T. Jay Johnson Jr. - Lamacchia Realty, Inc.



Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 11/22/2019

Photo by Tumisu via Pixabay

In an age where collaboration is on the rise, it’s not surprising that some are looking to find an alternative source of funding for their home or business purchase. Crowdfunding has been a successful way to fund various projects and business propositions, but it seems that some have found a way to make it work when purchasing property. The only question is, where’s the catch?

Banking Institutions & Lenders

It’s no secret that crowdfunding may cut into the banking industry’s bottom line. And yet, some people are highly successful when it comes to utilizing it to secure their properties. How do they do it? Diligence and strategy.  

Each donation by patron, if the funds are to be used immediately, is considered a gift. These gifts require letters stating that the funds don’t have to be paid back and are, indeed, a gift.

If you only have a few people donating to your crowdfunding campaign, that should be apiece of cake. However, if you have multiple donors, you might want to start checking them off one-by-one as they give until you’ve secured letters from all of those willing to send them to you.

If you run into anyone who isn’t willing to write the letter, is unresponsive, or you simply have time to wait on your purchase, you can put the funds from your crowdfunding adventure into a different account, and leave them alone. After a few months, the funds will have aged and may no longer need a letter.

The success rate is still iffy on securing funding through crowdfunding sources, however. The biggest hurdle is whether your lender will approve this unconventional method of down-payment.

The Patrons

Most crowdfunding requests usually has a story or mission attached to them. Some ask for the money to help their parents out of the rent cycle because they’re retiring, while others might be looking to open a new type of coffee shop and need a little extra to get things up and running. No matter the reason, you’re selling your story, but will folks buy it?

If you choose to go the crowdfunding route, you have to remember that the people funding you need a reason to fund you. You’ll have to give them the perfect story and reasoning or you’re going to end up flat and without funding. Some find this task incredibly daunting, while others are silver-tongued pros. Either way you slice it, crowdfunding is about marketing and storytelling.

If you decide to go the crowdfunding route, be sure to do ample research, line your ducks up and ensure that you’re ready for the journey. If it seems like it’s a little too much but you still want to find an alternative method of funding, chat with your real estate agent. There’s a plethora of options available, and we’d love to help you find the right one.





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 9/7/2018

Buying a home is a big financial endeavor that takes planning and saving. Aside from a down payment, hopeful homeowners will also need to save for closing costs and moving expenses.

When it comes to the down payment amount you’ll need to save, many of us have often heard 20%, the magic number. However, there are a number of different types of mortgages that have different down payment requirements.

To complicate matters, mortgages vary somewhat between lenders and can change over time, with the ebb and flow of the housing market.

So, the best way to approach the process of saving for a down payment is to think about your needs in a home, and reach out to lenders to start comparing rates.

However, there are a few constants when it comes to down payments that are worth considering when shopping for a mortgage.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about some characteristics of down payments, discuss where the 20% number comes from, and give you some tips on finding the best mortgage for you.

Do I need 20% saved for a down payment?

With the median home prices in America sitting around $200,000 and many areas averaging much higher, it may seem like 20% is an unattainable savings goal.

The good news is that many Americans hoping to buy their first home have several options that don’t involve savings $40,000 or more.

So, where does that number come from?

Most mortgage lenders will want to be sure that lending to would be a smart investment. In other words, they want to know that they’ll earn back the amount they lend you plus interest. They determine how risky it is to lend to you by considering a number of factors.

First and foremost is your credit score. Lenders want to see that you’re paying your bills on time and aren’t overwhelmed by debt. Second, they will ask you for verification of your income to determine how much you can realistically hope to pay each month. And, finally, they’ll consider the amount you’re putting down.

If you have less than 20% of the mortgage amount saved for your down payment, you’ll have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an extra fee must be paid in addition to your interest each month.

First-time buyers rarely put 20% or more down

Thanks to FHA loans guaranteed by the federal government, as well as other loan assistance programs like USDA loans and mortgages insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs, buying a home is usually within reach even if you don’t have several thousands saved.

On average, first-time buyers put closer to 6% down on their mortgage. However, they will have to pay PMI until they’ve paid off 20% of their home.


So, if you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, saving should be a priority. But, don’t worry too much if you don’t think you can save the full 20% in advance.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 7/6/2018

It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most people’s paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.

Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, you’ll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.

How much to save

In order to make the most of your first home purchase, you’ll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount you’ll pay toward interest.

If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, you’ll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.

Smart ways to save while renting

If you’re ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, let’s talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.

Pay off small debts

If you’ve had that lingering credit card debt that you’ve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.

This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.

Open a dedicated account or CD

The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).

A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before they’re ready to buy a home.

If you’re comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.

Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.

Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.

Direct deposit a portion of your pay

Opening a bank account or CD won’t do you any good if you don’t commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Don’t  wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to purchase your first home.





Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 5/11/2018

Buying a home will likely be one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. While this may seem scary at first, it’s worth noting that buying a home can also be a valuable financial investment.

