Many people dream of owning their dream house, but for many, the dream seems so far off. When it comes to buying a house, most require a down payment, which often represents a hefty sum. Before giving up, know that getting your dream house isn't impossible, but may require a shift in some of your money-related mindsets. Here are some tips to get you on the right track for saving money to afford your dream home.
Here are some tips to get you on the right track for saving money to afford your dream home.
Create a separate amount for mortgage payments monthly and invest.
Saving up for a down payment is just the beginning. When you finally purchase your new home, you’ll want to consider the implications for your budget of paying for the mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs. Consider placing this amount in a money market mutual funds account, which may earn less interest than a stock or equity account, but is safer and still earns more interest than just putting it in a savings account. It may also be a good idea to automate your savings account to automatically see to it that there is enough money set aside monthly for related payments.
Augment your income.
If you're earning just enough to get by at work, it won't make much of a dent in saving up for your downpayment. Sometimes, the best way to make a difference is to find a way to earn more money. Though a complete job counseling session is outside of the scope of this article, here are several ways to do that: get an online job, create a business out of your passions, freelance, do consulting work, or act as an independent contractor for a company like Uber or Postmates.
Sit your family down for a budget meeting.
If you have kids, inform and involve them in the decision-making process. Saving up for a home is a team effort and informing the whole family will help your kids to understand why the family may have to forego a few extras in the meantime. Also, getting the kids involved will help make them appreciate the value of the home, especially if they will be inheriting it in the long run.
Reduce household costs.
Look over your household budget and see where you might be able to cut some corners. For example, if you normally keep the AC on the whole day, contributing to a large electric bill, it's better to try to find opportunities to shut it off for a few hours. Or perhaps you spend too much on gas just to bring your kids to school—is it possible that you could arrange a carpool with other parents in the neighborhood? And if you have cable, but don't watch TV that often, why not downgrade or cancel your subscription? If you pay attention, there are plenty of ways you can reduce costs that don't have to feel like a huge sacrifice.
And if you're building your dream home..
Select contractors wisely.
When deciding which contractors to work with, do your research. Some businesses are just out there for the money and will not meet your expectations. Besides choosing a contractor that has a proven track record, it’s also important to have a contractor that you can communicate clearly with. There may be times that what you want to achieve with your dream home isn't feasible, so it’s important to be able to meet in the middle.
Source what you can over time.
Saving up for a dream home does not mean that you get to build the house in one go. You can opt to slowly build it up. Sometimes, contractors strike deals with their suppliers to earn a cut of the profits, which makes the cost of materials go up. While construction is slowly ongoing, try to canvass prices and source what materials you can (with the advice of your contractors, so you're not wasting money if you buy the wrong thing!).
Building or buying your dream home doesn't have to be an impossible task with the right mindset and habits in place. With these tips and tricks, you’ll have your dream home in no time!