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Use Your Tax Return to Fund the Down Payment on Your Dream Home

Behold the beloved tax season; the reason for people rejoicing all over the United States leading up to April 15. Many people look forward to tax season because it means they are getting a return. Some people really dislike tax season because it means they pay into the system, with no return in site. For those who enjoy a sizeable tax return, it can be a great time to consider making a down payment on your dream home as an investment in your future.

Get Started

A large tax refund can be enough to cover the entire down payment on a home purchase. If a tax refund does not cover the entire down payment, you will still be able to feel the difference in your pocketbook now, and in the future. If you put the refund into savings, you have a sizeable amount to build off of to get that nest egg built up for a future dream home. There are loans which do not require a down payment, but it is still a wise idea to save your tax refund for other costs, including:

  • Closing costs
  • Debts
  • Reserves in the bank for increased chance of approval
  • Paying down credit card balance to raise credit score
  • Save money for emergency fund

When filling out an application, you are able to assume the amount you will receive if you have already filed and are just waiting for the check. The funds will need to appear prior to final underwriting.

Existing Property

If you already own a home, this is a great time to take the extra money to make a few payments off the mortgage. This can help pay down interest so you can start paying off principle on the mortgage. This goes a long way towards full ownership of your home, free and clear.

For most people, looking for a home is in the cards even more now than ever with a tax refund in hand. There are many ways to spend that extra cash, but putting it towards a dream home is one of the best ways to invest in your long-term future.



Choice Properties provides the best in service when it comes to finding your dream home. Our excellent team of realtors will support you in finding the right home at the right place, right now. Call us if you're ready to invest in your future.


Can I Get A Mortgage for Lakefront Property in Ohio if I Have A Low Credit Score?

As a home buyer, one of the things you may be worried about is your credit score. Maybe you have student loans you're still paying off, or there's a few missed payments in your history. Don't lose hope however. If you have your eye on lakefront property in Ohio, you may still be approved for a mortgage, even if you credit score isn't stellar. We have some insights for you to be able to determine whether you can get a mortgage.

Paying Higher Interest Rates

Interest rates have remained historically low, despite the volatility in the housing market. With a lower credit score, you can't count on getting those low rates. The fact is, that mortgage interest rates vary with the buyer, depending on the risk. In other words, if your credit is damaged, you can still qualify for a loan, just at a higher interest rate. If you have your heart set on buying, then you have to decide whether a higher interest rate is something you will be comfortable with.

FHA Loans

FHA loans were created by the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 to increase home ownership during the Great Depression. They have been utilized by more than 40 million families to purchase or refinance homes. The loans are insured, so lenders have greatly reduced risk. In 2017, FHA loans made up 20% of all new loan originations. These loans are designed to act as 'helper loans' for those buyers who earn enough to pay a mortgage monthly, but don't have long term credit history to show they are low risk candidates. If this is the situation you are in, you could well be approved for an FHA loan, and you might even pay a smaller down payment than if it was a conventional loan.

Show An Improvement In Your Score

Your credit score is not a hard and fast number that will never change. Nor is the same credit score for two different people viewed in the same way. For example, Individual A might have a low score that has not changed in years, or they are missing payments in their most recent history. Individual B is someone with the exact same credit score and hasn't missed a payment in 3 years, plus their credit has steadily gone up. A lender will view Individual B as a much better prospect.

Lakefront property in Ohio is extremely desirable. If you really want a shot at getting approved for a mortgage for your dream waterfront home, then here are a few extra tips you can use:

  • Make a larger down payment. A bigger down payment reduces the lender's risk, as they have a buffer. A good down payment amount is 20%.
  • Along with a large down payment, it helps if you have cash reserves, which will make the lender feel comfortable that you will be able to take care of unexpected expenses.
  • Show consistent rent history. If you can prove that you've paid your rent on time for the past 12 to 24 months, then that is a point in your favor.

So you see that a low credit score doesn't mean that you will never be approved for the lakefront property in Ohio that you want. It is possible, with just a little more effort on your part.

Our expert agents at Choice Properties can help you find the right plan when improving credit score. Give us a call today!


Enjoy Premium Rushsylvania Real Estate

Rushsylvania is a village of approximately 516 people located in Logan County, Ohio.

Families will enjoy a quiet, small town atmosphere with close proximity to larger cities such as Bellefontaine and beautiful Indian Lake for water based sports and activities. Rushsylvania homes are an affordable option for families seeking great real estate in a quiet town.


