Many people dream of one day owning their own home and escaping the coin-operated laundry machines and shared walls of apartment life. For most people, buying a home is the most significant expense they’ll ever have, thereby requiring a lot of planning and saving.
Preparing for a down payment can seem overwhelming and, at times, impossible when putting 20% down costs two-thirds of the average household income. However, following a few essential tips can make the process more manageable. If you’re dreaming of homeownership, here are the first steps to save for a down payment.Determine How Much You Need to Save
While there are loan options that allow for a [...]
Are you house rich, but cash poor? The phrase is often used to describe people who have a house payment so large they can’t afford anything else – like food, gas, utility bills and things they need day-to-day. If this describes you, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and you can get through it with these ten life hacks for lowering your living expenses.One: Develop a spending plan
The old-school term for a spending plan is a budget. As much as most of us hate the idea of budgets, they are lifesavers when it comes to helping you save money. If you’ve tried budgets and they just don’t work, consider Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, or [...]
The hard part is over! You’ve found that nearly perfect home that your family has been looking for. You’ve made an offer and it’s been accepted, and now you’re settling into the nuts and bolts of getting to closing. If you’re like 95% of home buyers, you’ve had an inspection done because you want to make sure that your new home is as safe, reliable, and valuable as you hoped it would be. A certified home inspector will do a very thorough job of checking out the property from top to bottom, and it’s inevitable that they may find anywhere from a few minor things out of sorts, to a long laundry list of desperately needed repairs. If you’ve [...]
The soaring costs of getting an undergraduate or graduate degree has driven thousands of college graduates into debt for years after they cross the stage. Ironically, those who worked hard for their degrees and are on their way to well-paying careers can’t get approved for a mortgage: they are too deeply in debt, and the problem is worsening. Graduates in 2015 with student loans left school with about $34,000 of debt, up from $20,000 ten years ago. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors and American Student Assistance found that 83 percent of prospective buyers cite student loan debt as the most important factor delaying them from buying a home. The average [...]
Affordable housing used to mean that those on minimum wage incomes and those with fixed housing struggled to afford rent. However, the Brookings Institute now says middle-income families are also getting squeezed. According to the research, “in 2010, 11.2 percent of unsubsidized apartments were affordable to very low-income households. In 2016, only 4.3 percent of unit met that standard.”
Ninety percent of apartments are still affordable to middle income families, but there is a decreasing trend. Affordable housing is becoming harder to find for a greater range of people. So what can you do to ensure you’re not one of those left out in the cold?