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Tips, Tricks, and Financial Hacks for Hoboken House-Hunters

Christopher Ozar

Christopher is the Team Leader of the Ozar Group Real Estate Team...

Christopher is the Team Leader of the Ozar Group Real Estate Team...

Oct 2 4 minutes read

Do you feel like you need a few tricks up your sleeve to buy a home? Good news! You don’t need to work magic to purchase a property. Shed that sensation with these terrific, under-recognized financial hacks for homebuyers.

Increase Your Credit Score

When it comes to buying a house, your credit score is a pivotal piece of information. As explained by SmartAsset, your credit score has a three-pronged, direct impact on your home loan. It affects the amount of your loan, your interest rate, and the kind of loan you can get. Your credit score is a snapshot of your financial health, and the better your rating, the better your loan will be. Therefore, it’s in your best interest (literally!) to increase your credit score. Before you begin the home buying process, you should request a credit report and review all the data on it to identify room for improvement. You can improve your credit rating in several different ways:

  • Dispute errors in your credit history, such as accounts you never opened. 
  • Pay down your debt. 
  • Increase your credit limits, as the margin between what is available and what you owe can appear to be problematic.
  • Reconcile dings by asking for forgiveness on late payments.
  • Negotiate removal of mistakes on your part, such as unpaid debts.
  • Dispute other negative marks; sometimes lenders will let go of issues if they are small or if their records are inconclusive.

Stow for Your Down Payment

Sometimes we do things we don’t want to do because it’s a healthy choice. The typical down payment lenders require is 20 percent, and on a $200,000 home, that means coughing up $40,000. Saving up cash for a bigger down payment is a great way to get a better home loan, but as Benzinga notes, it may mean making choices that are uncomfortable. For instance, you can save your rent payment by housing with a close friend or relative for a while or sell your car and take public transportation or carpool. You should also research what the average down payment is for homes in your target area or the percentage of homes that sell under their listed price. 

Find Relisted Properties

Do some sleuthing! Look for homes that were pulled off the market and relisted. As time drags on, the seller will often accept a lower offer. When you’re examining listings, pay attention to the continuous days on market (CDOM). That number tells you the number of days since the property was initially listed.

Look for Good Bones

As the Chicago Tribune points out, you can often stretch your dollars by buying an ugly home. It’s also a great way to get into a neighborhood you couldn’t otherwise afford. Finding a home in good repair but out-of-date style-wise means you might be able to score a diamond in the rough. Outdated appliances, flooring, paint, light fixtures, and other cosmetics may not be easy on the eye, but they are often easy on the wallet. Make sure the property’s roof, plumbing, foundation, and electrical structures are healthy; you can work on making the place suit your style after you move in. 

Winter Can Work

Winter is when the housing market can slow significantly. Some experts note that between weather, the holidays, and being in the midst of the school year, many potential homebuyers put things on hold. That means you can take advantage of the season, and you might just have your pick of homes -- with less competition and better bargaining power to boot.

Hacks That Work for You

While it may be a challenge, you don’t need to be a magician to become a homeowner.  Make wise decisions and incorporate smart financial hacks into your bag of tricks. You’ll be a homeowner in no time!

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