In recent months, we hear this statement over and over again: "The time to buy a home is now." And this is very true. The time to buy really is now. It couldn't be a better time with low property prices, low interest rates and huge tax credits for first-time homebuyers. However, because of new stricter lending practices, many banks are requiring a down payment of 3% to 5% of the property value. The fact is that the majority of Americans don't have any savings plan. We would like to share some great ways to help you build a savings you can count on for buying your next home.
Money saving tips:
· Forgo prepackaged foods as much as possible. Prepackaged foods and snacks are the most expensive foods in the grocery stores. Instead, try buying individual ingredients in bulk size. This will cost more in the beginning, but over time, you will save money because these ingredients will go much further.
· Pass up packaged drinks such as bottled water, sodas and other bottled or canned drinks. These items can easily be substituted for individual sports bottles that you can take on the go with you. If you are a big coffee drinker, brew your coffee at home and take it with you in a travel mug. You will save hundreds each year by simply doing this.
· Car and home repairs are some of the most expensive fixes to hit our wallets. When you need something repaired, do your research first. Shop around for the best possible price. For cars, this will usually mean an independent shop. Car dealer repairs are the most expensive, unless your car is under warranty. For the home, a local handyman can usually get the job done for much less than a company you see with advertisement all over the city. However, be sure to get several referrals before you let him do any work and never pay for a job before it is complete.
· Credit cards have always been important to help build one's credit. This still holds true today. Be sure to pay your bill on time each month to avoid late fees and always pay above your minimum balance to pay it off faster.
· If you don't have free checking, search for a bank in your area that does. Most banks do, so don't settle for one that doesn't. Also, watch your account balance to avoid having to pay hefty overdraft fees. If you can, set up overdraft protection. Avoid using ATMs that charge you any fees.
· Stop your newspaper and magazine subscriptions. You can go online and find any newspaper and magazine for free. If you don't have to carry the printed version with you, there is no need to buy it. Do your reading online from now on: it's free. You already pay for the Internet, so use it.
It's small things like these that will help you effectively change the way you spend and save money. And, saving money can help you afford the home of your dreams through economic times like these.
If you like these tips, you can find more here.
Realtors® Sharon & Crist Fanning ~ Lake of the Ozarks Missouri
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