Turtles and snails are born with their homes on their backs. You, however, are not so lucky. Unless you plan to live in a cardboard box or you can talk someone into allowing you to live with them for the rest of your life, you will probably need to either buy or rent housing.
Home ownership isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely a long-term commitment. The prices of homes increase over the years, but usually at a slow rate. With all the financing, closing costs and other expenses associated with owning a home, you’ll probably lose money if you sell in less than five years.
You also have to think about the upkeep of a home. Everything from cutting the grass to putting on a new roof is your responsibility. The costs can really add up. Then add taxes, water and sewer bills and other expenses and you can get into some sizable payments.
But when you take full financial and maintenance responsibility for a home, it’s yours to do with as you please. Paint the walls purple. Add a planetarium. Put in a fireman’s pole. You’re in charge.
There are also substantial financial advantages to owning a home. The part of your monthly payment that goes toward the principal is all equity and the part that goes toward interest is tax deductible. Compare that with paying rent, which is neither an investment nor a tax write-off.
As your equity increases with time (and payments) it will be a source of financial stability for you, giving you collateral for a loan or producing a large sum of money if you sell. And if you decide to sell your home, as long as you have lived in it for two out of the past five years, you won’t have to pay tax on gains of up to $250,000. The limit doubles to $500,000 if you’re married, filing jointly, and both have lived in the home for two years.
1. Don’t add “while we’re at it” jobs that weren’t a part of the original budget/plan.
2. Stay away from cheap materials or corner-cutting measures that will just mean paying more later.
3. If you are doing the work yourself, learn the entire process before you start instead of using a “learn as you go” approach.
4. Let your contractor know you aren’t interested in the top-end, luxury versions of goods and materials.
5. Check service ratings websites before hiring your contractor.
6. If you are doing some pre-home sale upgrades, give yourself plenty of time so you don’t have to pay for rush work or overtime.
7. Consider refurbishing certain items instead of tearing them out and replacing them.
8. Exercise your creative abilities and look for ways to use materials found at architectural salvage stores.
9. To avoid paying to store in a locker any work-blocking household items, have a plan ahead of time for housing in-the-way furniture during the project.
10. Ask your contractor–you don’t want to miss out on potential savings because you failed to communicate.
In the market for a mortgage? Whether you need financing for a new purchase or simply want to lower your existing mortgage payments, NASA FCU has just the right mortgage for you. We offer some of the best rates available on the market today, as well as loan programs designed to fit a wide range of needs, including:
- First time homebuyer program
- FHA mortgages (requiring a low down payment)
- Jumbo mortgages (for loans over $417,000)
- VA mortgages
- 5% down on refinances or purchases up to $850,000—and no PMI*
- No down payment options on purchases up to $650,000—and no PMI*
So act now! Click here, stop by any branch or call us at 1-888-NASA-FCU, ext. 207 to apply for a new mortgage or refinance an existing mortgage with NASA FCU today.
Nobody Closes it Faster than NASA FCU
Even in these extraordinarily high volume times, NASA FCU members are experiencing mortgage approvals in half the time, as opposed to the 120-day average turnaround typical in the mortgage market today. We haven’t missed a reasonable purchase closing date yet, and will even expedite purchases to meet your contract deadline. So don’t wait—close your mortgage with NASA FCU today!
*Offers limited to well-qualified applicants. Some restrictions may apply. Offers valid for primary residences only. Speak with a NASA FCU First Mortgage Loan Specialist for loan details and rates. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
Home improvements made with a NASA FCU loan can turn your existing home into the home of your dreams.
A NASA FCU Home Equity Loan
is ideal for one-time borrowing home improvement needs and offers predictable, fixed payments for the term of the loan. A Home Equity Line of Credit
is best for ongoing borrowing needs like a series of home improvements or a credit reserve for unexpected expenses. And a Signature Loan
can be a smart way to
finance all kinds of home improvements, offering an affordable and predictable payment plan without the need for collateral.