Are you excited for tax season yet unsure how to invest your tax refund? Put it to work by realizing your real estate goals. Buying a house and tax returns go hand-in-hand since there are many ways to apply your refund to the home-buying process. Your tax refund is your hard-earned money. Invest in real estate to improve your financial situation and build sustainable, long-term wealth. Learn how to invest your tax refund in your real estate goals. 

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How to Invest Your Tax Refund in Buying a Home

The home-buying season picks up just as Americans start receiving their tax returns, and for a good reason: applying your tax refund towards a home purchase can speed up the process and lower overall costs. (Have questions about the home-buying process? Check out our first-time home buyer guide to get started.) The following are ways to use your tax refund towards a home purchase.

When lenders determine your mortgage rate, your credit score is one of the most critical factors. Use your tax return to pay down debts to improve your credit score and debt-to-income ratio.

A down payment is an amount you pay upfront when you take out a mortgage. The higher the down payment, the lower the interest rate. Using your tax refund to boost your down payment can save you money down the road. Also, putting forward at least a 20% down payment means avoiding paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects lenders in the case of mortgage default. Paying PMI is not ideal as it increases your monthly mortgage payment. Not sure how much mortgage you can take on? Use our handy mortgage calculator to find out.

In a competitive housing market, it’s crucial for buyers to distinguish themselves and demonstrate their commitment to purchasing a home. One effective strategy is offering an earnest money deposit to sellers, typically ranging from 1-3% of the home’s asking price. This deposit is held in escrow and returned upon completion of the mortgage process. Leveraging your tax refund for this purpose can secure the home you’ve always wanted.

Typically, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to cover the cost of a home inspection when considering a potential property. This comprehensive assessment, conducted by a professional, provides a detailed report on the property’s condition and identifies any essential repairs or maintenance needs. While the price of a home inspection can vary, it generally ranges from $400 or more.

Purchasing a home is a costly process, with fees in addition to those listed above. These include title insurance, property taxes, attorney fees, and appraisal fees. A tax return can help cover these fees and make the home-buying process less intimidating.

Buying a home involves many maintenance issues that can pop up at the most inconvenient times. Homebuyers can boost their confidence by depositing their tax returns into a savings account for future home repairs. Not sure how much to set aside? Experts say you should save 1% of the home’s purchase price annually for home maintenance.

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How to Invest Your Tax Refund in Building Home Equity

Use your tax refund wisely by increasing the value of your home, refinancing current home loans, and possibly purchasing a second home. The following are ways to use your tax refund to build home equity.

Repairs/Remodels

Maintaining a house or condo can be expensive, and repairs are inevitable for the home-owning experience. Extensive repairs–such as fixing a deck or replacing a water heater–can take a massive bite out of your savings. Using your tax return to tackle significant repairs is a great way to increase your home’s value. Completing repairs now can pay off later down the road when you sell your home. 

Refinancing costs

Refinancing your mortgage is a smart way to save thousands each year. Doing so can lower your interest rate, get rid of mortgage insurance, and possibly shorten your home loan. Refinancing costs, such as application fees, appraisal fees, title search, and title insurance, can rack up quickly. Putting your tax refund towards a mortgage refinance is a smart way to save money in the long run. 

Purchasing a second home

You can put your tax return to work by investing it in a second real estate property. Whether you use it as a vacation or rental home, an additional property builds equity and creates passive income opportunities. Not sure where to buy your second home? Buying a house in NJ is an excellent real estate investment. The state has high rental demands, improving employment rates, and boasts some of the top schools in the country.

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Buying a House in NJ? Casa Real Properties Can Help.

Want to learn more about how to invest your tax refund in your real estate dreams? At Casa Real Properties, our expert real estate agents know how to maximize your refund by applying it to a new home or investment property. They have years of experience guiding clients through every step of the home-buying process and can provide invaluable insight into the NJ housing market. Contact us today to get started on your home-buying adventure.

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About the Author: Nancy Pavic

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Nancy Pavic is an expert in the New Jersey real estate market. For the past 25+ years, she has brokered Casa Real Properties, a well-distinguished real estate office in the Northern New Jersey area. Her prestigious awards include membership into the Top 1% of Realtors, the “Circle of Excellence” award by the New Jersey Association of Realtors, a front page cover spread of Top Agent Magazine, and a recipient of the Mayoral Award for Financial/Real Estate at the 2009 Paterson Women’s History Awards Ceremony.