Resist the Temptation to Overspend for a Home

Have you found the home of your dreams but are overwhelmed by the price tag? This is a no-win situation that challenges even the most patient, resourceful homebuyer, and perhaps for good reason.

Finding the perfect home may take days, weeks, months or years. And if you discover a residence that meets all of your needs but falls outside your budget, you’re likely to be tempted to overspend to acquire this residence.

However, you’ll want to take a step back and think carefully about your decision, and those who weigh the short- and long-term ramifications of their decision ultimately will be able to make the right choice.

Furthermore, you should consider the following factors as you try to resist the urge to overspend on a house:

1. Your monthly mortgage payments

Although you may be able to handle a higher monthly mortgage payment in the short-term, you’ll want to think about your long-term plans before you finalize your purchase.

For example, do you plan to raise children? Or do you anticipate a career change over the next few years? You’ll want to consider any plans that could impact your budget and determine whether you’re ready to handle your monthly mortgage payments both now and in the future.

2. The quality of the home

Although your dream home likely is of the highest quality, you’ll want to ensure this residence won’t require any immediate improvements.

The quality of the home will dictate whether this residence will require substantial short- and long-term maintenance and repairs. And if you find there are many home improvement projects that may need to be completed soon, you may be better off considering other homes on the real estate market.

3. Your wants and needs

Ideally, you’ll want to find a home that fulfills all of your wants and needs instantly. But in today’s highly competitive real estate market, only a fraction of houses may come close to meeting all of your demands.

Differentiating between your wants and needs, however, is critical, as this will allow you to distinguish what you need to enjoy your home versus what you’d like your home to include in a dream scenario.

For instance, your home needs electricity, running water and other everyday essentials. On the other hand, you may want a home with a pool, a spacious back yard and other distinct features, but you should not rule out homes due to the fact that they lack some of these non-essential amenities.

Take a close look at your priorities and your budget, and you’ll be able to make the right compromises to find a home that won’t require you to break your budget altogether.

Remember, your home is what you make it, and overspending to acquire a house may leave you satisfied in the short-term but struggling to pay your bills over an extended period of time.

Make the right compromises as you explore the real estate market and set realistic expectations for the houses you check out. By doing so, you can improve your chances of finding a high-quality residence that meets your personal and budgetary needs.

Must Have List When Buying a Home

There are so many things to think of when buying a home. It can be difficult to think of everything when you are house shopping. When you tour potential homes it can be easy to get caught up in things that may not be as important after you move in like storage, parking, and privacy.

When home shopping you should make a checklist of the things you must have in a home so you don’t get caught up in the new granite countertops or the beautifully decorated master bedroom. Think function over style when making a buying decision.

Here are some things you may want to consider putting on your must-have list.

Storage
When walking through a home make sure to make note of the amount of storage. A good staging job can disguise a home with too little storage. Imagine the home with no furniture and picture your furniture and belongings in place. If you are seriously interested in the home bring a sketch pad and measure the rooms and draw a quick sketch of walls, doors, windows and closets.

Location
Consider the location of the home to places you frequently travel. You may only be a few miles from the store or work but what is the commute like? Do a practice run at rush hour from the home to your work. If you are moving near public transportation give that a try too. Make sure to try the commute both ways.

Enough Power and Water Imagine waking up the first morning in your new home and finding out the water pressure is barely enough for a shower or the water gets cold half way through.  It is important to determine if the plumbing and wiring can accommodate your lifestyle. Check the size of the hot water tank and run a few plumbing items at a time to check the water pressure. Talk to your home inspector about the electrical system. Make sure the home inspector knows the kinds of electrical equipment you run and the number of people that will be living in the home.

Privacy
Many buyers overlook privacy until it’s too late. Try to spend some time in the house. Look out the bathroom and bedroom windows and test what you see. Do a walk-through of the home and pretend to go through your day. Sit in the back yard and on the deck to see and listen to the neighbors.

Build an Emergency Fund

Money experts recommend having an emergency fund, however, that is easier said than done. You will want to have at least three to six months of living expenses in your emergency fund. Here are some tips on how to get there:

Determine how much you need                                                                                               Calculate how much you spend each month. Add up your rent/mortgage, car payments, insurance, food and utilities. This will give you an idea of how much you will need to save.

Start small
If you find it hard to save, start by saving small amounts. Even if you only saved $20 per week for one year, you would increase your savings account by $1040.00

Have achievable goals                                                                                                                     Start with a small goal and gradually work towards a larger one. Set your initial goal of one month’s savings and build upon that. If you start small and make savings a habit it will be easier to save.

Make it automatic                                                                                                                           Set up automatic contributions to your savings account. Move a specified amount of money to your savings account through direct deposit. If you do this you may not even miss the money.

Watch where your money goes                                                                                                 Keep track of how much money you spend. Calculate your spending average and try to spend less. Another great way to save is to find areas where you can cut back.

What are some of your best tips for saving money?

 

Why You Should Consider Hiring A Landscaper

The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. The outside needs to fit the needs of you and your family. Good landscape design can have a big impact on a home. A high quality exterior allows for outdoor activities and brings more value to your home. 

The big question is- who will do the landscaping? You and your family? Maybe you’ll hire a professional landscaper to help you complete these jobs. Landscaping isn’t a simple job. It’s more than adding stones and walkways to the yard and planting or mowing grass. When you want to transform the outside of your home, you’ll need a vision and plans to execute that vision. Here’s just some of the advantages to hiring a professional landscaper:

You’ll Get What You Pay For

These landscaping professionals are just that- professional. You’ll know when you hire them that you’ll be getting high quality work in return for your investment. While you may miss trimming a few branches of a bush on your own, a pro landscaper will get every last leaf.    

How Much Will Materials Cost?

It would take time to look for materials that can be used for landscaping. It would also be an out-of-pocket expense for you to include with the time it takes to complete landscaping jobs on your own. Professional landscapers have these supplies readily available to them.  

Landscaping Takes Time

If you hire a landscaper, they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re also completing a job while you are off doing other things. You’ll save quite a bit of time if you hire one.  

Landscapers Know What They’re Doing

When you hire a landscaping professional, they know what kinds of plants that you’ll need to get your desired look. They’ll also know how to care for these plants. You could run into quite a few problems without the proper knowledge and experience. Left on your own, there are many different things that can go wrong while completing a landscaping project. You could place the plants in the wrong order, not have level ground, or end up with a lower quality project than you had originally hoped for. When you hire a professional, you know that a project is being carefully planned from start to finish. If the company doesn’t execute it the way you’d like, you can always request that they fix it. If you make a major mistake on your own outdoor project, it’s on you!

There’s many advantages to hiring professional landscaping help. From regular yard maintenance to major outdoor projects, it’s a good idea to have help that knows exactly what they’re doing to save you from headaches at a later time.