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The uncertainty of recent world events has many people looking for a bit more certainty. If you’re ready to buy a home that will be a space for your family to both shelter in and grow from, consider the tips below to make sure that you buy the best home for your money.
Check Your Schedule
How soon do you need to move? If you have small children, getting moved and settled will take the same amount of time whether you build or buy an existing home. If you’re planning a family, you have more flexibility. However, if you have school age children or are currently expecting, you need to get moved as quickly as possible so your children can start their new school year with their peers. Moving while pregnant is challenging, but moving with an infant will really slow down the process.
Plan Five Years Out
Talk to your Reve Realtors professional about the next five years. If you have young children sharing a bedroom, you will probably need more bedrooms. If you work from home, you’ll need an office. Location is always critical when buying a house, but with children it becomes even more important. What quality schools are in the area, and how much time will it take each day to get your children to school? Will they need to ride the bus, or can you drop them off on your way to work? How many parks, libraries, and pools are in your intended neighborhood, and are there sidewalks so your children aren’t riding their first bike on the street? A house with a small yard may not be ideal, but if there’s a park less than a block away, it can be managed.
Watch Your Budget
While you’re planning for your move, take a hard look at your budget. How much of your income currently goes to cover your housing expenses? How much is left over, and how well are you tracking what’s left over? If you know how much you’re spending on non-housing expenses, do your best to pare down unnecessary expenses. If you don’t know where your non-rent money goes, find out. The simplest step is to go back to cash. Don’t use your credit cards or debit cards for a month. Instead, go to the bank and take out cash to cover your
- gas or transportation
- entertainment and restaurant bills
Stash the receipt where your cash used to be and tally it up at the end of the month. If you’re spending too much on restaurants, try to cut back rather than going to cheaper restaurants, and be prepared to spend more on groceries.
Guard Your Credit Rating
Now is also the time to pay things off so your credit rating either goes up or stays high. When focused on credit rating, keep an eye on the top factors that impact your rating, including
- paying on time; try to get to a place where you can pay at least the minimum when the bill comes in
- paying off when possible, especially to those creditors that report, such as utilities and credit cards
- avoiding new credit accounts until you sign the mortgage
You may be itching to order new furniture or make other purchases for your new space. Hang in there.
Consider Delaying Some Dreams
If you find the right house in the right location but aren’t crazy about the kitchen, consider delaying that dream renovation until all the tricycles have been retired. Small children can be pretty hard on cabinet doors, and a beautiful tile bathroom floor can be slippery under little feet. Should you find a house that’s in need of major repairs and decide to forge ahead, make sure you can still function in the space. Renovating can look very easy on a 30 minute television show, but a few days without a kitchen sink can be frustrating.
Find a house in a child-friendly neighborhood with quality schools close by. Do your best to protect your credit and build a budget that works for your needs and your clan. Picture your growing family in your new space in five years.