion, but new division expansion as well. Doubling the footprint of the Land Home Financial brand nationally is a goal we plan to achieve. Land Home reinvests in the company, raising the quality of all facets of the enterprise to attract Loan Officers and Operational staff to help Land Home become an even stronger entity.

Land Home Invests in PeopleHaving been in the business for over 30 years has taught Land Home’s leadership how to be strategic in making business decisions that support the company business plan. Two key components that make Land Home a great place to join: Our company is fiscally secure, and our employee community is loyal and shares the same vision to accomplish goals together.

Who is Land Home Financial

Land Home is a privately-owned mortgage banker, opened in 1988. The leadership, together with employees (not a room full of shareholders), make the important lending decisions at Land Home. Our business decisions are rooted in common sense, experience, and knowledge. At Land Home we have a dedicated compliance team to offer guidance in the choices we make. We are a company that invests capital to fuel growth (rather than generate profit divided among a few).

Our customers and our employees are our greatest assets. Our common goal is to do what is in the best interest for every customer we have the opportunity to serve.

 


We Hire the Best

Do You Have What it Takes?

Land Home Financial Services, Inc has been helping individuals, couples and families get pre-approved for a home mortgage, offering the “right” mortgage for their situation and expediting the mortgage process as efficient as possible. We deliver from “pre-approval to close” with unmatched service by providing the right product and “Hiring the Best” in the industry! Our Loan Originators and Support Staff are focused on getting the mortgage closed properly as quick as possible!

Work for Land Home Financial Florida

LinkedIn_Recruiting_invest   And Here’s Why:

  • We service our own loans & bonus our LO’s year over year from the servicing
  • Company paid assistances to support each branch
  • Coaching & Training available for experienced Originators
  • We have our own Appraisal Desk – no AMC
  • Little to no Over-Lays (we go by AUS)
  • Originators can submit TBD files for Underwriting
  • LO’s submits directly to Underwriter to expedite Loan Commitments
  • We support our Originators offering DPA Loans
  • Our Underwriters actually call you to avoid suspending a file
  • Our processors chase conditions, not our Originators

 

If you live in Florida, have originated a minimum of 24 loans or more for at least 2 years – then WE Need to Talk!

Contact me ANYTIME including after hours or weekends!

 

Vincent Ortiz, Loan Officer

Direct 407.625.9093 Land Home Financial Loan Officer

Vincent.Ortiz@lhfs.com

 


Choose the Right Home

Unless you can buy a house entirely in cash, finding the right house is only half the battle. The other half is choosing the best type of home mortgage. Since you’ll likely be paying back your mortgage over a long period of time, it’s important to find a loan that meets your needs and your budget.

What Is a Conventional Loan?

A conventional mortgage or conventional loan is any type of home buyer’s loan that is not offered or secured by a government entity, but instead is available through or guaranteed by a private lender (banks, credit unions, mortgage companies) or the two government-sponsored enterprises, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

Land Home Financial FICO ScoresConventional Loans have a minimum credit FICO of 580* along with a few other requirements. We offer down payments as low as 3%**(requirements vary based on occupancy type). This type of loan applies to owner occupancy, second homes and investment properties. Now, there are gifting funds that are allowed on owner occupied and second home properties. Mortgage insurance is required when the loan-to-value greater than 80%. Lastly, seller contributions of 2% to 9% depending on the loan-to-value and occupancy type.

 

What is an FHA Loan?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a U.S. agency offering mortgage insurance to FHA-approved lenders that meet specific qualifications. Mortgage insurance protects lenders against losses from mortgage defaults. If a borrower defaults on a loan, the FHA pays the lender a specified claim amount.

Land Home Financial FHA LoanThe primary goal of establishing the FHA is to stimulate the housing industry. The underlying idea was that by providing insurance to lenders, more individuals, or customers, would qualify for mortgages to buy homes. Most FHA Loans are for individuals who could not afford, and would not ordinarily qualify for, a traditional home mortgage loan.

Specifically, FHA Loans have a minimum credit FICO of 580 (620 for high balance loans and cash out refinances) along with a few other requirements. We offer down payments as low as 3.5%**(requirements vary based on occupancy type). This type of loan applies to owner occupied properties. Now, there are 100% gifting funds that are allowed for this type of loan. Upfront mortgage insurance premiums (UPMIP) financed monthly Mortgage Insurance required. Lastly, seller contributions are allowed up to 6%.

