Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
June 25, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves communications manager
Almost anyone can afford to own a home with proper preparation. Develop a savings plan to build up money for a down payment at purchase, for moving expenses, and for post-purchase emergency expenditures such as needed home repairs. Remember, the larger your down payment, the lower your home loan payment.
1. Prepare Yourself for Homeownership Financially
America Saves can help you develop a plan with regular monthly deposits in a bank or credit union account. At the same time, reduce your credit card debt and other debts in order to increase your ability to afford a house. Lowering these debts will increase your credit score and your chances of getting a lower-interest loan.
2. Get Qualified for a Home Loan Before you Look for a House, Condo, or Co-op
That will give you some idea of whether you can afford to purchase a home and, if you can, at what price. Make certain you contact at least three lenders, including your primary financial institution. This will help ensure that you get the least expensive loan for which you can qualify. Be especially skeptical of uninvited loan offers you receive through the mail, by telephone, or at your doorstep.
After being with my boyfriend for five years we started to talk about marriage. Eventually, the conversation moved to the topic of rings. As we know, rings come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges and I knew I wanted a nice ring. I don’t have many family heirlooms and I was excited about buying something to pass along to future generations. I know that traditionally the man saves for the ring, but I wanted to help save for this large purchase. I didn’t want my future husband to go into debt over the ring, as “his” debt would be “our” debt soon enough. So we sat down and agreed on a budget and a length of time to save for.
I really enjoyed saving towards what we ended up calling “the secret savings fund.” Saving for the purchase together taught me a lot about our savings habits and proved that we could save successfully. We opened a separate savings account and deposited money into it each month. As we got closer to our goal I got more excited about the possibility of a proposal.