Before You Finalize That Mortgage, Here Are Ultra-Cheap Ways to Get a Home

finalize a mortgage

I am divorced. It is not a subject I enjoy talking about. We struggled financially when I was married. One unrequited dream of mine was to surprise my ex with a new house. Especially during the holidays. But real life always gets in the way. It’s no joke trying to finalize a mortgage.

I never thought realistically about financing. Or, FHA loans that may have applied to my circumstances. I wished I had thought about the relative affordability of purchasing a house in cities with lower cost of living standards than New York City.

If regrets were pennies, I’d be a trillionaire.

It’s far too late for the would’ve, could’ve, and should’ve lamentations. However, I have learned now, in middle age, how I could have counteracted the high costs of home ownership with logical thinking.

Not counting all other household bills, the average mortgage is about $1,000. Meanwhile, the average cost of a new home is over $362,000.

Over 143,000 homes were foreclosed on in the third quarter of 2019 alone. Even though this is a 19% decrease from last year, this statistic is still a testament to how unprepared many people are for home ownership.

However, if you’re prepared to undertake some serious research studies and temporarily compromise residency preferences, there are many ways that you can get a home very cheaply. Sometimes for as little as $1.

The Lowdown

There many economic revitalization initiatives that offer houses for a $1, or affordably priced via auction, due to foreclosure or property tax delinquency issues with prior owners.

Numerous cities will give you a deal on a house to repopulate and revitalize neighborhoods in economic decline. Or, just to help you get a first home.

Now, just because you might be able to get a house for $1, or tens of thousands of dollars at auction, doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from all the other costs associated with buying a house.

Like closing costs, taxes, realtor fees, auction processing fees, repair and renovation costs, and so on. However, if you’re willing to live somewhere that isn’t exactly your first choice for residency, you can get a house for relatively little money.

St. Louis, Missouri Dollar House Pilot Program

The Land Reutilization Authority of St. Louis sells houses and land that were seized due to property tax delinquency.

This LRA initiative is designed to stimulate local industry, offer housing, and hopefully create new jobs. The LRA offers many houses for just $1 to this end.

You will have to apply, personally inspect the property, and make an offer, among other conditions. Some homes will require renovation and repairs paid out of your pocket.

Gary, Indiana Dollar House Program

Gary, Indiana is located about 25 miles south of Chicago. Its population of 76,000 has been declining incrementally since the 1960s due to the decline of local industries, especially steel and manufacturing.

The houses offered in this $1 program aren’t on the verge of falling down, but you’ll have to enact any necessary repairs and renovations within a year.

You apply for the Dollar House Program in the same manner as a lottery. You’ll have to have an annual income of $35,000 to qualify.

Keeping an Open Mind About Home Ownership

These cities may not be your first choices to live, but you could look at it as though it is a starter home.

The point is that if you want to live in major urban centers, you need to be financially prepared. Many people aren’t.

There are many places in this country where you can get a home relatively easy.

You can spend the time living there working, saving money, and planning to get your dream home in the future.

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