How about a VA Loan?

The Veterans Administration was formerly an independent government agency founded in 1930, at the height of the Great Depression. Commonly referred to as “the VA,” the organization provided patient care, veterans’ benefits, and other services to veterans of the U.S. armed forces and their families. It also provided this group with disability compensation for those who were injured or contracted a disease while serving, education and training, medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care, readjustment counseling, bereavement counseling, surviving spouse benefits, care and benefits to homeless veterans, medical research, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, headstones/burial markers, and home loan assistance.

Land Home Financial VA LoanTo be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan, veterans must have served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard or Marines. The specific service requirements will vary, depending on the time period during which a veteran served. A certificate of eligibility is required to obtain a VA loan, and the loan can be obtained through any mortgage lender who participates in the VA home loan program.

The VA-guaranteed home loan is one of very few 0% down payment loans available in the United States. A minimum FICO of 580 (620 for cash out refinance, 640 for high balance loans). Occupancy rules are for owner occupied, there’s 100%gift funds allowed, Upfront funding fee may be financed, there are no monthly Mortgage Insurance is required and seller concessions are up to 4%.

 

What is a USDA Home Loan?

Perhaps you feel more at home surrounded by pastures than pavement. If so, buying a home might be well within reach, thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgage program. In fact, the USDA might have one of the government’s least-known mortgage assistance programs.

A USDA home loan is a zero down payment mortgage for eligible rural and suburban homebuyers. USDA loans are issued through the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Land Home Financial USDA ApprovedSpecifically, FHA Loans have a minimum credit FICO of 620 along with a few other requirements. No down payment is required and applies to owner occupancy. Additionally, there are 100% gifting funds that are allowed for this type of loan. Upfront mortgage insurance fee may be financed and lastly, seller contributions are allowed up to 6%.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the loan that’s best for your situation relies primarily on your financial health: your income, credit history and score, employment, and financial goals. We can help analyze your finances to help determine the best loan products. Also, we can help you better understand the qualification requirements, which tend to be complex. A supportive lender or mortgage broker may also give you homework—targeted areas of your finances to improve—to put you in the strongest position possible to get a mortgage and buy a home.


2019 Current Real Estate Trends

Okay, 2018 was quite the tease in the housing market. The year started out hot, only to taper off halfway through. But plenty of Americans still traded their For Sale signs for Sold ones, and they’ll usher in the new year from the comfort of their new homes. So will 2019 bring more of the same results? How will the housing market shake out in the current economic climate?

Whether you’re selling your home, buying or staying at your current home, here are the 2019 home real estate trends you need to know!

#1: Home Prices Are Rising Slowly

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that during the course of 2017 and early 2018, home prices made a giant 10% jump. Wow! This year, however, may be a different story. Home prices are estimated to rise in 2019, but at a much slower pace, and the number of homes for sale is expected to increase by a mere 1%.

What’s the reason? Well, part of the slowdown is due to increased mortgage interest rates and another part is because of overall economic uncertainty. That combination is enough to discourage many buyers who are on the fence about purchasing a home.

Find expert agents to help you buy your home.

But there are still eager buyers in the market, and many of them are looking for newly built homes. In fact, new home construction is projected to increase by 8% in 2019. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: There just aren’t enough new homes to go around in some areas. Plus, construction companies also don’t have the manpower to keep up with demand.

What’s the bottom line? Expect the new construction that is available to go for a higher price.

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

A nice profit may be on the horizon! The number of homes sold next year is still expected to rise, even if it’s at a slow pace. That’s great news for sellers! But keep in mind that a lot of buyers are being priced out of the market, which could lead to fewer offers for your home.

So what should you do about this? Be aware of your competition. With less offers to go around, you want your home to really stand out from similar ones in your area. Prepare your home for potential home buyers and work with a real estate agent to help you list your home at the right price.

And be sure to wait for the right offer. Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, wait for an offer that gives you the most profit. Remember, the less desperate person always has the upper hand when negotiating!

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. You could screw up your finances!

A down payment that’s less than 10% could strangle your budget with massive monthly mortgage payments. But if you want to get prepared to buy and you’re committed to your budget, here are some options to consider:

  • Keep saving. If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a 5-figure down payment by next year.
  • Sacrifice some wants. If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, be willing to give up some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.” Find the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford and you can upgrade as your income and savings increase over time.
  • Expand your search. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is what’s busting your budget? You might be surprised at the gem you can find in a less popular neighborhood.

