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Tax season is upon us.  For many Americans, this is a happy time as they are expecting to receive a sizable income from their tax refund. Some folks choose to use this refund to pay off debts, build up savings, go on a vacation, or simply buy themselves a new toy.  You may be shocked to learn that many first time homebuyers do not know they can use their tax refund to help purchase a home.  Depending on the size and price of the home, this can make up most if not the all of the down payment costs.

When buying a home, new borrowers are highly encouraged to utilize their tax refund versus applying for a down payment assistance program. Down payment programs may seem attractive but come with many rules and restrictions that could harm a homeowner down the road.  Below is a list of common restrictions or disadvantages if you choose to enroll in a down payment program:

  • Can work as a second mortgage on your property
  • Forces you to live in the home for a specified time or else you will have to pay back the down payment in full
  • Can keep you from refinancing your home in the future.
  • Funds can dry up depending on the budget and number of applicants

Make sure to work with a quality REALTOR® and a seasoned Loan Advisor to determine if you are financially prepared to purchase a home.

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