Buying a Home? 4 Ways Your Stimulus Check Can Help

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on April 24, 2021

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A smiling woman signing documents while sitting at a table with her husband and their realtor.

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Sitting on stimulus cash? It could cover a number of new home buyer expenses.

Stimulus payments have been hitting Americans' bank accounts or showing up in the mail for over a month now. While a lot of people have used the money to pay for essentials, like food, medication, and rent, others haven't spent that cash yet. But if you're in the process of buying a home, your stimulus might come in handy for covering some of the upfront costs you'll incur. Let's take a look at a few of them.

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1. Closing costs

Closing costs are the fees you'll pay to finalize your mortgage, and they can be quite substantial. The Ascent did some research recently and found that closing costs in the U.S. average $5,749.

Now, you don't necessarily have to pay your closing costs upfront. Most lenders will let you roll them into your mortgage and pay them off over time. But if you go that route, you'll pay interest on those fees and your monthly payments will be more expensive. As such, your stimulus check could help pay your closing costs when you sign your mortgage so they don't end up hanging over your head.

2. Moving expenses

Moving to a new home can be expensive, even if you're only moving to a nearby neighborhood. You can use your stimulus check to pay for a moving service -- or to rent your own truck and pay for packing materials to keep your belongings safe.

3. Furniture

If you're moving from a smaller home to a larger one, you'll probably be lacking furniture the day you move in. Your stimulus check could help cover the cost of a new couch, a desk and chair for your new home office, or a new bedroom set for one of your kids. Many people who buy a new home use it as an excuse to upgrade older furniture that's seen better days. You, too, could use your stimulus to replace a worn mattress or battered kitchen table with a new one that's more functional and comfortable.

4. Renovations and repairs

Even if the home you're buying is in pretty good shape, chances are, there will still be some work to tackle shortly after you move in. You may need to replace a stained carpet, repaint a room that's a color you can't stand, or fix small issues like a leaky bathroom faucet. Your stimulus can help cover these costs so you don't need to strain your budget or dip into your savings to pay for them.

Buying a home can be a big undertaking, so any extra money you come into could be a huge help. If you got a stimulus payment, you have a prime opportunity to cover some of your upfront costs. That will make the process of completing your home purchase and moving into your new digs a lot less stressful.

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