Buying a home is a dream for a potential homeowner, but it is also a long-term financial commitment. Unless you have tons of money, you may end up with a big mortgage and hefty monthly payments for years. Owning a house can literally burn a hole in your wallet. But there are ways to buy your dream home without breaking the bank, provided you get a head start with financial planning.
Real estate prices are high everywhere, whether you want to buy a house in the US or Singapore. Even relatively affordable homes require financial readiness. With some smart moves and a bit of real estate know-how, you can make it happen without much struggle. Let’s dive into how to get financially prepared for your home-buying journey.
Avoid falling into the dream home trap
Everyone wants to own a plush home in a high-end neighborhood, right? But you may end up missing out on the opportunity by getting into a dream home trap. Avoid this mindset and have a realistic approach to home buying by considering your current budget and needs.
For example, you may opt for a housing and development board property if running on a tight budget. It is better than not owning a home at all, and you can always upgrade down the road. You will be in a better place to sell and upgrade when you already own a house.
Build your savings for the down payment
Once you define a dream home realistically, it is time to save up. You will need enough for the down payment, which may run in thousands, even for an affordable property. As a rule, you must aim for at least 20% of the property’s price.
Remember to factor in the additional costs such as closing expenses, property taxes, realtors commissions, and relocation fees. The sooner you start stashing the cash, the better.
Explore your loan options
You may set aside enough savings for the down payment, but what about the loan? You will surely need funds to pay the remaining amount, so exploring your options is a part of the financial readiness for buying a house. Consider your unique circumstances to nail the right option.
For example, potential buyers looking for an HDB in Singapore flat require an HDB loan eligibility (HLE) letter. Check the hle eligibility in the first place and ensure you qualify for the loan. Get your paperwork in place to make the process a breeze.
Keep your credit score healthy
Besides exploring loan options, you must ensure that your credit score is healthy. The number holds a lot of potential in the home-buying game. Lenders want to see that you’re responsible for your money before they shell out the loan.
Getting your credit score on track makes you a good prospect. Start by paying off any debts, clear the credit card balances, and keep up with your bills. Also, avoid maxing out your credit cards to maintain a viable credit score. It gets you the loan easily and with a low-interest rate.
Get pre-approved for a loan
Getting pre-approved for a loan is a game-changer. It enables you to soar ahead of the competition in the real estate market and seal a good deal. Pre-approval shows sellers that you’re ready and serious about buying the house, so they may actually come to your terms.
Find a reputable lender and get a pre-approval letter before starting your search for a dream property. It gives you a clear idea of the value of the house you can afford. You can narrow your options and get an edge when making an offer.
Get your finances in order
Being financially ready for home buying is also about getting your finances in order. Take a good look at your current money situation. Are your income and expenses in a state of equilibrium? Do you have an emergency fund to cushion you during a crisis? Do you have a stable job?
Buying a dream home makes sense only when everything is in place. You don’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck or struggling with debt when trying to own a home. The best piece of advice is to wait a bit if things are unfavorable.
Home buying is more about financial readiness than anything else. You must assess your finances before starting to look for your dream property in the first place. Follow this simple checklist before embarking on the journey to make it a smooth and seamless one. All the best!