how much to save for a down payment

How Much Do You Need to Save for a Down Payment?

Wondering How Much You Need To Save for a Down Payment?

Wondering How Much You Need To Save for a Down Payment? | MyKCM

If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, you’re likely focused on saving up for everything that purchase involves. You may be wondering how much you need to save for a down payment. But don’t let a common misconception make the process harder than it could be.

Understand 20% Isn’t Always the Typical Down Payment

Freddie Mac explains:

“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.

Unless specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. This means you could be closer to your home buying dream than you realize. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, the median down payment today is only 14%. And it’s even lower for first-time homebuyers at just 6% (see graph below):

Wondering How Much You Need To Save for a Down Payment? | MyKCM

Learn About Options That Can Help You Toward Your Goal

If saving for a down payment still feels like a challenge, know that there’s help available. A real estate professional and trusted lender can show you options that could help you get closer to your down payment goal. According to latest Homeownership Program Index from Down Payment Resource, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and the majority are intended to help with down payments.

Plus there are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5%, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.

To understand your options, be sure to do your homework. If you’re interested in learning more about down payment assistance programs, information is available through sites like Down Payment Resource. Then, partner with a trusted lender to learn what you qualify for on your home buying journey.  We know some great ones who we are happy to connect you with.

Bottom Line

Remember, a 20% down payment isn’t always required. If you want to purchase a home this year, let’s connect. You’ll also want to make sure you have a trusted lender so you can explore your down payment options.

Planning to retire soon? It may be time to make a move.

Planning to Retire Soon?

If you are planning to retire soon it could be time for you to consider making a move.

Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move. | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about retirement or have already retired this year, you may be planning your next steps. One of your goals could be selling your Richmond-area house and finding a home that more closely fits your needs.

Fortunately, you may be in a better position to make a move than you realize. Here are a few things to think about when making that decision.

Consider How Long You’ve Been in Your Home

From 1985 to 2008, the average length of time homeowners typically stayed in their homes was only six years. But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that number is rising today, meaning many homeowners are living in their houses even longer (see graph below):

Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move. | MyKCM

When you live in a home for a significant period of time, it’s natural for you to experience a number of changes in your life while you’re in that house. As those life changes and milestones happen, your needs may change. And if your current Richmond-area home no longer meets them, you may have better options waiting for you.

Consider the Equity You’ve Gained

Additionally, if you’ve been in your home for more than a few years, you’ve likely built up significant equity that can fuel your next move. That’s because the longer you’ve been in your home, the more likely it’s grown in value due to home price appreciation. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) illustrates that point (see graph below):

Planning to Retire? It Could Be Time To Make a Move. | MyKCM

While home price growth varies by state and local area, the national average shows the typical homeowner who’s been in their house for five years saw it increase in value by over 50%. And the average homeowner who’s owned their home for 30 years saw it almost triple in value over that time.  We here in Richmond have definitely seen healthy appreciation as of late.

Consider Your Retirement Goals

Whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or move so you live closer to loved ones, that equity can help you achieve your homeownership goals. NAR shares that for recent home sellers, the primary reason to move was to be closer to loved ones. Plus, retirement played a large role for those moving greater distances.

Whatever your home goals are, we can work with you to find the best option. We’ll help you sell your current house and guide you as you buy the home that’s right for you and your lifestyle today.

Bottom Line

Retirement can bring about major changes in your life, including what you need from your home. Let’s connect to explore your opportunities in Richmond or beyond.

update your house

Should You Update Your House Before You Sell?

Before you update your house for listing, call us for our professional advice.

Should You Update Your House Before You Sell? Ask a Real Estate Professional. [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • You may be wondering what needs to be renovated before you sell your house. In today’s shifting market, making your house appealing is more important than ever.
  • That’s why it’s essential to lean on a real estate professional who has in-depth knowledge of today’s housing market. They know what buyers are looking for and how to highlight any upgrades you make.
  • Let’s connect so you know where to focus your efforts so your house will stand out in a today’s market.
benefit of buying a home in Richmond

The True Strength of Homeowners Today

The main benefit of buying a home in Richmond is that our housing market is strong and building home equity is one of the best ways to build wealth.

Richmond homeowners are wondering what’s going on with the Real Estate market and how home values will hold up with the recent shift.  The article below gives a great overview of the benefit of buying a home in Richmond.

