Reasons to Buy Versus Rent, in Cave Creek and Carefree, AZ


20150805213606063225000000-o-2
While renting your home may be the better option if you’re not planning on staying put in one area or if you’re trying to build up your credit, buying your home definitely has its advantages in these stronger economic times.  First, buying your home can actually be cheaper in the short term thanks to fixed-rate home loans, where you have more control over your monthly payment.  If you’re renting, your landlord has the ability to raise your rent at the end of your lease.  Moreover, with regard to home loans, thanks to different loan programs such as VA, USDA and FHA loans, as well as down-payment assistance programs, it can be cheaper in the long run to buy a home.

Another financial consideration with regard to buying a home is that home ownership provides tax benefits that leasing a home doesn’t.  For example, being able to declare interest costs in carrying a home loan, as well as building equity in your home are benefits that homeowners enjoy.  In addition, the market for homes is enjoying an upward trend, so the financial rewards for investing in home ownership are evident once again.   Most importantly, homeowners have full control over whether and when they want to sell their home, while landlords hold this power over renters, potentially deciding to sell their home for financial reasons such as retirement or foreclosure.

Finally, buying and owning your own home gives you the latitude to decorate and remodel your home in a way that maximizes your day-to-day as well as long-term enjoyment of your home.  Renters must run any changes to décor or landscaping by their landlords, while the sky is the limit for homeowners who can make changes designed to increase their home value as well as to reflect their own personal tastes.

Source:  Brown, D. (2015, September 25). AZ Real Estate. The Arizona Republic. Retrieved from http://www.azcentral.com.

Buyers Often Overestimate Mortgage Requirements

Sixty-five percent of recent survey respondents feel home ownership is a dream come true or an accomplishment to be proud of. But when it comes to achieving that dream, many consumers may sit on the sidelines because they’re overestimating what it takes to make it come true.

Many consumers have misperceptions about the credit score, down payment, and income requirements needed to qualify for a mortgage, according to a survey released by Wells Fargo and Ipsos Public Affairs of more than 2,000 U.S. adults. A high percentage of home owners are still unaware of recent efforts by lenders and the government to enhance the availability of credit through lower down payment programs.

Two-thirds of consumers surveyed believe they need a very good credit score to purchase a home, with 45 percent believing a “good credit score” is over 780 (many lenders consider scores over 660 to be “good”). Consumers also tend to overemphasize credit scores as a single factor that determines whether they’ll be able to buy a home. But a credit score is not the sole criteria. Many lenders will consider a loan applicant’s entire financial picture, including income, assets, debt-to-income ratio, credit history, credit scores, and the amount of the loan compared to the value of the property.

Also, the survey found that consumers tend to overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they believe a 20 percent down payment is always required, the survey showed. However, down payment options are available as low as 3 percent or 3.5 percent for some loan programs.

“The American aspiration for home ownership is alive and well,” says Franklin Codel, head of mortgage production for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “Home ownership has traditionally been the vehicle through which many people build wealth and financial stability. Home-buying and its downstream financial benefits strengthen the U.S. economy with strong neighborhoods and vital local businesses. For the millions of consumers who express a desire to own a home, it’s essential that lending and housing professionals provide clear, simple information to build consumer confidence about buying a home.”

Source: “Consumers’ Misconceptions Temper Desire for Home Ownership,” Business Wire (June 16, 2015)

The Effect Changing Jobs Has on Buying a Home

changes-signFor most people, changing employers will not really affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if you are going to be earning more money. For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to your loan application.

How Changing Jobs Effects Buying a Home

Salaried Employees

If you are a salaried employee who does not earn additional income from commissions, bonuses, or over-time, switching employers should not create a problem. Just make sure to remain in the same line of work. Hopefully, you will be earning a higher salary, which will help you better qualify for a mortgage.

Hourly Employees

If your income is based on hourly wages and you work a straight forty hours a week without over-time, changing jobs should not create any problems.

Commissioned Employees

If a substantial portion of your income is derived from commissions, you should not change jobs before buying a home. This has to do with how mortgage lenders calculate your income. They average your commissions over the last two years.

Changing employers creates an uncertainty about your future earnings from commissions. There is no track record from which to produce an average. Even if you are selling the same type of product with essentially the same commission structure, the underwriter cannot be certain that past earnings will accurately reflect future earnings. Changing jobs would negatively impact your ability to buy a home.

Bonuses

If a substantial portion of your income on the new job will come from bonuses, you may want to consider delaying an employment change. Mortgage lenders will rarely consider future bonuses as income unless you have been on the same job for two years and have a track record of receiving those bonuses. Then they will average your bonuses over the last two years in calculating your income.

Changing employers means that you do not have the two-year track record necessary to count bonuses as income.

Part-Time Employees

If you earn an hourly income but rarely work forty hours a week, you should not change jobs. There would be no way to tell how many hours you will work each week on the new job, so no way to accurately calculate your income. If you remain on the old job, the lender can just average your earnings.

Over-Time

Since all employers award overtime hours differently, your overtime income cannot be determined if you change jobs. If you stay on your present job, your lender will give you credit for overtime income. They will determine your overtime earnings over the last two years, then calculate a monthly average.

Self-Employment

If you are considering a change to self-employment before buying a new home, don’t do it. Buy the home first.
Lenders like to see a two-year track record of self-employment income when approving a loan. Plus, self-employed individuals tend to include a lot of expenses on the Schedule C of their tax returns, especially in the early years of self-employment. While this minimizes your tax obligation to the IRS, it also minimizes your income to qualify for a home loan.

If you are considering changing your business from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or corporation, you should also delay that until you purchase your new home.