Tips for Being a Successful Home Buyer in Morristown!
Home buying is exhilarating! It’s a fresh start in a new home. It paves the way for great insights into what we could do with the space and how to transform it and decorate in a way that’s more fully us. While this business of home buying isn’t an exact science, there are habits that, if cultivated, can help you be more successful in your pursuit of home ownership.
1. Try cutting back on extras.
It’s amazing how much our money gets away from us if we’re not paying close attention. Think you’re not spending a lot on coffees? Or what about a quick lunch or dinner out here and there when you’re in a rush? Have you looked at your cable bill lately compared to how many hours you are actually watching? Try recording every little thing you spend money on for one month to see where that money is really going. You might be surprised at your coffee or lunch out bill. No guilt with this, but it might illuminate areas where you can be more aware to cut back.
This will help immensely when saving for a down payment. That 20% seems like a lofty and unreachable goal, but cutting back on these extras will go a long way over time.
2. Start a savings account expressly for that down payment.
Take that money you’re saving by cutting those extras and put it promptly into a home ownership savings account. Don’t let yourself dream about what else you could use it for. Put it right in there and watch that number start to grow. Perhaps even commit to transferring a set amount above and beyond what you save from skimming the excess. Then start putting that agreed upon amount in weekly to get to your 20% faster.
3. Consider a test drive.
If you’re close to wanting to buy and have a fairly good start at that 20%, consider doing a test month. This will help you suss out if your lifestyle will realistically translate to the budget you’ve laid out on paper. If you think you can afford a $1,200 monthly mortgage payment and that’s what you’re applying for, then think about the extra costs. Maintenance and emergencies with homeownership add up. So a good guideline is to save 10% of your mortgage payment each month (so in this scenario, $120) to go into a maintenance and emergency fund. So for one month, put that sum and the mortgage payment aside as well as the expected costs for utilities, cable and anything else home related. Then see how you fare that month with your lifestyle. Can you stay within that budget?
4. Stay on top of all bill and payments.
Always have that credit score in mind as well. To ensure a good score, stay on top of bills coming out on auto deposit from your account, as well as car payments, rent, and credit card payments. Make sure everything is on time each month and check in at least yearly on your credit score to ensure everything is correct. This will help you lock in the best mortgage rate possible when it comes time to buy.
Following these simple steps will help get you off on the right foot in your home-buying process.