Logan County in western Ohio has great natural beauty and cultural attractions. Home to the first known villages started by Native Americans, they dotted the landscape throughout the region in the 1760s-1770s. Farming and other businesses were part of the local economy.


Natural caves and parks are dotted across the region. Two castles are open for tours located in the Mad River Valley near West Liberty, Ohio. Nearby Indian Lake provides a vacation destination for travelers and opportunities to enjoy various activities such as hiking, camping and more.


One of the many benefits of seeking Rushsylvania real estate is affordability and a small town feel where everybody knows one another. Among the businesses in Rushsylvania is a long time staple in the community, Michael Angelo's Pizza. The pizzeria is owned by and employs winners of national and worldwide pizza-making competitions making this a great place to dine in for family and friends. The most recent census shows approximately 500 people reside in Rushsylvania with 146 families. Nearly 40% of families in the village have children under age 18 with the median age being 37 years old including 27 percent of residents under age 18. Families who seek Rushsylvania homes will enjoy connecting with other young families and building connections with the community.


Benjamin Logan School District is located within a short distance from Rushsylvania. Students within this school district will enjoy a highly rated and robust educational system which focuses on students first. Parents are encouraged to attend local board meetings, get involved in PTO and

take an active role in the educational affairs of students in the community. For this reason, parents and families are able to stay informed and involved in student affairs, get to know the principals, teachers and curriculum and help co-design the student's educational opportunities.

Things to Do

Whether choosing Rushsylvania homes to reside or raise a family, there are many activities to enjoy. Bellefontaine is approximately 15 minutes away with access to dining, shopping and entertainment for all ages. Indian Lake with resorts and waterside dining and activities is less than half an hour away. Within a thirty minute drive are the beautiful Ohio Caverns located near Dayton, Ohio near West Liberty. A popular tourist destination, it is the largest of all cave systems in Ohio with many crystal formations.

Residents who purchase Rushsylvania real estate will enjoy a small village with a quality of life that includes access to resort quality activities on the water, beaches, shopping and entertainment for the whole family.



For more information about our award winning real estate agents at Choice Properties, give us a call!


ohio home buyers looking for a home


Once a seller accepts an offer, the time comes to sign paperwork which seals the deal. What most Ohio home buyers don't realize is that a real estate process is complex with lots of nuances to the transaction. Learn some important things to keep in mind on the road to home ownership.


Expiring Mortgage

Mortgage interest rates may fluctuate daily. Rather than have the stress of the interest dial moving up and down, a bank will 'lock in' an interest rate for 45, 60 or another number of days. Once this expires, a higher rate kicks in. Some issues that may come up as a result may include:

  • Open permits

  • Illegal renovations

  • Roadblocks which require stop to loan process until resolution

A previous homeowner may have done renovations that do not meet today's standards and require updating prior to selling. This can require hiring an architect and documenting the issue before a bank will approve the loan. Be cautious when using a rate-lock expiration as it may throw plans out the window in the closing process.


The Mortgage Process Doesn't End

Just because an application is completed and submitted does not mean a loan is approved. Lenders need to verify income, assets and credit all the way until closing. Any last minute changes or fluctuations could result in some unforeseen challenges if not discussed previously with a mortgage professional.


See the House

A walk-through is usually provided up to 24 hours prior to closing. Take advantage of the opportunity to see the property in case any systems are not working, the seller did not finish repairs or has not completed move out yet. It is possible to postpone closing until things are completed.


Do Your Homework

Once the home closes, in most states, the law resides on the side of a buyer and requires the seller to disclose issues and confirm resolution. The purchaser should make sure the seller closes outstanding permits, releases liens on the title and resolves issues with local authorities.


Low-Key Closing

Most of the time, closings finish up without any issues. Buyers sign the loan documents and the seller goes to the title company to sign off. It is seamless and happens without issue. Buyers and sellers along with other folks may sit around for a time processing, calculating and negotiating. If the transaction was less than smooth, the closing table may get tense but it may end up being low-key.


A smooth closing can be had with some research up front and awareness of any red flags. Make sure to have a solid real estate team who is knowledgeable and will refer you to the right parties to resolve any issues prior to closing. Get as much information in the beginning as possible for a great resolution and closing.

Choice Properties is the premier realty company serving communities in and around Logan County. Award-winning agents provide assistance on residential to commercial, agricultural to waterfront properties and more to best serve your needs.

Call us to find out how we can best serve you.