As Retailers launch their “Back to School” sales, our minds begin the transition to “nesting” for the academic year. Many families will relocate before the school term begins, and for some, that means the purchase of a new home. Kelsey’s Korner provides you with some Critical Components on how to successfully complete that purchase.
Scripture, likewise, provides us with a Critical Component by providing a tender description of how the swallow creates a home for her babies. Psalm 84:3 states that “even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young at your altars, O Lord of hosts.” If our “feathered friends” carefully build their homes, how much more should believers build their “nests” to shelter all those who abide in them.
Prior to studying Kelsey’s Critical Components, I would like to challenge you, as a Christian “Nest Builder,” to establish a habit of praying for the spiritual condition of your home. The question now becomes, “What do I pray?” There is no better way to pray for your home than to pray God’s mind and will for it. The “Critical Components of Nest Building” is a systematic prayer plan to promote regular intercession to your heavenly Father for the protection of your “nest.” The 31 Components are supported by specific verses. There is a Component for each day of the month. It is my prayer that you will pray these Components throughout the academic year, read the supporting scriptures, and record how your nest shelters those who abide in it.
CRITICAL COMPONENTS OF NEST BUILDING
Heavenly Father, in accordance with your Word, I pray that my home will be
Permeated with God’s love (Jer.31:3; John 14:21)
An environment where affirming, edifying words are spoken (Ps. 19:14)
Spirit-filled (Galatians 5:16)
A place where personal burdens are shared by all who reside within its walls (Gal. 6:2)
Filled with occupants who daily put on each piece of the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20)
A refuge of sincere love (Rom. 12:9)
Overflowing with genuine affection for everyone abiding in it (Rom. 12:10)
Characterized by appreciation for one another (Rom. 12:10)
Focused on putting others first (Phil. 2:3)
Distinguished by humility (Phil.2:3)
A model of biblical servanthood (Mark 10:45)
A light in a dark, decaying world (Matt. 5:14-16)
Known as a refuge (Heb. 6:18)
An environment where truth is proclaimed in love (Eph. 4:15)
Consistent in practicing instructive, uplifting, encouraging speech (Eph. 4:29)
Propelled by prayer (1 Thess. 5:17)
Distinguished by gratitude (1 Thess. 5:18)
Able to withstand the destructive tactics of the devil (1 Peter 5:7)
A place where my family members willingly submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
An oasis where each member has the freedom to confess his sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16)
An atmosphere that stimulates you to quickly flee the works of the flesh (Gal. 6:19-21)
Prompt to embrace the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 6:22-24)
Concentrated on setting affections on things of eternal value (Col. 3:2-6)
Careful to embrace the character qualities that please God (Col.3:12-15)
A fortification for the truth that the believers who dwell within its walls are always secure in God’s tender embrace (Rom. 8:38-39)
A prepared place for my family just as heaven will be a prepared place for the members of God’s family (John 14:1-4)
A refuge where forgiveness is readily granted (Luke 17:3-4)
Content with God’s provisions (Heb. 13:5)
Established on God’s Word (Ps. 119:11)
Identified as an oasis where a lifestyle of holiness abounds (Lev. 20:7)
A place that consistently seeks God’s wisdom (James 1:5)
By God’s kindness, my husband and I just purchased our first home! It has been a whirlwind of excitement, stress, confusion, and hard work, and we have learned so much from the experience! Is purchasing a home one of your goals? Whether owning a house is a distant goal, a current desire, or just an area needing refreshment, here are some of the top things we learned that I hope help you as well.
Building credit, as well as saving for a down payment, are two areas that you should begin working on even years before purchasing a home! So, what is credit, and how does it affect purchasing a home?
Basically, credit is making a purchase and paying it back later. Each person’s individual “credit trustworthiness” is assigned a numerical value, known as a credit score. Credit scores can range anywhere from 300 (very bad) to 850 (very good), depending on how responsible/irresponsible you’ve been with credit.
Good credit is one of, if not the most, important factor in getting approved for a mortgage. If your score is below 600, you may be denied a mortgage. Scores of 660-680 may bring approval, but with large fees and down payments. Scores of 700-720 will get a good deal, and scores above 750 will get the best deals on interest in the market.
Want to learn more about credit? See our blog Is Credit Your Servant or Master? (August, 2018) for a more in-depth explanation.
A down payment is money you pay on the house at closing that’s not borrowed. It comes immediately out of your savings. Although you can purchase with as little as 3% down, the optimum down payment is a minimum of 20%. That means if you purchase a $200,000 home, you pay $40,000 at closing. For most people, 20% down is very challenging, so why should it be your goal? If you pay less than 20% down…
…you will be required to pay monthly private mortgage insurance, or PMI. You can expect to pay between $30-$150/month per $100,000 borrowed in PMI.
…your monthly mortgage principle/interest will be higher. For example, if you pay 3% ($6,000) instead of 20% ($40,000) down, your loan on a $200,000 house would be $194,000 instead of $160,000. Not only are you paying more per month on the larger principle, but you’re paying more on the interest it accrues.
…your interest rates are likely to be higher. If your loan-to-value ratio is lower, lenders are more likely to offer lower interest rates.
Each month you could easily pay hundreds of dollars more on your mortgage if you don’t put 20% down. Weigh your options, pray, and seek counsel from others on what the wisest choice for you should be.
Getting preapproved for a mortgage is one of the first steps that should be taken before actively looking to purchase a home. Although the preapproval process can be a bit tedious, the benefits are wonderful. Getting preapproved before finding a home allows you to know the price range you qualify for, helps realtors and sellers know you’re serious and trustworthy, and helps get the first chunk of the seemingly endless paperwork out of the way.
Your preapproval ideally comes from the same Lender you plan to use for your mortgage. This could be your bank or a lending agency, such as LendingTree or Quicken Loans. Although we chose to use our bank, lending agencies can sometimes offer more competitive interest rates.
Simply call or explore their website for information on how to complete your preapproval. Most companies make this process as simple and painless as possible.
What you need
You, and your spouse if you’re married, will need your last 2 years’ tax returns and W-2s, pay stubs from your most recent month of employment, and at least 2 of the most recent month’s bank statements.
Finding a good realtor can be daunting, so getting suggestions from friends and family is a great idea. Once you find a realtor that is trustworthy and knows the area, let them know your price range, preferred square footage, desired bedroom/bathroom count, and ideal neighborhoods. Your realtor will put this info into their system that automatically sends you alerts as new homes come on the market. If you see a house you like, let them know and they will take you there. If you’re worried about payment, don’t be! The seller pays for both their realtor AND your realtor when the house closes! You shouldn’t have to pay them a penny (although a small gift at closing is always a good idea!).
Buying a home can be a long and tedious process. We put offers on four different houses before finally getting an offer accepted! Continue trusting the Lord and practicing contentment in ALL circumstances. Although things don’t always happen according to our timelines, the Lord is faithful and always brings everything into fruition in exactly His right time!
THE EVERYDAY HOMEMAKER’S MONTHLY MEDITATION THOUGHT
The Psalmist states that “even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young at your altars, O Lord of hosts.” (Psalm 84:3).
Therefore I may boldly say, “If our ‘feathered friends’ carefully craft their nests, how much more should I build my “nest” to shelter all those who abide in it.”
Blessings on your day as you focus on making your house a home!