Buying a new home can be exciting, and it can also be stressful if you’re not well-prepared. Whether this is your first home in the Hill Country or you’re looking to buy a brand-new home in New Braunfels, a few tips can help get you ready.
Save, save, save
The dreaded down payment. It’s what’s standing in the way of homeownership for many people, especially if your goal is to save enough for 20 percent down. Some smart strategies can make saving for a down payment relatively painless and push you over the top if you’re getting close to your magic number and need a boost.
Make saving automatic
At most banks, you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account, which makes savings easier, especially for those who get busy and forget to move money over. An additional benefit from banks like Chase is that setting up an automatic savings transfer waives your monthly service fee, creating additional savings.
Take a good look at your spending habits
It can be eye-opening to look carefully at all those $5 and $10 purchases and see how they add up. A few trips to Starbucks and a couple of meals out during the work week don’t seem so minimal when you realize you’re spending hundreds of dollars per month that could be going into your down payment bucket. Swapping out for home-cooked lunches and cutting back on the gourmet coffee are easy ways to boost your budget.
Participate in a “Keep the change” program.
Institutions like Bank of America offer this free program that rounds debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and transfers that money to your savings account.
Negotiate with your credit card companies
You may want to avoid moving credit card balances around from card to card because of the potential negative impact to your credit (ask your lender!), but maybe your existing credit card companies would be willing to lower their rate. This is a common practice that help the company keep a customer happy and the worst thing that can happen is that they say, “No.” If you’re successful in getting the rate lowered, make sure you calculate how much less you now have to pay per month and set that money aside. Getting a raise, a bonus, or a tax refund? Move that money into a savings account immediately so you don’t have a chance to miss it.
Research the best savings accounts
If you’re simply looking for the highest yield on your savings and you want to keep your money liquid, as CNN Money recommends for those buying in the next year, and an online-only account like Ally or Synchrony Bank, which currently pay around 1% annually,” might be your best bet, they said.
Check your credit
Been a while since you checked your credit? You might be surprised what you’ll find. Everything from a late payment on a credit card to the dreaded identity theft can cause problems and get in the way when buying a new home in the Hill Country. If you’re planning to buy in three months to a year, you probably have plenty of time to address nay issues and do some credit repair, if needed. The sales agent and/or lender in the community where you are looking to buy can guide you in the right direction, but this overview from Realtor.com is a great place to start.
Ask about special programs
If you’re buying a new home in New Braunfels, there may be special programs to help get you credit worthy and those that can add desirable upgrades without impacting your bottom line. In some cases, like with Lennar’s popular Everything’s Included (IE) program, homebuyers can get thousands of dollars of high-end upgrades for free. New Braunfels masterplanned community The Crossings is one of the Hill Country communities featuring the IE program, and has been a driving force in making this New Braunfels community so popular with Hill Country families.
Another tip for those looking for new homes is to ask about move-in-ready homes in the Hill Country. The Crossings offers this unique opportunity to buy a brand-new, fully finished home with all of the most-wanted features and move right in without the wait of construction.
For more information, visit The Crossings. This 288-acre masterplanned community features two single-family neighborhoods from Lennar with modern floorplans, spacious gathering areas, and many of today’s most coveted features. With an ideal location that feels private and serene but is close to shopping, restaurants, recreation, and I35, a range of new homes in a variety of sizes and configurations, amenities including a swimming pool, grassy play areas, and walking trails, with affordable prices from the $230s, it’s no wonder it’s quickly become New Braunfels’ most popular new community.
You can also click below to download the free Guide to buying a new home in the Texas Hill Country.