If you intend to purchase a great house at a budget-friendly price, you should craft a homebuying timeline. That way, you can decide the best ways to achieve your homebuying goals.
Ultimately, creating a homebuying timeline can be simple – here are three tips to ensure you can develop a successful homebuying timeline.
1. Know When You Want to Move
For those who want to buy a house, it helps to consider your current living situation. By doing so, you can determine the necessary steps to relocate from your current address and acquire your dream residence.
If you presently own a house, you may need to sell it before you purchase a new home. Or, if you currently rent, you may need to give your landlord sufficient notice prior to your relocation. But if you consider the aforementioned factors closely, you can set a deadline for your move.
With a deadline in place, you can start your dream home pursuit. And once you find this residence, you can submit an offer and proceed with a home purchase.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
If you want to develop a successful homebuying timeline, it generally is a good idea to consider your financial situation as well. Because if you lack the necessary home financing, you are unlikely to be able to acquire a wonderful house any time soon.
As you develop your homebuying timeline, you may want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about a wide range of mortgage options and help you get the financing that you need to buy your dream house.
Furthermore, you should check your credit score when you craft your homebuying timeline. If your credit score is low, you may need to improve it prior to buying a house. Thankfully, you can account for this factor as you map out your homebuying strategy and plan accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Developing a homebuying timeline may prove to be challenging. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can help you take the guesswork out of purchasing a house.
A real estate agent can teach you the ins and outs of buying a home. As a result, this housing market professional will enable you to enjoy a quick, seamless homebuying experience.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can make it easy to acquire a terrific house on your timeline. This means if you want to purchase a top-notch house as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will do everything possible to make your homeownership dream come true. Comparatively, if you want to take a slow, gradual approach to buying a house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to your homebuying needs.
When it comes to buying a house, it helps to have a timeline in place prior to starting a house search. Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned tips, you can streamline the process of establishing a successful homebuying timeline.
Home insurance can be one of the more significant expenses when you’re a homeowner. You may feel that you’ll be stuck in the same monthly premium month after month, but there’s plenty of ways that you can save on your home insurance by making a few cuts here and there.
Get A Higher Deductible
Just like any kind of insurance, the higher that your deductible is, the lower your premiums. The main problem with this is that when you need to make a smaller claim, the insurance may not cover any of the cost. Compare the risk of paying for expenses out of pocket to the benefits of a lower insurance premium.
Get An Alarm System
Having an alarm system can help you to save money on your home insurance. The types of alarm systems that are directly connected to police departments or a central monitoring place will save you more money. You’ll need proof of this in order to get a discount.
Other alarm systems like CO2 detectors and smoke alarms are generally required by law in a home, but check with your insurance company. You could save a little extra for your efforts to protect your family and home.
Use One Insurance Company For Everything
Most insurance companies offer more than one type of insurance. This means that they love customers who use their policies to cover everything. Bundling your home, auto and life insurance with one company can help to save you some cash.
Own Your Home
Yes, paying your mortgage off completely sounds like a feat. Once the mortgage is paid off, however, you’ll have lower insurance premiums. This is for the simple reason that insurance companies feel that once you own the home, you’ll be more mindful of taking care of it.
Think Before You Build
Building an addition on a home or putting in a swimming pool may sound like a great idea at first. You’ll need to think of how these construction projects will affect your premiums. A swimming pool raises your liability risk. Wood structures are considered highly flammable and cost more to insure. Many things that you put in your home can drive up the cost of your policy.
Review Your Policy Often
You always have the right to do some comparison shopping once you get an insurance quote from one company. The place you work for may even offer some sort of group rate for insurance. Associations that you belong to may also be able to help save you some money. Do a little ground work and you may be able to save big just by comparing policies and levels of coverage.
Assess Your Valuables
The whole point of insurance is for you to be able to replace your valuables if damaged or stolen. If items in your home have changed, you may want to reassess the contents of your home and just how much coverage you need. If you have less to replace, you’ll save on your insurance premiums because the value of your policy will go down.
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
If you're currently renting an apartment or house, it makes good financial sense to consider becoming a homeowner in the foreseeable future. There are pros and cons to owning your own home -- and it's not for everyone -- but for most people, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
An exception would be if your job requires you to relocate frequently. In that scenario, the potential benefits of building up equity in a home would be greatly diminished.
On the other hand, if you plan on staying put for more than a few years, then the tax benefits and investment value of owning real estate could put you on a stronger financial track than if you continued shelling out your hard-earned money to a landlord. You've probably heard the argument before: "If you pay rent, you have nothing to show for it at the end of the year". However, when you buy a home, an increasing portion of your monthly payments is applied to your actual ownership of the property (as opposed to how much you owe the bank).
Tax Advantages of Home Ownership
In most cases, you can deduct all of your home mortgage interest from your federal tax returns, according to the IRS. More specifically: "The only costs you can deduct are real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums."
However, since everyone's financial situation is different and there is no "one size fits all" approach to financial management, it's always best to consult with an experienced CPA, enrolled agent, or knowledgeable tax preparer. There may be other tax benefits you could qualify for as a homeowner, too, including getting tax credits for installing a solar energy system. The government's Energy Star program says tax credits on new solar energy systems are available through the year 2021.
Getting the Process Underway
Two key steps to becoming a home owner are finding out your credit score and meeting with a mortgage lender to determine how much of a real estate loan you could qualify for. An experienced real estate agent can also provide you with a wealth of guidance and information on how to become a homeowner. They can fill you in on many of the exact steps, requirements, and advantages of buying your first home. A buyers' agent can also help you assess your readiness to take the plunge into home ownership.
In addition to finding out your credit score, which will impact your mortgage interest rate and the type of loan you may qualify for, other vital information can be gleaned from a detailed personal budget. Although the amount of rent you now pay will provide some insights into your potential house-buying budget, there are a lot of variables which will impact how much of a mortgage you could comfortably afford.