Buying a home can be stressful, there are many “homebuyer guides” that can help you streamline the process! It’ll help you think through all the important parts so you can rest easy when your dream home is officially yours.

#2: Mortgage Interest Rates Are on the Rise

Mortgage interest rates are on the rise after years of being at a standstill. Interest rates are projected to increase to an average of 5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4.4% for a 15-year mortgage.

It’s been seven years since mortgage rates were this high. But despite grumblings, that doesn’t mean the economy is in trouble. It actually means the opposite! To help stabilize the strong economy and rising inflation during the past few years, the Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates. It’s somewhat natural to see a trickle-down effect to the bank level like what we’re seeing now with mortgage interest rates.

The increase basically means more people are willing to spend and borrow. Still, expect things to be a little different next year as buyers and sellers adjust to these changes.

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Sellers

In a nutshell, plan for your house to be on the market a little longer and prepare to possibly receive fewer offers. A mortgage is a big commitment, and adding higher interest rates to the mix will make many buyers pause. Partner with a relator who understands the current market. They’ll help you set expectations for how much you can make, and how long you’ll have to wait for the right offer.

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Buyers

Even though mortgage interest rates are the highest they’ve been in a while, they’re still relatively low. If you’re not buying with cash, be smart and go for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. That way, you know exactly what your payment will be over the life of the loan.

#3: The Majority of Home Buyers Are Millennials

Move aside, baby boomers and Gen Xers! Guess who’s taking the over the homeowner leaderboard? Yep, you better believe it. Millennials are busting out all over. They’re getting older and finding stable careers. Their household income has increased to $88,200, and they’re looking to buy their first homes in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods.

This works out perfectly for them as more baby boomers are retiring and downsizing. Next year, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

In 2019, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Sellers

Here are three important words: Know your buyer. Millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. They look for:

  • Easy online shopping. The home search starts online for millennials, so you need to make the best possible impression on the internet. Make sure you invest in high quality photos, and, for extra measure, consider using a drone to take aerial video footage.
  • Quality over size. Yes, square footage matters. But millennials are more concerned about how sustainable and usable each space is. Get rid of your junk so they can visualize a bright future in your home without your stuff there.
  • Location. A lot of millennials are looking for homes that offer big city life at a more affordable cost of living. If your home is in a walkable area with access to public transit, expect millennials to come knocking at your door.
  • Low-maintenance lifestyle. Millennials are used to living in the age of high-tech advances and Amazon Prime. They’re looking for energy-efficient homes with smart appliances. If you don’t have them, they’ll look elsewhere or lower their offer so they can upgrade after they buy.

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Buyers

Okay, if you’re looking for a three-bedroom, single-family home in the suburbs, expect to have a lot of competition. You may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. Follow these tips:

  • Know what you want. Decide what you absolutely need in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves. Compare your individual lists and combine them for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.
  • Write a letter. Sending a personal story to your seller might be just the thing that makes you stand out from similar offers.
  • Hire an experienced pro. Last year, 90% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes. Think they’re onto something? You bet! Don’t try to buy on your own.

What If I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

You may be thinking, All this is great, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. We hear you, and here’s what you should know for now:

1. Equity will likely continue to increase by 2–6% each year until 2020.

With most housing markets at low risk for a downturn, last years Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimated home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years, with annual increases of 2–6%. Who-hoo for sellers! If you sell your house before 2020, you’ll likely still make a great profit.

2. From what we can see, the real estate market is not going to crash.

With such fast-rising mortgage interest rates, some are wondering if the housing market could collapse again. Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, but a number of factors indicate a housing crash is not in the foreseeable future and the economy is still strong. Here are some indicators:

  • People are spending money.
  • There’s a low unemployment rate and new career opportunities..
  • Millennials want to buy.
  • Taxes are lower.

3. Regardless of your neighborhood, buyers are interested.

Even though buyers in 2019 may be more selective, determined ones might be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to highways or aren’t in close proximity to a big city. If you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or believe your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Now may be your perfect time to sell.


9 Tips to Get Money for Down Payment

Get Money for a Down Payment

Whether you’re purchasing an existing home, building a new home or planning to fix up an older home, you’re probably excited about the prospect of closing the deal and moving in.

Not so fast. Buying a home is an expensive proposition – the biggest investment that most families ever make. While you aren’t required to cover the entire purchase price up front, you do need most times to come up with a down payment before you can close on your home.

