You may have read Crystal’s adventure of moving into a 90 year old home. (If not, go read it now!) Painting, Pinteresting new furnishings, hanging new art, that is an experience I am ready to make my reality.
Now is my time to stop dreaming about becoming a homeowner and get down to business. Buying a home was a goal I set for myself three months ago (in April.) My current commute to work is fourty five minutes with no traffic, an hour and a half plus if there are any major interstate snafus. Interstate construction and accidents are a daily occurance and the time spent in traffic is taking it’s toll on my well being.
Renting has been my way of life for many years. Not being required to fix anything that breaks, no mowing a lawn, neighborhood association fees included in rent, what reason was there ever to buy a home? My mother snapped me into reality a few months ago when she made the statement, “you do not want to wake up one day at 60 and still be renting.” She was right, but one cannot just snap their fingers and purchase a home.
It is nice to dream about becoming a homeowner, but as Napoleon sort-of said, a goal without a deadline is just a dream. My goal for home ownership has been set for November of this year. Once a deadline is set, any goal becomes very real.
Steps To Take To Purchase a Home
What steps do you take when you want to purchase a home? This was my big question when I began the journey to financial health so I could buy a house.
What steps did I take when beginning this process?
1. Run your credit report. The first thing I did was run my credit report. Call me neglectful, but I had not done this in years, and what an eye opener. I found not one, but two LARGE debts that I had no idea I owed, one to a university I attended, the original date of the debt being 2003. (Why had the state university’s collection agency not garnished my wages by now?) I also had a few small outstanding debts that were unknown. Because of this, my credit score was in the toilet.
2. Form a plan according to findings from your credit report. After running my credit report and discovering these problems, a plan was formulated that was structured around a new budget and increasing my credit score. Small monthly financial goals were set. For example, April goals listed four bills to pay off, May goals listed three larger than April’s four, May only two bills, and June, take care of the two largest debts. The Dave Ramsey method really made sense in my situation, pay the smallest bills first and snowball the debt, and that is what happened.
3. Tweak your budget according to what needs to be paid first. To set a budget, list out ALL monthly obligations. Try not to forget things like nail appointments, hair, fuel for the car, and paying yourself. What is left over goes toward these bills that were previously unknown. Cut spending money on frivilous things for a month, and the money can really add up. Frivolous for my family was cut out spending money in the cafeteria at work and cook at home, stop buying any form of fast food, no shopping for “extras” for a couple months after you decide to buy a house, and start dry cleaning at home instead of dropping clothes off at the cleaners. These things all take time, planning, and a little elbow grease, but we made it work.
“A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” –Napoleon.
4. Find ways to make extra money in the event you will need a down payment to buy a house (chances are, you’ll need at the very least 3-5% down, depending on the type of mortgage you are qualified to finance.)
5. Revise your plan monthly as your credit score and financial needs change. Your plan will change several times as financial goals are achieved, and priorities are shifted during this time of change.
Proudly, the monthly goals that were set to be met over the course of four to six months were achieved within a month and a half, then a new set of goals were formulated. These goals are a bit bigger, more formidable, but if the last few months have taught me anything, I can achieve financial goals.
What financial goals have you set for yourself?
Be sure to follow Two Chics Blog on social media so you don’t miss out on more tips and recipes.