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3 Ways to Cut Your Closing Costs

So you've found the house, negotiated the price, endured the inspection, and done all the final negotiations. You are eager to sign the papers and get into your new home. But don't quit just yet.

Here are three steps you can take during the financing stage to avoid the sticker shock of closing costs.

  1. Get the best type of loan for you.
    The kind of loan you choose will depend on your individual circumstances and plans. For instance, if you are planning to live in a house for a long time, it may be worth it to pay a couple of points to get the lowest possible interest rate. However, if you are buying a "starter" home or something you may sell within five years or so, going for the no points, higher interest rate may not only save you some money at closing time, but it may work out to be a better fiscal bet in the long run.

  2. Negotiate with the seller and/or realtor.
    In this buyer's market, everything is negotiable. That means that sellers may be willing to pick up costs they would not otherwise in order to close the deal. Realtors will also sometimes agree to accept a lower commission on the sale of the house you are purchasing, or to kick $1,000 in toward closing costs. It's worth asking.

  3. Look closely at the Good Faith Estimate.
    The good faith estimate that your mortgage provider puts together for you to help you predict closing costs is an excellent place to start looking for ways to cut costs. Instead of just using it as a predictive document, use it as a working document.

July's Home Value Improver

Keep your House Cool on the Cheap
Nothing comes cheap these days - including electricity. Many of us have been spoiled with lots of air conditioning in the summer and don't want to give it up. You don't have to! But, you should consider how to keep things cool without throwing money out the window while you do it. There are some fairly simple steps you can take that will keep keep both the temperature and your electricity bill down.

  • Give fans a chance.
    Many of us turn right to the treasured air conditioning when the mercury rises. Don't forget about the trusty old fans, though. They got most of us through our childhood, after all. While window fans and ceiling fans seem to have the greatest cooling power, a standard room fan can help a lot, too. For some additional cooling, put a bowl of ice in front of a fan. As the water melts, the fan will blow the cool air into the room.

  • Shade the air conditioner.
    If your air conditioner is sitting out in the blazing sun, it has to work harder to cool your home. Keep it shaded, and the unit will not have to work so hard.

  • Don't embrace the ancient AC unit.
    Unlike wine, air conditioning units do not improve with age. A 10-year-old AC is only half as efficient as a new one.

  • Use light-colored blinds on your windows.
    It will reflect the sun instead of attract it.

  • Don't forget about all those tiny steps.
    Air dry dishes instead of running your dishwasher's dry cycle, lower the temperature on your water heater, and turn off appliances that you are not using.

Westchester Mortgage

July 2011

Your mother may have told you that there was no such thing as a free lunch, and this was probably before you ever thought about buying a house. If you're in the real estate market, you know now that mom was right.

While there are no free lunches, you can certainly find ways to make that lunch cheaper - and the same holds true for your closing costs. This month, I'm happy to bring you three tips for decreasing closing costs when you buy or refinance.

I hope you are enjoying the summer and that you'll be in touch with any of your home financing questions or concerns!

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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