How You Too Can Afford Your Dream Home
August 30th, 2018
How To Afford Your Dream Home
Are you sick of renting from someone else? Then it's time to get serious about purchasing a home of your own. With the difficulty of home ownership, you don't want to settle for the first opportunity you see. You want your dream home, and we've got some tips to get you there.
Like many big goals in life, you need to know where you're going. Put together a vision of what your dream home looks like. Do you want a white picket fence or would you prefer something more private? Do you see your family in the suburbs or out in the country? How many floors would your dream home be?
Questions like this will help you visualize what you're going to be working toward. This will play a crucial role in your budgeting process, location selection and choice of realtor, so be as detailed as possible!
Set A Budget
Every home purchase starts with the hard part, seeing how much you can afford. If you already have a budget, you can start with replacing your monthly rent with what will become your mortgage payment, but you'll need to keep in mind additional costs of home ownership like property taxes and Homeowner's Association dues.
There are a number of useful websites and apps that will make it easier to save and maintain a budget. We recommend checking out
You Need a Budget
for setting your budget. For saving some additional money, look into an app like
, which helps you rack up additional savings on a daily basis. You may want to consider setting up a special savings account to keep your down payment separate from the rest of your funds.
Watch Your Credit
No matter how much money you save or earn, home ownership requires good credit. Getting a home loan at a great rate will make that mortgage much more manageable. With the right credit scores, you can shop around and find a reasonable mortgage payment for your dream home.
If you have no credit, you'll need to start building it today by signing up for a credit card and using it wisely. There are great options out that
offer you excellent rewards
for using them. Fixing bad credit can take years, so if owning a home is in your future, you need to manage it wisely.
Now that you have a general idea of how much your dream home will cost, you need to figure out a way to save that much money. Whether it's cutting costs or increasing your income somehow, affording your dream home will require some creativity.
Cutting back on your monthly costs is a great way to add some savings to your bank account. Do you need to be paying for cable? How often are you using air conditioning or heating at home? Can you replace some name-brand items you use every day with generic ones from big retailers?
This is also the perfect time to
pick up a side job
! Many of these gigs can be done from home and the pursuit of your dream home may be all the motivation you need.
Location, Location, Location
In most cases, finding the right home comes down to finding the right city and neighborhood. Your surroundings should play just as much of a role in your dream home decision as the property itself.
Don't forget that almost all of your location-based desires come with a price tag. For example, those that dream of a home in San Francisco will have a much harder path than most. We recommend using online tools like
to learn more about cost of living in various cities.
If you're willing to live in an up-and-coming neighborhood instead, you'll be able to afford your dream home sooner. Just remember that there's risk in these opportunities, because towns and new housing developments often go through growing pains. You can save thousands if you're flexible on where your dream home is, but make sure you're compromising in ways that make sense for your family.
Find The Right Agent
Real estate agents may intimidate frugal house shoppers, but in most cases, the agent commissions are paid by the seller. That means there are little downsides to utilizing an agent for your home search and purchase negotiations. Don't try to find that dream home alone!
Having a great idea of what your dream home looks like will be crucial in picking the real estate agent that's right for you. The research you do should be focused on price range, location, popularity and more. Don't go with a city based realtor if you're looking for a home in the country and vice versa. If you pick the right agent for your situation, it can make your house hunt more affordable and convenient.
Be Ready To Work
As your home search begins, don't ignore the homes that may need a little improvement. These homes provide the rare opportunity for you to build up your dream home over time, customizing it as you see fit. If a home matches up with your other needs, the fact that it's not perfect on move-in day shouldn't stop you. You might even find it more rewarding to put in the work yourself!
Not a fan of DIY projects? Hiring professional contractors to renovate part of your home may be an option if it fits your budget. You could also buy property somewhere and get a self-build mortgage to build a home from scratch. Remember that one of the perks of home ownership is the flexibility!
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