Savings for the home search, down payment, etc, should be independent of your nest egg, college savings, retirement savings, and emergency funds.
You should also plan for unexpected expenses, like replacing a water heater, roof leak repair, etc.
At that point $8,000--$10,000 is a great fund to work with to start home shopping.
Along with various 100% funding programs, you may find one that allows you to include closing costs, or you may be able to negotiate with the sellers to cover them for you.
Here is one great Triangle area lender who can offer you excellent consultation regarding home loans:
Producing Vice-President, SunTrust Mortgage
He is a wizard at constructing a loan package and advising you how to use your available funds to your best advantage.
As far as saving to buy a house in this area, I'd say the minimum you need is $2K. Of course, more is better. If you have $8K or more, you're in fine shape.
Just as an aside, I like to run an extensive market analysis of a property whether I'm the listing agent or the buyers agent. I think like an investor and I especially want my buyers to be in a great position if they need to sell at some future point. (Plus the analysis I do helps sellers set a price that gets interest from buyers. I've actually had bidding wars on some of my listed properties.) That market analysis, with graphs and charts to show trends, takes me a little time to prepare and some skill in pulling the data from the multiple listing service, but I think it's worth it.
So saving for your home is a great idea. But remember, you'll also save with the low interest rates we're seeing now, and it's till cheaper in Raleigh/Cary to buy than to rent.
Hope this helps!
*Linda Rohrbough, Broker, Strategic Pricing Specialist*
"Every home has a story. Let me write yours."
Coldwell Banker HPW
100 Connemara Dr (off Hwy 55 north of High House Rd in Cary)
Cary, NC 27519
office: (919) 573-0710
fax: (919) 653-4856
I moved from D.C. to Durham about 11 years ago and it is wonderful. The question you ask is difficult, you have small children so unexpected expenses pop up every day I am sure.
The job market is still reasonably strong here depending on your field. The housing market is also very good, The downpayment on most loans right now is 3.5% , there are some exceptions, but that is the norm. Closing costs are approx 3.5% depending on the lender, these can be built back into the loan. If you consider the purchase price of the home you will be looking for I would plan on saving around 10% then you will be safe with expenses. Of course loan types and interest rates change quickly so in 2 years things may be completely different
Yes, this area is strong from an employment standpoint. Feel free to call me at 919-210-8388 and we can discuss more.
From a down payment standpoint, it depends on the loan program. 3.5% down payment is a safe figure. There are some 100% options out there, depending on eligibility.
Hope you have a great day and let me know if I can help!