Most people start thinking about buying a home years before they actually start making moves. For some, this takes the form of daydreams. They spend their time imagining the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood, and go to bed content that it will come to them one day.
For others, the need to take action as soon as possible is evident. The fact is that it’s never too early to start preparing for a property purchase. So check out this guide and follow our advice to give yourself the best head start!
Start budgeting now
Budgeting is a fantastic habit to get into. Unless you have a good, detailed budget, you may find yourself lost when trying to figure out your current financial situation. A budget will be a detailed record of all your financial incomings and outgoings. Think about creating a budget you can maintain on your computer. You should use spreadsheet software (like Excel, for example) to make one that can easily be edited. Record all the money that goes into your account and all the money you spend. Review it thoroughly at the end of each month.
It’s never too soon to start saving. That goes for pretty much anyone in pretty much any situation. Even if you don’t have a clear long-term goal, you should be putting money aside every month. Of course, it is much easier to do when you actually have a goal. Your goal here, of course, is to make as much money as you can to offset the house payments you’re going to make in the future. Contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible to save enough to buy a home, if you’re careful. And if it doesn’t work out that way, the fact that you can save a good amount of money every month is going to help you get the loan you need. beingfrugal.net has plenty of ways for you to start saving money.
Get rid of your debt
This whole process is going to be expensive. It’s not just the initial payments you have to think about. Once you own the home, you also need to think about the ongoing mortgage payments, as well as the utility bills. And what about any home maintenance you’ll have to do? The best way to get off to a good start is by going into this with as little debt as possible. All that money you’re saving can go towards paying off more of your debt each month. If you have several debts, you may want to consider consolidation. Having less debt comes with the obvious advantage of giving you less financial worries to think about in the future. A strong effort to resolve debt will also look good on a credit score. Speaking of which…
Start thinking about your credit score
Most people who buy homes will do so by getting a loan. In order to get a loan for any purpose, it’s essentially a must that you have a good credit score. You may not be thinking about applying for a loan for years from now. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to be thinking about your credit score already. In fact, it puts you at an advantage - you have more time to get your score looking stronger. Consider getting a credit check as soon as possible. Once you have your score, you can work at fixing it or improving it further. There are a lot of things that can affect your credit score, positively and negatively. Be in the know!
Don’t start long-term, expensive projects
This one may seem obvious to a lot of you. If you’re trying to save money, then doing things that are expensive should obviously be avoided, right? Well, some people may begin expensive projects believing that it will help them make more money in the near future. One of the most common mistakes in this field is made by homeowners. They’ll start doing expensive renovations in order to bump up the value of their current home so they can afford a new one more easily. The problem is that the increase in home value is usually a lot less than what you paid to get the renovation. Not all projects pay for themselves, remember! Find out more at hgtv.com.
Consider the help you’re going to need
You want to start thinking about how much the pre-purchase process is going to cost you. Applying for loans is, in itself, a costly process. This is one of the reasons that you need to be absolutely confident in what lender you’re working with. As with most things with life, it’s difficult to be totally confident in a process without getting a little help. In this scenario, for example, you’d probably want the help of a mortgage broker to ensure you’re getting the deal you need. If you’re looking to buy the home as more of an investment than a living option, you will similarly need advice. If you need to find out more, you can do so online at SMBIA.com.au
Get into the habit of documenting
You’re going to be doing a lot of documenting when the time comes to buy a home. When you apply for a loan, the lender is going to need as much information as you can give them. This is a good thing, as it can help strengthen your case for getting the money you need. So start documenting as much as possible, and start being careful about where you keep your documents. Brokerage statements, tax returns, bank statements - there are few things that won’t be of use to you later.
Learn as much as you can about the housing market
So, you’re reading all of this way ahead of time. You already know that you got a good few years before you start taking some serious steps. You know what the best thing about a long amount of time is? That you can learn a lot in it. You should give yourself the upper hand early by getting to grips with how the housing market works. You can check out the basics at ehow.com. But don’t limit yourself to websites. Consider buying some in-depth books about the real estate economy.