Michael Leary's Blog
You want to buy a house, but you know that you need to save as much money as possible for a down payment. Although you've tried to save money in the past, your best efforts have failed to help you collect the funds that you'll need to make a down payment on your dream residence.
Let's face it – saving for a home can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to offer creative ways to help you get the money that you'll need to make your homeownership dream come true.
Now, let's take a look at three creative ways to save for a down payment on a house.
1. Start a Friendly Competition
Competition often brings out the best in homebuyers. Much in the same vein, you and your friends may be able to compete against one another to see who can save the most money for a down payment on a home.
If you and your friends intend to buy a home together or separately, a friendly competition can make a world of difference in getting the required funds for a down payment. In fact, you can even award the winner of this competition with an "Ultimate Saver" trophy or other fun prizes.
Ultimately, a friendly competition is a great way to have fun with friends and save money for a down payment on a house at the same time. Regardless of who wins the competition, you'll notice that your down payment savings will increase, moving you one step closer to acquiring your ideal residence.
2. Use a Rewards System
Saving for a down payment on a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you build rewards into your day-to-day savings efforts, you can earn incentives as you reach various milestones.
For instance, you may want to reward yourself with a special dinner every time that you reach a savings milestone. Or, you can always celebrate hitting a savings milestone with a trip to the dog park with your puppy.
3. Trim the Fat from Your Budget
It sometimes can be tough to remove cable TV, takeout meals and other excess items from your budget. But if you consider the long-term benefits of these short-term sacrifices, you may be better equipped than ever before to save significant funds for a down payment on a home.
Look closely at your daily, weekly and monthly budgets. Then, you can determine which budget items are essential and which are not and trim the fat from your budget accordingly. This will allow you to speed up the process of saving for a down payment on a house and ensure that you can achieve your homeownership dream faster than ever before.
Lastly, as you prepare to explore available homes, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for extra help. By hiring a real estate agent, you can get the assistance that you need to discover a great house that falls within your price range.
Buying a house can be simple, particularly for those who craft a blueprint before they embark on the property buying journey. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an effective homebuying blueprint.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The housing market varies in cities and towns across the United States. However, if you analyze the local real estate sector closely, you can map out a successful property buying journey.
Assess the prices of recently sold residences and find out how long these homes were available before they sold. That way, you can determine whether a buyer's or seller's market is in place.
Remember, the more housing market data you review, the more equipped you'll be to understand the current state of the local housing sector. And if you allocate time and resources to analyze housing market data, you can gain the insights you need to make informed decisions throughout the property buying cycle.
2. Establish Homebuying Criteria
Create a list of homebuying criteria – you'll be glad you did. Because once you know what you want to find in your dream home, you can narrow your house search.
As you put together homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside too. This will enable you to hone your home search to preferred cities and towns.
Don't forget to consider your short- and long-term plans as you craft your homebuying criteria as well. For instance, if your goal is to work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to start a family soon, you may want to explore residences near the top schools in your area.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to craft a homebuying blueprint, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you put together a homebuying plan.
A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is happy to teach you everything you need to know about buying a residence. He or she also will respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.
In addition, a real estate agent will act as a guide along the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about your homebuying criteria and goals and help you put together a property buying plan. Next, a real estate agent will help you search for your dream residence and set up property showings. And once you discover a house you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.
For those who want to achieve the optimal results during the property buying journey, it generally is a good idea to create a homebuying blueprint. By using the aforementioned tips, you can craft a homebuying blueprint so you can achieve your desired homebuying results.
If you've recently put your home on the market -- or are considering doing so in the near future -- home staging is a priority which will soon take front and center!
Since "presentation is everything" when trying to catch the interest of prospective buyers, it's crucial to be able to see things through their eyes.
Unfortunately, being able to accomplish that objective is next to impossible because, as a homeowner, you're looking at your home and property through a completely different lens than the rest of the world. The longer you've lived in your home, the more your objectivity is compromised.