The Biggest Closing Cost of All

money-down-payment-calculator

 

Most line items are small change compared with probably the biggest closing expense of all: your down payment. This is because your down payment is a key part of the offer you present to the seller. The general rule of thumb is simple: the larger the down payment, the stronger the offer. More precisely: the greater the down payment’s share of the total purchase price, the more likely the seller is to accept.

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks to Save

1. Determine Your Expected Down Payment and Timeframe

First, figure out about how big your down payment will be.

Down payment size is a function of three overlapping factors: your desired initial loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, your time horizon (when you want to buy), and local housing market conditions. When people talk about budgeting for a future home purchase, they generally refer to list prices: “We’re willing to pay $300,000,” or “We can afford $250,000, but no more.”

However, on the matter of affordability, the most important number is the down payment amount. If you can’t cobble together a $50,000 down payment on a $250,000 house (or a $400,000 house, if you’re putting down less than 20%), then you can’t really afford the house.

Lastly, don’t completely deplete your bank account to buy your dream home. It’s wise to have at least three months’ income in liquid savings as an emergency fund, regardless of your near- or long-term goals. Six months is even better.

2. Shrink Your Required Down Payment With a Special Loan

If you’re looking to buy on an accelerated timetable, live in an expensive housing market, or doubt your ability to save for a 20% down payment on an acceptable house in your target neighborhood, look into special loan programs with lower down payment requirements.

Beyond program-specific requirements, these special loans have some important drawbacks. Perhaps most importantly, they carry Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premiums until LTV reaches 78% (though you can formally request PMI removal at 80% LTV).

3. Take Advantage of LHFS Down Payment Assistance Programs

Relatively few prospective homeowners realize that they could qualify for national down payment assistance programs that can reduce their out-of-pocket down payment costs by thousands of dollars.

4. Pay Off Outstanding Credit Card Debt

For many folks, paying off credit card debt is a high-priority goal. Even the low APR Credit Cards usually charge interest rates north of 10% APR. On an average balance of $1,000, that’s $100 in interest charges each year. If your debt load is higher, adjust accordingly.

Paying off credit card debt isn’t always straightforward, though. Focus on your highest-interest debt first, even if that means putting as little as $25 or $50 extra toward your payment each month. As your high-interest debt load shrinks, you can move onto lower-interest credit card debt, and you’ll likely accelerate your progress toward a $0 balance. With lower (or no) interest charges eating into your spending and saving power, you can then direct your dollars toward your down payment fund.

5. Set Aside a Portion of Your Tax Refund

Expecting a tax refund this year? Reserve a slice of it to reward yourself for all your hard work last year – a nice restaurant meal, a frugal weekend getaway, a new piece of furniture for your home. Enjoy it.

Then sock the rest of your refund away in your down payment fund. If you reliably receive a $3,000 refund, spend $1,000, and save the rest, you’ll have $6,000 after three years, and $10,000 after five. That probably won’t account for your entire down payment, but it can’t hurt.

6. Make Recurring Savings Deposits

Knowing you need to set money aside each month is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Set yourself a calendar reminder on the same day each month or pay period to transfer a set amount of money – at least 5% of your take-home pay, and ideally 10% – into your primary savings account. You can then separate the share allotted to your down payment from your general savings or other savings goals. Or, better yet, create a separate savings account whose sole purpose is to hold your down payment funds.

7. Automate Your Savings Deposits

What’s even better than recurring savings account deposits? Automated savings account deposits that you don’t have to remember to execute each month. Most banks allow recurring savings transfers from internal or external checking accounts. Examine your budget and determine how much you can afford to save each pay period or month, and then make it happen, preferably on the same date (or the day after) you receive your paycheck or direct deposit.

8. Withdraw from Your IRA Without Penalty

Under certain conditions, your retirement account can serve as a supplemental funding source for your down payment.

This isn’t free money, of course. If you have a traditional IRA, you need to pay taxes on the withdrawn amount at your overall rate – 28% in the 28% bracket, and so on. On a Roth IRA held for longer than five years, your withdrawal is tax-free, because you’ve already paid taxes on the contribution.

If you and your spouse both have IRAs, you can both withdraw up to $10,000, for a total of $20,000. Depending on the projected size of your down payment, that could be a sizable boost. And, on Roth IRAs held longer than five years, you can withdraw tax- and penalty-free contributions in excess of $10,000, though any withdrawn earnings are taxable at your normal rate.