When it comes to preparing to buy a home, many people just wait until they run out of room in their apartment before deciding that they need to upgrade to a home. A better approach, however, would be to start planning for your first home a year or more in advance.

Saving for a down payment is a vital step to making the best long-term financial decision. A larger down payment can help you pay off your home sooner, pay thousands or tens of thousands less in interest, and start using your home equity as an asset.

But, saving for a down payment is easier said than done. So, in this post, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can aggressively save for a down payment so that, when the time comes, you can achieve long-term financial security from your investment.

Setting your savings goals

The first thing you should be thinking about when saving for a down payment is what your goals are in a home. Setting realistic goals in this phase will make saving for your down payment more feasible and less discouraging.

Think about what you really need from a home at this point in your life and compromise where you can.

Remember that on top of your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll likely also be paying for taxes, insurance, utilities, homeowners association fees, and more.

Save on a timeline

When setting your savings goal, make sure you’re aware of the timeframe you’re working with. If you want to buy a home next year, you’ll need to focus on short-term savings options. However, if you’re okay with renting for the next 5 years, investing your money could be a better option.

Lock away your savings

Treat your down payment savings like an emergency fund. Open a separate account, automatically deposit a portion of your pay into the account, and never withdraw from it. To do this, you will, of course, need to already have an emergency fund with a month’s expenses in it.

However, once you’ve established your emergency fund, start immediately depositing into your savings account.

Pay off credit cards

It may seem like saving for a down payment is more pressing than paying off old debt. However, the numbers will show that making interest payments on your credit cards is essentially throwing away money that could have been used toward your down payment savings.

Adjust your spending habits

While it isn’t easy to start spending less once you’ve built a standard of living, there are ways to spend less money and still lead a fulfilling life. Think about where your money goes each month, including bills and services you might pay for.

Now could be the best time to cut the cord and start using a service like Hulu to save $50 or more each month.

Time for a raise?

If it’s been some time since your last pay raise, now could be an ideal time to speak with your employer. To improve your chances of success, don’t discuss reasons outside of work that might be influencing your decision to ask for a raise (such as saving for a down payment). Rather, back up your request with evidence of your accomplishments at work.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by T. Jay Johnson Jr. on 10/27/2017

If you are thinking of buying your first home, you’re thinking of making the single biggest purchase of your entire lifetime. Real estate is complex. From getting finances in order to understanding the entire process to securing the home you love, there’s so much that you’ll need to know when it comes to buying your first home. 


What Is A Down Payment?


A down payment is a one-time cash payment that you’ll provide at the closing table when you buy a home. How much your down payment is will have an effect on how much your monthly mortgage payment will be. It will also affect your initial home equity value. 


Should You Keep Renting?


First, you’ll need to think of a savings goal and a timeline. The general rule is that if you own a home for at least 5 years, you have gotten your “money’s worth” out of the closing costs and the fees you paid at the time you purchased your home. If you don’t think you’ll stay in a home for at least 5 years before making another move, you may want to consider renting until you know where you want to settle. 


What Can You Afford? 


You’ll need to calculate just how much home you can afford. Look at potential monthly mortgage payments plus taxes, fees, insurance, utilities and other monthly expenses that you have.


In dual-income households, it’s nice if the living expenses can be covered just by one person’s paycheck. Once you have an idea of your budget, you can price out homes that will meet your needs and be in your price range. 


Why You Should Save More


The best practice in buying a home is to put 20% down on the house. With this sizable down payment, it will be easier to get approved for a mortgage. You’ll also avoid needing PMI (private mortgage insurance.) This is an additional cost for people who put down less than a 20% down payment. This can cost you a lot of money each month, so it’s best to save as much as you can for that initial down payment. 


Don’t be discouraged. You can still buy a home with a lower percentage of a down payment, but you’ll have to pay for the PMI and include the additional expense in your budget. The Federal Housing Administration has many different options available that allow you to put a smaller down payment on a home, so do your homework.  


How To Save 

           

Once you get an idea of about how much you’ll spend on your home, you need to take action and start saving. There are many ways that you can save automatically without even thinking about it. You can choose a fixed amount or percentage of your paycheck and save it automatically into the house fund. Save as much as you can so you’ll be able to make your home purchase more quickly. You may even want to consider putting your money into a money market account for a higher return on your savings once you reach a certain goal. 


Don’t Forget To Save Your Bonuses


Whether you have received a gift or a sizable Christmas bonus, make sure that you put that money away towards your home purchase. Every little bit helps. While we may have an inclination to want to spend the money on more immediate things, you’ll be happy that you saved your money when you head to purchase your house! 


Use Your IRA


The IRS allows a tax benefit for first time home buyers. You can take out up to $10,000 out of your IRA or Roth IRA for a first time home purchase. Your Roth IRA account must be at least 5 years old in order for you to do this. Distributions from this account are tax-free, but you’ll need to pay tax if you withdraw form a traditional IRA. You should discuss any withdrawals that you do make with your financial advisor and your tax advisor. This could be an opportunity for you to build your wealth in a new way, so make an informed decision. 


Happy saving and happy house hunting!