This past year has caused us all to stop and think about what’s important: health, safety, and job security rank at the top of the list. Like many, you may have been forced to make some decisions you never thought you’d make. You may have even thought twice about where you call home, how to work from home, and even how to teach from home. If you’ve settled on the decision to move to a new city, neighborhood, or house that suits your new lifestyle, this may be the perfect time to do it. If you’re in a position to optimize your stimulus check, here are four ways to do it.
Jump-Start Your Down Payment
Have you been saving for a down payment but don’t see yourself quite hitting the mark? You might consider using your stimulus check as a way to boost what you’ve already saved. Speak to a mortgage professional about your options. For example, an FHA loan (Federal Housing Administration) is great for people who need a low down payment. If your credit score isn’t perfect, you can still get an FHA loan for as little as 3.5% down. With the median list price in Hampton Roads hovering at $279,000, a family of four receiving a $5,600 stimulus payment could put themselves in a great position.
Pay Down Your Debt
Do you have lingering debt still hanging out there? Use your stimulus check to pay down any small existing debts. Reducing your debt-to-income ratio can positively impact what you’re approved for, giving you more options when you’re ready to shop.
Boost Your Savings Account
Not sure if you’re ready to leap right into the market as soon as you have the money in hand? Save it. And don’t just save it in a checking account. Use a high-yielding savings account so you can earn even more.
Get a Head Start on Additional Home Expenses
While it won’t be enough to cover your full down payment, it’s nice to have a little extra in your pocket if you need to sweeten your offer should you find yourself in a bidding war. You could also put it aside for other home expenses that may arise after the purchase of a home. Give your finances a head start should you choose to do some remodeling to your new home.
The stimulus check is a great way to get you one step closer to a new normal in a new home you can be comfortable in. If you’re a first-time buyer using this time to get into the market, check out our first-time homebuyer checklist to get you moving in the right direction. Connect with one of our 7,000 agents today to help you take advantage of the market. To find out what you can afford, check out our mortgage calculator to help estimate your monthly payments. For local listings you can trust, start with REIN.com.
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