Welcome to 2019! Resolving to eat more kale and take the stairs are fine resolutions. But if this is the year you vow to buy a home, we’d love to suggest a few new habits to help you get there.
Here’s a breakdown of home-buying habits to adopt now, especially if you hope to start looking once home-buying season is in full swing come spring. These behaviors are things you can do daily, weekly, monthly, or even just yearly. Taken together, they set you well on the path to homeownership with a minimum of pain and suffering.
1. Daily: Ditch an indulgence or two
Excuse us for stating the obvious—but saving for a down payment is vital to a successful house purchase. And buyers who can put down 20% don’t have to pay private mortgage insurance. Getting to that 20% down payment is a goal achieved by spending less.
Daily habits you may want to adopt now include eating out less often, cutting the cable bill, canceling (or downgrading) the gym membership, forgoing expensive coffee, and making your own lunch every day, says Patricia Vosburgh of NextHome Gulf to Bay in St. Petersburg, FL. And it’s not just about skipping $4 coffee—buyers shouldn’t make big purchases either.
“If you have an expensive car payment, consider selling the car or turning in the lease,” says Vosburgh. “Buy a beater car for the time being, or use public transportation.”
2. Weekly: Make deposits into a ‘home savings’ account
“When I was young and newly married, I couldn’t afford to buy an apartment or a house,” says New York City resident Charlotte Kullen. So she opened a designated “home savings” account, and she and her husband got into the habit of depositing a set weekly amount.
“Soon we had a tidy amount for a down payment,” says Kullen. To meet their goal sooner, Kullen kept her starter home aspirations modest, which enabled her to get approved easily by the bank.
3. Weekly: Start attending open houses
Getting into the habit of…