Buying a house instead of renting is, depending where in the country you live, often more cost-effective. But upgrading from a smaller home to a larger home and mortgage? Probably not.
“There are solid reasons to upgrade your home. For many, it was always the plan. You buy a starter home, and upgrade to a larger one once your family expands. Or your income expands, and you finally move into your dream home. Regardless of your reason, the typical first step is determining what you can afford. A standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28% of your income before taxes. A quick and dirty way to check how much you can afford is through calculators like myFico calculator.
“While accumulating a large chunk of cash isn’t likely to happen overnight, if you start small, you can gradually build your savings so that you have a financial safety net in place. With that goal in mind, here are 10 ways you can save $300 a month — without having to make yourself utterly miserable in the process.”
“Most people don’t put much thought into their credit scores until the time comes to apply for a loan. If you expect to need financing in the next few months and aren’t convinced your credit score is high enough to get you approved, you’ll need to act quickly to improve your chances. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to boost your credit score in record time.” (“4 tips to increase your credit score fast.” Maurie Backman. 8 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/pf/credit-score-tips/index.html?iid=Lead)
One way to increase your credit score? Ask for an increase in your credit limit. But read CNN’s article for more tips!
Even if you have the financial means to put in an all-cash offer, you may not want to do so.
All-cash offers can be more appealing to home-sellers, but you also need to take into consideration the other aspects of paying so much cash upfront.
Will you have enough liquidity left? At least a few thousand dollars left in your pocket is ideal. You may have repairs, upgrades you desire to make, and increased utility and maintenance costs for your new house — not to mention your typical costs and unexpected financial needs (such as medical bills or suddenly losing employment).
What if you easily qualify for a mortgage? Interest rates are still on the low-side, and by obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house, you would be able to keep a large chunk of your finances.
Paying all-cash means you miss out on a tax break. When you have a mortgage, you are able to receive a tax break on the interest paid to the mortgage lender.