New year, new home. If becoming a Havasu homeowner in 2019 lands at the top of your new year’s resolutions list, there are a few things you’ll need to do first. Like exercising your way to a healthier lifestyle, these need to become regular habits right away in order to accomplish your goal.
How to Become a Havasu Homeowner in the New Year
Credit Report Check
Unless you plan on paying cash for your entire home purchase, you’ll probably need a loan. In order to qualify for a loan, you’ll need a decent credit score. Erroneous information on your credit report unnecessarily reduces your score. Therefore, you need to pull your credit report to check it. This should be done right now because errors may take time to correct. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to request copies of your credit report from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax for free today.
Pay Your Bills On Time
Sometimes, we forget a due date on a credit card bill. To become a Havasu homeowner, that needs to stop right now. As of this moment, make a concerted effort to pay every single bill on time. This includes credit cards, car payments, installment loans, student loans, utilities, and rent. Even one day late can have a negative impact on your credit. In turn, this could harm your chances of being approved for a mortgage loan.
Set Up a Regular Savings Routine
Another way to become a Havasu homeowner this year is to set up a designated “home savings” account. Then, contribute to it regularly. This account should be completely separate from your regular checking or any other savings account you may have set up. To lessen the temptation to withdraw from it, create an account at a completely separate bank. Ask your employer to directly deposit a portion of your paycheck (percentage or specific amount) into this designated home savings account each time you get paid. This tends to be more faithful than relying on yourself to deposit the funds yourself. You don’t miss what you don’t see. Tax refunds and bonuses can be deposited here as well. Before you know it, you’ll have a lovely down payment waiting to be used when you find your next Havasu home.
Reduce the “Extras”
Another way to pump up your home savings account is to reduce your extravagances. I hope you noticed that I said “reduce” and not “remove”. You still need little rewards here and there to make life worth living. But, instead of eating lunch out every day, bring leftovers and just go out on Friday. Skip the lavish dinners out on the weekends and opt for one nice lunch with friends, family or your significant other. Enjoy a streaming feature at home instead of a night out at the movies. Drink water or sodas instead of expensive alcohol when your friends invite you out for cocktails. Take the money you would have spent for these things and deposit it into your home savings account instead.
Go to Open Houses
It’s important to know what you want before you become a Havasu homeowner. Open houses are a great way to determine this. They help you see what’s currently on the market, what things cost, and may change what you really thought was important. For example, maybe you thought your ideal first home would be a 3 bed/2 bath, 1500 square foot property with a large yard. After visually seeing this space, you might determine that you’d like an extra bedroom for an office. Or maybe you’d like to have a swimming pool already installed on-site. Even your initial ideas of bedroom placement, fixtures, and finishes might change once you see them in real life. Open houses help you fine tune your wish list so you know exactly what to look for when you start your Havasu home search in the future.
Practice Being a New Homeowner
Finally, for one month, fiscally practice what your new expenses would be as a Havasu homeowner. Take the difference between your current rent/mortgage and what your new mortgage payment (plus insurance, taxes, etc.) would be. Then, add on the additional expense for utilities (if it’s a bigger place than your current one) as well as maintenance fees (approximately 10% of your mortgage payment). Put this additional amount in a savings account. If it doesn’t affect the rest of your lifestyle, you’re ready to take the plunge.
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