Here are a few reasons why it's really difficult to "see the forest for the trees" when it comes to home staging:
First of all, there's the emotional aspect of owning a home and seeing your life unfold there over a period of years. That's especially true for first-time homeowners, parents of growing children, and people who have sunk a lot of money, time, and energy into improvements and customization. Once you've added personal touches to your home to reflect your own tastes, personality, and lifestyle, you're viewing your home through a unique perspective that may cloud your objectivity as a home seller.
Solution: Think Like a Business Owner
For the same reason business owners and executives hire outside consultants to tell them how to improve management efficiency or profitability, home sellers often need professional marketing guidance from a real estate agent or home staging consultant. Getting input from home decorators, landscapers, or home improvement contractors may also provide you with helpful ideas, but their recommendations may not always be the most economical and cost effective.
When staging your home to enhance eye appeal and attract the most potential buyers, a good guiding principle to keep in mind is ROI or "return on investment." While you don't want to sink more money into sprucing up and staging your home than necessary, you do want to cast it in its best possible light. Depending on how recently your home has been updated or improved, your investment in home staging may be relatively inexpensive. On the other hand, if you haven't updated, repaired, or made improvements for more years than you care to remember, the cost of making your home irresistible to buyers may be a lot higher!
One More Scenario
If your tastes could be described as eclectic, "off the wall", or otherwise out of the mainstream, you might need to consider a major overall in the look and feel of your property. Unless you're lucky enough to have it be a "sellers' market" at the time you're putting your house up for sale, it's generally advisable to make your home appealing to as wide a range of potential buyers as possible. An experienced real estate professional is usually in the best position to provide the guidance you need to accomplish that key objective.
Getting ready to move is a fun and exciting time. With all of the change happening around you, it’s good to have a solid plan in place for moving that will get you through. Perhaps the most chaotic time is two weeks leading up to moving day. Don’t worry, we have a checklist ready for you, so you can be prepared.
2 Weeks Before The Move
First, you should make sure that your car is ready for the drive, if you’re driving to your new house. Even if you’re hiring a moving company, you’ll need to know that your car can handle the trip and that your movers and you have maps available. Even in the age of GPS, this is a good idea just in case you lose service on the road.
Next, you’ll need to get cleaning. You should begin cleaning any of the rooms in your house that have been emptied out including closets. This is a good time to make one last check that everything has been packed. If you need to make any kind of arrangements to have your old home or your new home professionally cleaned, you should do so at this time. It will be much easier to have your new home painted and cleaned before you arrive with all of your stuff.
You need to get your records in order. Any prescriptions that you have must be transferred to a new pharmacy nearby. It’s a good idea to keep all of your important documents in a safe such as passports, financial statements, deeds, titles and wills.
You’ll need to get your family prepared for the move as well. Be sure that you know where pets and kids are going and how they’re getting there. Collect all other valuable items such as jewelry and family heirlooms and pack them somewhere for safe keeping.
One Week Before The Move
The last week in your home might be kind of stressful and emotional. Make sure that everything is packed at this point. Label each box for easy unpacking once you get to your new place. You could easily forget what’s in each box by the time you get there!
Other items of concern:
- Confirm the move-in and closing dates with your real estate agent.
- Arrange to pay your movers.
- Make a plan in case the movers end up running behind and you get to your home before your stuff does.
- Back up your computer and keep a drive with the files on it in the safe.
- Dispose of anything hazardous within your home like paint and chemicals.
- Change your address with the Post Office if you haven’t already done so.
- Cancel or change newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
- Find meals that you can make using the remaining food in your fridge.
- Empty lockers at school and the gym.
Return borrowed items to friends and family.
There will be quite a bit left for you to do once you get to your new home. You’ll need time to get established. Moving is exciting and stressful all at the same time! With a plan, you’ll be on your way to a smooth move!