If you want to become a homeowner, there are several financial things you should do first.
The idea of owning a home has been born and bred into us as something we should one day attempt to do. Nowadays there are more options than ever when it comes to housing, from tiny homes to mobile lifestyles, but the traditional idea of buying and owning a home has remained much the same.
If becoming a homeowner is a dream of yours, there is a laundry list of financial criteria that you need to meet, and there is no better time to start today. Here is a short list of things you can do today that will vastly improve your chances of saving enough for a down payment, and having the right credit score to get a good rate on a mortgage.
Check your credit score. Nowadays there are tons of apps like Credit Karma that make this super easy. You can also ask your bank, or reach out the credit reporting agencies themselves (Equifax and Transunion, being the key two), but regardless of how you do it, know your credit score, and if it isn’t where you need it to be, start cleaning it up.
Open another bank account. Having a savings account is the first step to saving anything. The best way to make this account grow is to deposit a portion of your income into the account, and not touch it unless absolutely necessary.
Start a budget. There are also budgeting apps that can help you do this, like Personal Capital or Mint. Knowing how much you are bringing in and putting out every month is a key part of saving.
Create income by simplifying your life. You can use sites like Letgo.com or Craigslist to unload unnecessary clutter, and deposit that unexpected income into your savings. Go through your life and make a list of all the ways you can make extra money, and deposit that into your account.
Utilize credit card rewards. There are many different rewards programs for different credit cards, but you can use them to save money on purchases, get cash back, and earn miles for flights that will save you cash later. The better your credit score, the more rewards you will be eligible for, so use this method in tandem with the others to get the best result.
There are tons of other things you can do to get ready to buy a house, but these five are smart financial steps that will help you out whether you want to buy tomorrow, or five years into the future.[ via ]