Buying a house is exciting and, well… Expensive. But we all knew that, right? Saving as much as possible during the home buying process is a top priority for most buyers – even those of us who are working with a bigger budget.
But aside from simply avoiding the homes we can’t afford, how else can we protect our bank accounts during this time? Here are some tips to think about.
Shop in the Right Area
First of all, remember that some areas will be more affordable than others to buy in. If you’ve been set on one area and you’re struggling with how expensive everything is, consider broadening your horizons and looking elsewhere too.
For example, the south has grown in popularity due to the affordable housing prices, so start by looking for homes for sale in Austin TX and surrounds.
Save For Your Down Payment
Saving up for a few years for a down payment has helped many people manage their home loans a little better. A down payment will lower your interest and monthly payments going forward, so this will be kinder to your monthly and weekly budgets.
You could adhere to the standard 20% down payment, or choose to put down a little less, depending on what you can realistically afford when it’s time to buy.
Work With a Professional
You could brave the storm and try to buy your home without any professional help but working with a realtor could save your bacon.
Keep in mind that estate agents are professionals which means they know the best areas, the best processes, the best negotiation tactics, and other weird and wonderful things that you don’t know. Getting someone to help you could make your life way easier and less stressful.
Learn to Negotiate
If you aren’t going to work with a realtor (or even if you are), it’s important to learn the art of negotiation. More often than not, home sellers are prepared to take a certain percentage lower than the amount they actually list.
Offering the listing price or higher could secure you the house, but you might actually be missing out on the chance to get your dream place for a lower price.
Be Aware of All Costs Involved
When you’re budgeting, you need to remember to account for everything – and we mean everything. Consider closing costs, interest on your loan, moving expenses, and ongoing costs like homeowners insurance and routine maintenance.
Think of renovation costs too – if there’s anything you want to change or fix up, it can end up costing thousands and you’ll need to factor that in.
Make Extra Payments When You Can
Many people recommend making extra payments on your mortgage. While this option isn’t the best for everyone, it’s well suited to people who are on a tighter budget and want to beat their interest and smash their debt as quickly as they can.
Others prefer to focus on emergency savings and investing when they have extra money – this choice is up to you and you’ll need to consider what will be best for your budget.