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3 Tips for Affording a First Home

January 9th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

With the marketing improving, a little prudent saving and some clever money management could see many more young people realize the dream of home ownership in 2014. If you are trying to afford a mortgage for the first time, here are three tips that may help:

1) Budget Realistically

It may sound obvious, but saving on day-to-day expenses means more dollars in the mortgage fund. The issue some people have with sticking to a budget is that they look upon it as a financial rather than a psychological matter. If you manage to get yourself into the saving mindset, the dollars will quickly mount up! If you find saving hard, try thinking of your ultimate goal when tempted to dip into the money you’ve set by.

2) Cut Down On Rent

This is not an option for everyone, but if you can cut down on or eliminate rent altogether then you’ll find yourself able to save a lot more than you would with a large proportion of your income disappearing into the landlord’s pocket every month. It’s likely that the rent is your biggest monthly expense, and it’s holding you back from getting that mortgage. There are several options open, such as taking in a lodger to share the economic burden, or even downsizing to a smaller, cheaper place while you save. Remember that this is only a temporary measure, and you’re working towards a big step up. So don’t let yourself feel like you’re downgrading.

3) Improve Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score could mean the difference between walking away with a signed mortgage agreement, or waiting another five years. In the wake of the subprime mortgages disaster, lenders want to be sure that they’re only giving loans to people who can afford to pay them back. Credit can be improved through ensuring that payments to creditors are made on time, and keeping credit cards at 75 percent of their total credit level. Strangely enough, having no credit history can be just as damaging as having poor credit. It may be a good idea to take out a credit card – but be careful! The aim is to save money, not to spend too much on credit.

A Long Journey – But Worth It

Affording a first home can be a frustrating and stressful. However, it is not impossible, and the ultimate end makes all the scrimping and saving beforehand worthwhile.

Written by Melissa Strelitz, a guest blogger for WhatsUpJacksonville.com. Professionals interested in guest blogging can write to [email protected]

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