Buying a home can be exhilarating and fun; however, it can also be expensive, stressful, and scary. For a lot of people, buying a home can seem daunting, especially when it comes to finances. There are so many routes to take when saving for a home, but making sure you have the right information can make all the difference. Overpaying for a property is never fun, and buying into housing bubbles is something no one should have to do. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to keep more of that money in your pocket.
Research. When looking for a home, a good place to start is research, which you can do alone or with a Realtor. Houses for sale can be found nearly anywhere nowadays, even on social media, but there are a few websites that are used solely for you and your real estate needs. The following websites, all user-friendly, can help you learn more about the property, making sure that you aren’t spending more than you should.
- Zillow.com; trulia.com; realtor.com
These three websites act in the same fashion, helping you find houses for sale and houses for rent. You can also find information on mortgage rates; how to find an agent; and tips on owning a home, how to buy a home, and selling.
Find out if it’s worth it to sell your home and if the next one really is as affordable as it may seem. There’s even a list of classes and events on real estate for consumers, like how the home buying and selling process actually works.
Get answers and ideas on how to furnish your home without going broke, what it’s really like to live in those tiny homes you see everywhere, and which houses are for sale in your area. This is a great website for those who aren’t yet ready to make the jump into the real estate market, but want to know what it’s like to own a home before – and after – you purchase one.
Foreclosures. Finding a property that’s being foreclosed upon can be tough; you’re buying a home that has no negotiating factors built in and you will have to buy as is. Because they are bank owned, you won’t be able to negotiate with the owners to fix an old roof (or take money off the price) or add some fresh paint. But, you can get a house you may not have been able to afford at a lot lower price than if you were to buy one in a conventional way. Try using realtytrac.com and homes.com to find information on foreclosures and if finding a house that is bank owned is right for you.
Live like you bought it. You may still be renting a tiny one bedroom apartment, but living like you already own your new home can help you save for the future. The best way to see if you can afford that cab-over in the good neighborhood is to pay your bills like you already live there. If your rent is $700, but your mortgage will be $1,200, start putting away that $500 difference - every month – to see if you can really live on that type of budget. Add in any bills that may be new, such as electricity or extras like more gas and mileage if you’re moving to the suburbs from a core location. Put the extra money into a savings account, see if you can easily pay these bills, and use the chunk of change on a new dining room set for your new home!