It's time to find the perfect place of your own but becoming a property investor has one significant roadblock: a down payment. Itís something that can stop potential home buyers in their tracks.
While winning the lottery or inheriting a windfall would be fabulous, you donít need those luxuries before you can buy a home. What you do need is a budget that gives you a strategy for saving while still attending to daily expenses. The challenge is that once you create the budget, you must protect it from the temptation to stray from it while you work toward homeownership.
Here are some proven savings tips AND the budget-busters to avoid along the way:
Detached account. While it seems obvious, many people lack even one savings account. If you already have an account, open a separate one specifically for your down payment. Make sure that it is detached from your other accounts. Having a savings account designated specifically for your down payment may get you to think before dipping into it whenever other expenses arise.
Different bank. You can open an account at the same institution where you have a checking account but doing so makes it easy to move money back into your spending account. Open an account at a credit union or savings bank to which you'd have to make a special trip to remove funds.
Direct deposit. Have the down payment part of your paycheck deposited directly to your savings account. You'll avoid having immediate access to it. If you don't see it in your checking account, you are less likely to spend it.
Now that you have established a place to save funds, you need to create a budget to handle your remaining income. Many online programs will help you to create a budget and keep track of your spending. They are often free or low fee to use, and some give you access to a financial planner at a small cost. Here are some to get you started:
Many people resist living by a budget because it feels too restrictive. The notion that your budget monitors your spending keeps many from reaching even first-level financial goals. Money is a tool to help you get what you truly desire. If you wish to own a home, eliminate these budget-busters that will keep you from getting there:
Overpriced drinks. If your caffeine habit racks up more than $10 every day, consider cutting that expense in half. If you saved five dollars each day, you could add $1825 to your down payment account by yearís end.
Eating out. Just like a daily coffee break, restaurants and fast food meals can easily break a budget. Studies show the average American spends over $250 each month eating out. If that sounds like you, eat out half as often and bank another $125 each month. Over 12 months, thatís $1500 more towards your down payment.
Clothes. Many offices allow casual dress so spending on clothes for work might not be necessary. If you work in an environment that requires professional attire, purchase a few high-quality pieces that you can style in different ways with lower-cost items.
Expensive vacations. The travel bug bites in every season. Even a cheap flight with a hotel and rental car can result in a fairly large expense. Instead, you may opt for a getaway that is within driving distance while youíre working through your savings plan.
These budget-busters could add up to $6000 or more annually. That could be enough to qualify for a down payment when using an FHA loan. Add to that a portion of any extra money you receive throughout the months for bonuses, birthdays, holidays, rebates, and tax refunds, and your down payment account can grow significantly in just one year.
An informed homebuyer may be better equipped than others to enjoy a successful property buying experience. In fact, an informed homebuyer likely will understand the ins and outs of the local housing market Ė something that could make it simple for this individual to discover a great residence at a budget-friendly price.
Ultimately, it helps to review the local real estate market closely before you embark on the homebuying journey. Lucky for you, there are many things you can do to analyze the local real estate market and gain the homebuying insights you need to succeed.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you study the local housing sector so you can navigate the homebuying journey with poise and confidence.
1. Assess the Prices of Recently Sold Houses
Oftentimes, it is a good idea to review the prices of recently sold houses in cities or towns where you plan to search for your dream residence. If you understand how much home sellers are receiving for their residences, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall in line with your budget.
It is important to remember that city houses may be more expensive than comparable residences in small towns, too. Thus, you should budget accordingly based on where you choose to search for a home.
2. Find Out If Homes Are Selling Quickly
Take a look at how quickly homes are selling in cities and towns where you want to live. With this housing market data in hand, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.
In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of available houses. Or, in a seller's market, homes may sell within days of being listed.
If you are operating in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to find your ideal house. Comparatively, in a seller's market, you should be prepared to act quickly to acquire your dream residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing sector. That way, a real estate agent can help you become an informed homebuyer in no time at all.
Typically, a real estate agent will learn about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will provide insights into the housing market in your preferred cities and towns and help you hone your house search. Then, a real estate agent will help you search for your dream residence. And once you find a house you want to purchase, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.
As you prepare for the homebuying journey, it may be beneficial to learn about the local real estate sector. By doing so, you can gain comprehensive housing market insights that you can use to streamline your home search. As a result, you could speed up the process of finding and purchasing your ideal house.
Before you embark on a search for your dream house, it helps to know what to expect during the homebuying journey. If you understand the true cost of purchasing a home, you can map out your property buying strategy accordingly.
Now, let's take a look at three factors that may impact how much you spend to acquire your ideal residence.
1. The Price of a Home
The initial asking price for a house is not necessarily set in stone. In some instances, you may be able to negotiate with a seller and receive a lower price.
However, regardless of the price you negotiate with a seller, you are responsible for paying for a residence. And if you fail to receive a mortgage, you may struggle to make your homeownership dream come true.
It often helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Pre-approval for a mortgage also may enable you to speed up your home search and ensure you can quickly discover a residence that falls within your price range.
2. Closing Costs and Other Homebuying Fees
After a seller accepts your offer to purchase his or her home, there may be various fees that you'll need to pay to finalize your house purchase.
For instance, a buyer who conducts a home inspection will need to pay for this evaluation. He or she likely will need to pay for an appraisal and any closing costs as well.
As you get ready to pursue a house, you may want to put aside extra funds for any potential costs you may encounter throughout the homebuying cycle. Because if you have the necessary funds at your disposal, you may be better equipped than ever before to seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
3. Moving Expenses
After you buy a home, you will need to relocate all of your belongings to your new address. To do so, you probably will require moving boxes and packing supplies to ensure your personal belongings can safely reach your new house. As such, you should account for these expenses prior to starting a house search.
Of course, you may want to hire a moving company too. If you want to find out what it costs to hire professional movers, you may want to receive quotes from multiple local moving companies sooner rather than later.
If you need help getting ready to search for a home, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. A real estate agent can offer lots of insights into the potential costs you may encounter at each stage of the property buying journey. In addition, a real estate agent will help you narrow your search for your dream house, conduct home showings and much more.
Start planning for potential costs associated with the homebuying journey Ė you'll be glad you did. If you budget for the property buying journey, you could increase the likelihood of enjoying a quick, stress-free homebuying experience.