However, you also have to consider the opportunity cost of taking that money out of your account, potentially for years (by the time you make additional contributions to cover your withdrawal).

9. Take a 401k Loan

You can also borrow from employer-sponsored 401k or fund your down payment. On 401k loans, borrowing limits are much more generous: You can borrow up to the lesser of $50,000 or half the value of the account. That’s enough to fund a 20% down payment on a $250,000 house, or a 10% down payment on a $500,000 house.

However, the devil is in the details. You have to pay back your 401k loans, with interest – typically at 2% above the prime rate. On larger loans, that means several years’ worth of three-figure monthly payments and several thousand in interest charges. Plus, if you take out a 401k loan before applying for a mortgage loan, your credit utilization ratio will spike, which could raise your mortgage loan’s interest rate or cause the bank to think twice about lending to you in the first place.

As a general rule of thumb, 401k loans are useful in two situations: for funding small down payments ($5,000 or less) in their entirety or as the last piece of a multi-year, multi-source down payment funding strategy.

Final Word

Your house might be the single biggest purchase you ever make, but it won’t be the only big-ticket item you ever buy. Unless you can comfortably live without a car, you’re likely to buy a used vehicle every few years. If you have kids, you’ll need to budget for their education. Once you’re ensconced in your home, you’ll probably want to make sensible improvements that enhance its value or accommodate your growing family. And, all the while, you need to have enough set aside for the unexpected.

Every one of these items, and many others not mentioned here, demand a measured, thought-out savings strategy. As you notch small victories in your quest to cobble together a down payment for your dream home, don’t neglect your other goals – whether you’re aiming to reach them next month, next year, or next decade.


Annual New Home Sales Update

Slight Gain in 2018

Sales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5% in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The sales numbers rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report.

“The slight gain for 2018 new home sales reflects solid underlying demand for homeownership,”

“Housing affordability remains a challenge across the country, but conditions have improved in early 2019, as illustrated by the recent uptick in builder confidence.”

“Despite a period of weakness in the fall, new home sales ended the year with a small gain,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While the December sales pace improved on a monthly basis, the current rate of sales remains off the post-Great Recession trend due to housing affordability concerns made worse by the rise in mortgage interest rates at the end of the year. We expect lower mortgage rates in the early months of 2019 will lead to additional new home demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed.

Weathering Seasonal Times

In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the December reading of 621,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale continued to rise in December to 344,000 homes available for sale. A year prior, new single-family home inventory stood at 294,000. The median sales price increased in December to $318,600, although it is lower than a year ago when the median sales price was $343,300. This is primarily due to the rising use of price incentives and a slow change toward additional entry-level inventory.

Regionally, on a total year basis for 2018, new home sales declined 16% in the Northeast and 1% in the West. Sales rose 4% in the South and 6% in the Midwest.

Land Home Tampa

At Land Home Financial Services, Inc, we understand the needs of each family and situation; ultimately matching the “right” mortgage product and handle it from “Pre-Approval to Close.” We’d love to hear from you!


New Homes Sales Update

Land Home Financial Florida New HomesSales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5% in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The sales numbers rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report.

 

“The slight gain for 2018 new home sales reflects solid underlying demand for homeownership,”

“Housing affordability remains a challenge across the country, but conditions have improved in early 2019, as illustrated by the recent uptick in builder confidence.”

“Despite a period of weakness in the fall, new home sales ended the year with a small gain,”

“While the December sales pace improved on a monthly basis, the current rate of sales remains off the post-Great Recession trend due to housing affordability concerns made worse by the rise in mortgage interest rates at the end of the year. We expect lower mortgage rates in the early months of 2019 will lead to additional new home demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed.

New Home Lumber PricesIn addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the December reading of 621,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale continued to rise in December to 344,000 homes available for sale. A year prior, new single-family home inventory stood at 294,000. The median sales price increased in December to $318,600, although it is lower than a year ago when the median sales price was $343,300. This is primarily due to the rising use of price incentives and a slow change toward additional entry-level inventory.

Regionally, on a total year basis for 2018, new home sales declined 16% in the Northeast and 1% in the West. Sales rose 4% in the South and 6% in the Midwest.

At Land Home Financial Services, Inc, we understand the needs of each family and situation; ultimately matching the “right” mortgage product and handle it from “Pre-Approval to Close.” We’d love to hear from you!