Today I’m sharing five key things to remember when budgeting for your first home.
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Your first home is a special milestone. One of the most important aspects of buying a home involves finding the funds for a down payment. Most lenders require applicants to demonstrate they’ve saved enough money before qualifying them for a home loan.
Here are my tips for how to save up for this requirement:
1. Find out how much you need to save. In general, most lenders expect homebuyers to have at least 10% in savings. A good mortgage will typically account for no more than one-third of the buyer’s take-home income. Equally as important as saving is paying off debt; focus on paying down credit cards and student loans.
2. Think about your time frame. Set up a plan for both your short- and long-term situation. For the short term, assess your current living arrangement and pinpoint where it falls short. The long-term plan should include looking at neighborhoods in person and attending open houses.
Life happens, but never let circumstances deter you from your ultimate goal of homeownership.
3. Create a streamlined budget. You can still travel now and then, but it’s important to pay attention to all the little expenses that add up.
4. Avoid spending money when you can. Make coffee at home instead of buying it on the way to work. Buying things like toilet paper in bulk can save you money. Put off buying a second car. Consider public transportation as a way to get to work.
5. Be flexible. Never forget that no matter how well we budget, life may have other plans. You may experience health issues or a sudden lay-off. Having an emergency fund built up is crucial so that you can avoid depleting your savings. Life happens, but never let circumstances deter you from your ultimate goal of homeownership.
If you have questions about this or any other real estate-related topic, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send an email. I’m always happy to help you in any way I can.