Save big money when you buy your next home

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Saving Strategies

Here are some ideas on how to reduce your costs when buying a home.

Saving on your mortgage: In the long haul, your mortgage may cost you more than you're paying for the house. Be sure to check around and get at least 4 quotes from different lenders to make sure you are getting the best rate and terms.

Saving on title insurance and escrow fees: Many people don't seem to know that title insurance and escrow fees vary from company to company. As a result, they don't bother to shop around and simply use the company that their real estate agent or mortgage lender suggests.
Real estate agents and mortgage lenders can be a good starting point for referrals, as they usually have a broader perspective on cost and service quality of different companies. Call other companies as well – agents and lenders may be biased toward certain companies simply because they are in the habit of using them or have referred clients to them before. You can find a listing of title companies in your yellow pages listed under "Title Companies".

Inspect, Inspect, Inspect: When you buy a home you are probably making one of the biggest financial purchases and commitments of your life. Spend the money and time to hire inspectors and other experts to evaluate the major systems and potential problem areas of the home. Areas that you want to check include:

  • Overall condition of property
  • Electrical, heating, and plumbing systems
  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Pest Control and dry rot
  • Seismic/slide/flood risk

Inspection fees often pay for themselves. If you uncover problems that you weren't aware of, the inspection report gives you the information you need to go back and ask the property seller to fix the problems or reduce the purchase price of the property to compensate you for correcting the deficiencies yourself.

As with other professionals whose services you retain, interview a few inspection companies. Ask which systems they inspect and how detailed a report they will prepare for you. Ask for customer references. Ask for names and phone numbers of three people who used their services about six months ago.

Smart money management. Where do you have your down payment money stored? You should store it in a high yield savings account. This will give you immediate access to it, but still put your money to work while you are waiting for your closing date to finally arrive. I personally would recommend an account from ING DIRECT. With the highest interest rate savings account that I have been able to find, and quick easy access to your money.
Earn 2.00% annual percentage yield with the Orange Savings Account - No Fees, No Minimums & No need to change banks! FDIC Insured.


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