Shopping for a Home

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

My husband and I just purchased our home and are so excited and smiley these days, when you see us you think we have slept with a hanger in our mouth. A home is something almost everyone wants, but acquiring one can take a lot of work – and money. While it would be impossible to cover everything you need to know in one little entry in my blog, here are a few things to keep in mind if you are – or are considering – buying a home.

  1. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you are going to score, meaning the more house you will get for your money. While many people with less-than-excellent credit scores can get mortgages even today, it is probably going to cost you.
  2. Down payments can come from unusual places. It is generally a good idea to make some sort of down payment when you buy a home, but if you don’t have the cash saved up, there are other ways to get your hands on one. Try asking your employer for a loan against your 401(k), or consulting a private bank.
  3. Houses are illiquid investments, and especially these days. Before you purchase your first home, it is a good idea to think about the future – whether you’ll need more room for children or may need to relocate to a new area. You never want to be in a hurry selling a house because that tends to get expensive.

Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.