So you have decided you are ready to buy your own house? Congratulations! You are starting on an exciting journey toward home ownership. But although you may be already unpacking and setting up your home, there are a few important steps you’ll need to do before you can get there.
The first thing to do to prepare to buy a house is to save enough money for a down payment and moving costs. This step may sound intimidating, but don’t let it stop you. Take some simple steps toward building the nest egg you need; if you are consistent, you will reach your goal faster than you may expect.
At Anderson Communities, we work with renters and home buyers daily, and we know the challenges you face in moving to owning your own home. Here are some practical tips to get you there.
IT STARTS WITH A RENTAL OPPORTUNITY WITH AMENITIES
The right rental can help you with your savings goal, not only because of affordable rent prices. A home with valuable amenities can help you save money by eliminating other bills.
For example, if your rental home provides free internet services, you can scratch that payment off your list. In-unit washer and dryer will keep you from wasting time and money at the laundromat. A free community gym means a monthly gym membership is unnecessary. Even the location of your rental home can make it easier to save money. A walkable location makes it possible to cut down on transportation and parking expenses.
Ultimately, you want to find a home that will work for you as you tend to your bottom line. The right place will help you make wise choices with your money without feeling like you’re sacrificing too much.
TIPS TO SAVE MONEY WHILE RENTING
To make it possible to tuck away the most money, you should look at your income and where it goes. Small changes can make a big difference. Here are some great places to start.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Eliminating credit card debt has two advantages: it frees up money for saving and boosts your credit score. Both of these will get you closer to your goal.
If you have multiple cards to pay off, be sure to pay the minimum payment on all of them on time. Then concentrate on making the biggest payment you are able on the card with the smallest balance. Once that one is paid off, roll that payment over to the next biggest debt. You will see progress quickly with this method, encouraging you to stay the course.
Master the Budget Basics
There is a science to budgeting, and knowing how you want to use your income is powerful. The 50/30/20 approach is a great place to start. It advises you to allocate 50% of your income for essentials like housing, utilities, insurance, and food. 30% of your income goes toward lifestyle expenses, including eating out, shopping, or going to the movies. The remaining 20% is used to further your financial goals, such as paying off debts and adding to your savings.
As you work toward your down payment, you may want to make an effort to add some of the money from the lifestyle category toward your savings instead. Don’t make the budget too restrictive, though, or you’ll struggle to stick with it.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses
Are there indulgences you can get give up for a while? Dinners out and expensive concerts can add up quickly. Make an effort to cut back as much as you can. You don’t have to stay home every night, but turning down some pricy outings can move you forward quickly. Remember that it’s not forever!
Stash Your Tax Refund
It feels like free money, but a tax refund is actually an opportunity. Tuck it away in savings before it has a chance to disappear from your bank account. Saving your refund may be hard, but it will take you a step closer to owning your dream house.
TALK WITH AN HOUSING EXPERT AT ANDERSON COMMUNITIES
At Anderson Communities, we specialize in homes that meet your needs, including amenities such as an in-unit washer and dryer and internet. We never surprise you with hidden fees so that you can get closer to that down payment every day.