You decide you are ready to buy a house. But, are your finances ready?
When you are prepared for one of the biggest decisions of your life you have to be prepared to get your money on the right track.
Buying a house is part of the American dream.
Whether you are going it alone or married it’s an exciting time in your life. But, it’s also a time that you have to be serious about. It takes patience, maturity and discipline.
Below I will discuss some of the different areas of your finances that you must improve if you want to start saving serious money to buy your first home.
1. Be Responsible With Credit Cards
Now is the time to be mindful with your credit. Think about how many credit cards you own. Do you really need them all?
Learning how to manage your credit matters more than ever. Your score determines your chances of approval for the best loan.
To increase your credit score use one card for small purchases and pay off the balance in full every single month. You should stop using the card once your score is in the high 600-700.
Cut up or put away unnecessary cards and only use one to grow your credit.
Try creditcards.com if you are having trouble getting approved for a credit card. To use a credit card you have to be disciplined. If you aren’t then rethink purchasing a house because, it takes major discipline to manage one.
2. Payoff Your Old Debt
Concentrate on paying off debt. Have a look at your three credit reports to see what you owe. Payoff all your small debt first. These are the easiest to get rid of.
After that’s done, tackle the oldest largest debt(s) on your reports. Since, the balance is old the debt collector will most likely negotiate a settlement. If they won’t settle and you can’t afford to pay off the balance ask for a payment plan and get it in writing.
3. Watch Your Spending
When you see what a good job you are doing handling your credit and debt try not to mess it up by overspending. Brake bad habits. Pull back from buying everything you see.
The spending monster often rears its ugly head around malls. So stay out of them as much as possible.
When you see a sale stop, drop, roll and run the other way. Keep all credit cards at home and carry enough cash for your intended purchases.
Remember you are saving for your dream house.
4. Budget For Holiday Spending
Unfortunately, it seems like holidays and debt go hand in hand. We spend an astonishing amount of money over the holidays.
This holiday do yourself a favorite and don’t go overboard. You want a house more than you want extra bill payments and a lower savings account.
How do you keep the holidays frugal?
Tell your family and friends your plans to buy a house and suggest a price cap on gifts for that year. Now you won’t feel obligated to give expensive gifts.
Another way to save…set up a Christmas fund over the summer and contribute to it every pay period.
5. Save Bonus, Raises And Any Extra Money
Are you expecting extra money?
When new money is introduced into your bank account what do you do with it? Do you even notice it’s there?
Yes, you notice you got a raise or bonus. But, doesn’t that money get mixed up with your existing money and you spend it all?
You might payoff some bills and other expenses. But, once the money is completely gone, you say, “I wonder what happened to all that money?”
Don’t let this be you again. This time around when you receive extra money deposit the entire amount or a portion into your dream house savings account.
6. Hold Off Buying A New Car And Other Big Ticket Items
Save the car buying for after you buy your new house. New debt on your credit report looks bad to loan officers and mortgage companies. It decreases your debt to income ratio and lessens your chance of getting approved for a loan.
You want to have as little debt as possible. Lenders like to see very little debt and want a thorough explanation of any current debt.
They want to know that you possess the financial stability to make monthly house payments without defaulting on the loan.
So, keep car shopping, large furniture buying and appliance purchases until after the closing date of your new house.
7. Pack Your Lunch Every Day
This is a very simple task. It may not seem like a big deal. Because, what’s a few extra bucks a day going to change in your savings?
Well, you’d be surprised. The average bill for takeout lunch at work can run you $10 a day. Equaling $50 a week and $200 a month. $200 that could go towards your house savings.
This is just for one person.
Instead of buying lunch every day at work pack your lunch instead. In no time you will notice the extra money in your account.
8. Increase Your Regular Monthly Savings
Now that you made a firm decision to buy a house, make a firm decision to save more money.
Your motivation for saving is homeownership. Remember it’s temporary. Live below your means and save for that down payment.
The more you put towards your down payment the less your monthly mortgage and the faster you pay off your house.
Once accomplished you will really have money to splurge. So think about the near feature the next time you want to spend instead of save.
Check out our website to get more information on buying, selling, investing in real estate. Please click Hornburg Real Estate Group or call us at (817) 264-7087 or (214) 810-4553