The True Strength of Homeowners Today | MyKCM

The real estate market is on just about everyone’s mind these days. That’s because the unsustainable market of the past two years is behind us, and the difference is being felt. The question now is, just how financially strong are homeowners throughout the country? Mortgage debt grew beyond 10 trillion dollars over the past year, and many called that a troubling sign when it happened for the first time in history.

Recently Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, answered that question when she said:

“U.S. households own $41 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $12 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$29 trillion in equity. The national “LTV” in Q2 2022 was 29.5%, the lowest since 1983.”

She continued on to say:

“Homeowners had an average of $320,000 in inflation-adjusted equity in their homes in Q2 2022, an all-time high.”

What Is LTV?

The term LTV refers to loan to value ratio. For more context, here’s how the Mortgage Reports defines it:

“Your ‘loan to value ratio’ (LTV) compares the size of your mortgage loan to the value of the home. For example: If your home is worth $200,000, and you have a mortgage for $180,000, your LTV ratio is 90% — because the loan makes up 90% of the total price.

You can also think about LTV in terms of your down payment. If you put 20% down, that means you’re borrowing 80% of the home’s value. So your LTV ratio is 80%.”

Why Is This Important?

This is yet another reason we won’t see the housing market crash. Home equity allows homeowners to be in control. For example, if someone did need to sell their home, they likely have the equity they need to be able to sell it and still put money in their pocket. This was not the case back in 2008, when many owed more on their homes than they were worth.

Bottom Line

Homeowners today have more financial strength than they have had since 1983. This is a combination of how homeowners have handled equity since the crash and rising home prices of the last two years. And this is yet another benefit of buying a home in Richmond and why homeownership in any market makes sense.

Do You Really Need A Real Estate Agent For New Construction?

We get this question a lot! With Richmond and Midlothian resale inventory so low, many of our Buyers are choosing to build, both in the luxury and mid-market categories. We know Richmond builders and know how they work. Learn why it’s a great idea for us to be by a Buyer’s side during this process!

  • We advocate for you and work in your best interest
  • There is no cost for you
  • We know Richmond builders and can find the right builder for you
  • We can help you build in your budget
  • We’re aware of builder promotions
  • We have preferred lenders who are experienced in home building lending
  • We will negotiate for you
  • We will help you understand your contract
  • We can help oversee inspections

How to be a Competitive Buyer

Nervous about entering the Richmond, VA real estate market as a Buyer? The key is to know what to expect, have your ducks in a row and follow these 4 home-buying guidelines.
 

1. Get your credit healthy, financing nailed down, and have that pre-approval letter in hand. If you need a mortgage advisor, we can help with that.

 

2. When you are competing with other aggressive offers, you may have to give a little on some of your must-haves. Be prepared to decide which home features are most important to you and which you can be flexible with. If you find the one that you can’t live without, a luxury updated bathroom may be able to wait.


 
3. Multiple offers are the norm, so be prepared with your absolute maximum budget in mind. An agent with real estate negotiation expertise can help you figure out what other line items like appraisals, inspections, and contingencies can make your offer stand out. Here are 4 areas to consider.
 
The Price:

What you offer on a property depends on a number of factors, including its condition, length of time on the market, buyer activity and the urgency of the seller. While some buyers want to make a low offer just to see if the seller accepts, it’s wise to read the current market and understand that might not be the best strategy right now, given low inventory. To be most competitive, choose a home that is comfortably within your budget and allow for some potential escalation of price.

 

The Move-in Date:
If you can be flexible on the possession date, the seller will be more apt to choose your offer over others.

 

Additional Property:
Often, the seller plans on leaving major appliances in the home; however, which items stay or go is often a matter of negotiation.

 

Remove Contingencies:
If you are comfortable, making an offer that is not contingent on the sale of your home is often looked upon favorably. Additionally, you may consider an inspection waiver if the home looks to be well-maintained or newer.

 

4. Our home becomes a part of our heart, but during this part of the process, keep it all business. You don’t want to get caught up in a frenzy, offer too much for your comfort level and end up regretting anything later. Your agent can help you manage emotions and keep things in perspective.

 

Give us a call so we can talk about what you need, what your options are, and how to be best-prepared to purchase a home in Richmond, VA.