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    What Are the Benefits of a 20% Down Payment?

    If you’re thinking of buying a home this year, you may be wondering how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people may think it’s 20% of the loan to secure a mortgage. While there are plenty of lower down payment options available for qualified buyers who don’t want to put 20% down, it’s important to understand how a larger down payment can have great benefits too.

    The truth is, there are many programs available that allow you to put down as little as 3.5%, which can be a huge benefit to those who want to purchase a home sooner rather than later. Those who have served our country may also qualify for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA) and may not need a down payment. These programs have really cut down the savings time for many potential buyers, enabling them to start building family wealth sooner.

    Here are four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan if you can afford it.

    1. Your interest rate may be lower.

    A 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender you’re more financially stable and not a large credit risk. The more confident your lender is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the mortgage interest rate they’ll likely be willing to give you.

    2. You’ll end up paying less for your home.

    The larger your down payment, the smaller your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you’re able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you’ll only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down 5%, the additional 15% will be added to your loan and will accrue interest over time. This will end up costing you more over the lifetime of your home loan.

    3. Your offer will stand out in a competitive market.

    In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence as the lender in this scenario. You are seen as a stronger buyer with financing that’s more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through.

    4. You won’t have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

    What is PMI? According to Freddie Mac:

    PMI is an insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%. Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.

    As mentioned earlier, when you put down less than 20% when buying a home, your lender will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you’re unable to pay your loan. This insurance isn’t required if you’re able to put down 20% or more.

    Many times, home sellers looking to move up to a larger or more expensive home are able to take the equity they earn from the sale of their house to put down 20% on their next home. With the equity homeowners have today, it creates a great opportunity to put those savings toward a 20% or greater down payment on a new home.

    If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’ll want to consider the benefits of 20% down versus a smaller down payment option.

    Bottom Line

    If you’re thinking of buying a home and are already saving for your down payment, reach out to a trusted professional who can help you decide what fits best with your long-term plans.

    Source: Keeping Current Matters

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    John Lyons

    Tired of traveling week-in and week-out for his corporate job, John Lyons decided to start his own real estate business. Lyons could not have predicted how well his background would prepare him for a career in real estate. His journey has been a long and successful one. After graduating from Indiana University in 2001, he took a job selling copiers at Minolta Business Solutions. After building an impressive track record there, he was hired by BrainLAB, Inc. to sell image guides surgical systems. He quickly rose to become one of the top sales representatives for the company. Seven years later, he was hired by Midwest director of sales IMRIS, for their intraoperative MRI and integrated operating room solutions. Now he has a new outlet for his sales abilities: real estate. A Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer and recipient of Baird and Warner’s Founder’s Club award for the past four years, Lyons had a record 2018, selling more than 11.7 million in real estate. This marked an 18 percent increase over his 2017 numbers. “I was able to accomplish this through daily prospecting and providing a high-level of service for my clients,” he says. In testimonials, his clients say he is patient, trustworthy, personable, knowledgeable, and professional. “Each and every client is so different,” he says. “It’s important to truly understand their needs so you can best serve them. Listening build trust, which is so incredibly important in our business.” A member of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, he assist clients in a variety of neighborhoods, including the Near North Side, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Uptown, Ravenswood, Logan Square, West Town, and the Loop. He is quick to admit the best education he has ever received was from his 6 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. Lyons donates $200 per transaction to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “I am running the Chicago Marathon in 2019 for Lurie Children’s Hospital,” he says. “I have a lofty goal this year, to qualify for the Boston Marathon a second time. Since the beginning of the year, I have been spending at least four hours a week training for the October 13 race.” Results matter, here are John's Listing Numbers: Average list to sell ratio - 98.2% Average days to closing - 52 Listings taken to listings sold - 99%

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