New Year’s resolution: Buy a home.
You’ve heard that plenty from your contacts. So, now how do they get there with their savings?
There are plenty of preparations would-be home buyers can make to put homeownership more within their reach in 2017. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to adopt to get on the path:
I will automate my down payment savings.
Buyers who are trying to save up the often-recommended 20 percent down payment will need to get savvy at saving, stat. First off, you often don’t really need 20 percent down (read: 3% Loans a Game Changer?), but you do need to save. Here’s a way to commit: Automate your bank accounts so that you regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dedicated as your “house fund.” “Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic savings can make it easier,” says Marcia Goodman, a real estate pro with RE/MAX Gateway in Gainesville, Va. “If you never see the cash, you won’t spend it.”
I will clean up my credit.
Pay your bills on time. Keep up on credit card, car, and college loans. Mortgage lenders want to see that you aren’t sloppy with credit. You don’t need to avoid credit altogether, however. “I had a client who made $250,000 a year and was denied a mortgage because his credit card payments were always late,” says Alexandra Axsen, a managing broker with Lake Okanagan Realty Ltd. In Kelowna, B.C. It’s also important to establish a credit history. Dean Sioukas, founder of Magilla Loans in Sacramento, Calif., told realtor.com® that he suggests not using more than 30 percent of your available credit.
I will budget wisely.
Downsize your budget now so you’ll be able to save more for your down payment and pay down any debts. Also, factor in added expenses that come with buying a new home, like furniture and accessories. If you know that a mortgage is going to take a bigger amount of your paycheck, create a budget that factors that in so you can get used to living on less disposable income, says Kevin Lawton of Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Yardville, N.J.
Source: “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy in 2017,” realtor.com® (Dec. 29, 2016)