Everyone deserves to live in a place that makes them feel comfortable, happy, and fulfilled each day. However, not everyone can afford a place that does that literally through an in-home sauna and separate spa room.
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a house, don’t despair—there are plenty of wonderful properties on the market that are not only affordable, but also perfect for you and your loved ones.
You’ll just need to use a few simple strategies to find it. Read on for our guide on buying a delightful home on a manageable budget.
Bring a Buddy
Throughout your house-hunting journey, you’ll need to stay laser focused on your main priorities. Sometimes, however, you can be led astray by the siren song of jacuzzi-bathtub hybrids or rainforest pool decks.
That’s why you’ll want to follow every stressed-out Kindergarten teacher’s favorite system: the buddy system.
But this time, instead of holding hands in a single-file line while desperately trying not to touch the disastrously tempting dinosaur models at a museum, you’re using your buddy to keep you focused on your budget and your must-haves. Write these must-haves down and give them to your buddy before touring properties. These priorities can include:
- Geography – Is the property near your or your spouse’s place of work? Is it walking-distance from good schools? If so, is that walk safe for kids?
- Amenities – Are the household appliances updated? How is the plumbing? Be sure to calculate possible renovation costs you may have to shell out post-purchase.
- Space – Whether you have a big family or you’re searching for a place for only yourself, you’ll have very different space and storage demands.
- Fun Features – Pick one or two must-have features that you don’t necessarily need, but that would make you feel happier and more comfortable in your space. These could be big windows, a nice backyard, a certain style of architecture, or a stellar sound system!
Keeping yourself and your buddy informed of these priorities is essential to finding a house that you’ll truly love, without letting your fluttering heart sink your bank account.
Save for Your Sanctuary
Houses. Cost. Money. And a lot of it. Even with manageable monthly payments, low interest rates, and a fixer-upper, you still have to approach this purchase with a solid savings strategy.
To do this, start replacing a few key expenses in your monthly budget with more affordable alternatives in the months (or years) approaching the big buy.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Give each of your insurance providers a ring and see if you can get some discounts on your existing policies. Sometimes, switching providers might actually present huge cost cuts.
- Look into your utility bill for any staggering expenses—maybe you leave the bathroom light on every night or keep the tap running when you’re washing dishes. Whatever it may be, cutting down on these tiny wasteful habits can add up to significant savings.
- If your car boasts mileage that’s subpar at best, consider switching to a more efficient vehicle. While the upfront costs might seem high, you’ll be shocked to see how much you can save on gas, maintenance, and auto insurance in the months to come.
To give yourself a better perspective on exactly what you’re saving for, input details on your potential houses into a mortgage affordability calculator. That way, you’ll know what to expect when crafting your new monthly budget.
Check Out Houses That Have Been on the Market for a While
Some buyers might turn a wary eye to houses that seem to live on the market. However, not all of these properties are busts. Many times, they just have one or two features or quirks that don’t appeal to other buyers’ priorities.
But this is where your handy list of must-haves comes in.
Give these houses a chance, and you might just be happily surprised. Just because other buyers have shied away from this house doesn’t mean it can’t be perfect for you. While it doesn’t hurt to ask the realtor plenty of questions about why the house has yet to be sold, all that really matters is that it meets your priorities and fits your budget.
Make it Your Own
In the end, what matters most are the memories you cultivate in your wonderful new home—not the size, shape, or extra water features. Use your creativity to make your new house your own, be it through fun decor, cool thrifted finds, or sweet tunes that fill the space. Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to get everything you want out of a home, you’ll always have the most important thing: good company.
With that, happy searching, and welcome home!