Zimmerman Real Estate Blog

by Shannon Gupta   @shannonfgupta

October 26, 2017: 9:48 AM ET  

For cash-strapped Millennials, saving for a down payment on a home can be downright daunting.

If a traditional 20% down payment sounds out of reach, you'll be happy to know that some mortgages will allow you to put down as little as 3.5% of your home's purchase price.

But there's a catch. Putting down less means you're borrowing more -- and will have to pay interest on that entire loan.

You're also on the hook for extra fees on top of all the regular expenses that come with home ownership.

Here's how to decide if down payment assistance is right for you.

Step 1: Understand the challenges

Making a down payment of less than 20% will result in higher

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How to Show Your Home to Buyers

Home showing tips © Big Stock Photo By Elizabeth Weintraub Updated May 21, 2017

When you show your home, you want to engage the buyer emotionally because the decision to buy is based more on emotions, and less on logic. Give the buyer permission to say, "Yes, I want to buy this home," by staging, accentuating your home's positive attributes, and do not draw any attention to the negative aspects.

Besides, there will be plenty of time after the deal is signed to talk about the drawbacks.

 

In many markets, it is customary for the buyer's agent to tour a listing without the listing agent present, and they ask the seller to leave the house. If you are selling your home as a for

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Holden Lewis June 15, 2017  in  Mortgages   Couple signing closing forms for house | Hero Images/Getty Images

 

On closing day, all parties will sign the papers officially sealing the deal, and ownership of the property will be transferred to you. It’s your opportunity to make any last-minute changes to the transaction.

It starts the day before

The day before closing, gather all the paperwork you have received throughout the homebuying process: Loan Estimate, contract, proof of title search and insurance if necessary, flood certification, proof of homeowners insurance and mortgage insurance, home appraisal, inspection reports and Closing Disclosure. You might need to refer to these documents at closing.

Most home-sale contracts

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10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home

Get the most out of your money with these handy home-buying tips.
 
Open House With Home Buyers

Open House With Home Buyers

Get the most out of your money with these handy home-buying tips from HGTV's Buying & Selling.

Buying Secret #10: Keep Your Money Where It Is
It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much

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Selling a home? Try these simple, inexpensive swaps for any room 

Whether you're looking to sell your house or just make a change, updates can seem daunting if you're not prepared.

 

'Listed Sisters' share dramatic before-and-after photos of home renovations

To help you come up with a game plan for every room in your house, Lex and Alana LeBlanc from "The Listed Sisters" on HGTV, stopped by TODAY Wednesday with tips on what to keep, ditch and replace in your favorite spaces.

Playroom

Courtesy of "The Listed Sisters" This playroom needed a little sprucing up.

Having a place for kids to just be kids can be a fun way to let little ones explore their own creativity. But it can also be a

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One Big Reason Millennials Are Buying Homes? For Their Dogs

Millennials are now leading the pack of home buyers, and what’s one incentive driving them to take the mortgage plunge? Their dogs.

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage found that 33 percent of millennial home buyers’ decision to buy a home was driven chiefly by their dog. Furry friends outranked wedding bells (25 percent cited marriage as their top motivator for buying a home) and kids, too (only 19 percent said birth of a child was their prime incentive).

And even those millennials who don’t yet own a home but are planning to are prioritizing pups, with 42 percent of those surveyed by SunTrust saying a dog

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Title Insurance: Why You Need It When Buying a Home

 

You probably have a lot of things to consider when buying a home, from choosing the right neighborhood to picking the best mortgage. One thing you don’t want to overlook is title insurance. This policy protects you if there are any unknown issues that come up with the home’s title that could threaten your ownership and it’s definitely worth the cost.

What is Title Insurance?

A title policy is a one-time purchase that works differently than other types of insurance. While the risk is small and very few title policies ever pay out on claims, this policy protects you against unpleasant surprises with the title to your home down the

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Marble? Quartz? Glass? How to choose a countertop material

Christina Poletto, For The Journal NewsPublished 1:19 p.m. ET May 30, 2017 | Updated 2:27 p.m. ET May 30, 2017 Kitchen

(Photo: Kohler Design Center-Kim Lewis Room)

Selecting the right countertop for your kitchen can be an extremely difficult and expensive decision.

Currently, there are about a dozen different materials that are all technically suitable for a cooking environment, from marble to quartz, granite to glass, tile, and even butcher block and concrete.

With so many options, how do you know what is right for your home?

And, if you’re considering selling your property in the future, which material might appeal most to potential buyers?

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Stylish alternatives to consider for fencing

 

Fence with house

Pat Setter  

Fencing has long been an underrated part of a property. New homeowners are usually busy adding décor and greenery to customize their homes and take the perimeter partition for granted.

But while fencing is first and foremost a practical item, creating privacy while keeping wanted things in and unwanted things out, it can also make a bold statement. And if it’s installed in the front of a home, it is often the first thing people will see. Here are some options to consider when installing a new fence.

Go dark

Very dark or black fences make a bold modern statement. Although it’s not for everyone — many find they are too overpowering and somber for a

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Real Estate Matters: Tips to get your home ready to sell

How to improve your home's perceived value

  • Rodger Hardy Real Estate Matters
  •  
  • Jul 19, 2017
  Home Sean Locke, Fotolia  

My neighbor was putting in new landscaping, so I asked him if he was sprucing it up to sell or to enjoy it.

“Enjoy it,” he said without hesitation.

I think it’s interesting that so many people live in their home as is, then when they go to sell they start fixing things up. But he and I are on the same page. The time to do major remodeling is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.

 While some renovations will bring more money in a sale, others don’t. However, market…
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