After spending months searching for your dream home, the last thing you want to hear is that it is outside of your price range. Unfortunately, that can happen. However, there are some ways you can potentially bring the home's listing price back into your ideal budget. Here are three possible ways you should consider.
Check Out Housing Programs
There are state and federal housing programs that could potentially help you afford the home you want. Although there are some programs that have income requirements, others do not. Therefore, you might be able to find one that fits your needs.
For instance, many states have first-time homeowners programs. The programs usually offer assistance with paying the down payment or closing costs. If you or your partner work as a civil servant, there are even programs that offer incentives for selecting homes in certain neighborhoods.
Your realtor can be a good source for finding programs that you might qualify for. You should also talk to your lender to determine if there are additional programs being offered through it to help with the cost of buying a home.
Evaluate the Home's Cost Effectiveness
The savings you need to afford your dream home might be inside the home itself. Although you might be looking for upfront savings that you can apply to the initial costs, there are more passive savings that could result in huge savings for you down the road.
For instance, if the home has a lot of energy efficiency or green features, such as low flow fixtures or an HVAC system with a high efficiency rating, you could save on water usage and energy costs. As an added perk, having energy efficiency appliances could pay off with a tax credit for you later.
Other hidden savings could be a shorter commute to work, which means a decrease in fuel expenses and less wear and tear on your car.
Haggle on the Listing Price
Some homebuyers offer to pay the listing price without first attempting to negotiate with the seller. For some, the fear of losing the home is greater than trying to save. However, if you cannot afford to buy the home at the current price, negotiating is a must.
Work with your realtor to do the homework on the home. Factors, such as how long the home has been listed and the comparables in the neighborhood, could be used to push the seller to lower his or her price. Even if you cannot get the seller to move on the price, you might get him or her to agree to help with other expenses, such as the closing costs.