The housing market has finally rebounded from its lows a few years ago. And with the job market improving and interest rates still relatively low, it would be wise to buy a home soon. But before you dive into your search, here are 5 simple steps to help you do just so successfully:
•Create a monthly budget. You build savings by spending less than you earn. It’s important to be both honest and realistic about your spending habits out of the gate, and then stick with a plan as much as possible. Consider electronic bill pay since it takes care of your payments automatically.
•Quarantine your savings. A common mistake with saving money is simply because people see a lot of zeros in their bank account and assume that they are comfortably on track when they are not — WRONG! The simplest way to avoid this is to create a dedicated bank account just for your housing fund. Remember to keep your regular checking account and debit cards to pay the rent or the cable bill, but that special savings account is off-limits no matter what.
•Make savings automatic. Once you have a dedicated savings account, tell your payroll department that you want a fixed amount sent there every payday via direct deposit and the balance sent to your checking account as usual. This way, you won’t even miss the money.
•Save 100% of extra Income. Getting a $3,000 tax refund or a nice year-end bonus? While it’s tempting to splurge a little even as you save a little, building up a down payment requires a lot of restraint. But hold tight, it’s worth it in the end.
•Save in big chunks. Sure, you can save a few bucks each week by eating store-brand peanut butter instead of Jif. But you can make the biggest impact by cutting out the biggest expenses. Skipping your annual beach vacation won’t be easy, and that rusty old car with the broken mirror may be a bit embarrassing to drive for another year … but snatching big bills where you can instead of pinching pennies is an effective way to build up savings quickly.
To get more great tips on saving for a house, <a href=”https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/09/14/home-mortgage-save-budget/15466845/”>click here</a>
Looking to buy a home? The Ohio Housing Finance Agency offers down payment assistance, career-related interest rate discounts and other loan products to make buying a home or condo easier. <a href=”http://myohiohome.org/qualify/Default.aspx” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Click here to see if you are eligible</a>