Did you know that single women own more homes than single men? That’s 2.64 million more homes owned by single women despite the gender wage gap. And we love to see it. So if you’re in the market too, here are some things you can do right now to help get your own home sweet home.
1. Do your research. You know this. But it’s easy to get swept up in dreams of a happy ending. Let’s simplify it:
- What: Think about the house you want to buy AND what you can sell in the future. Your dream home is also an investment. Find the one that checks the boxes for you but consider one that could use some upgrades to help increase the value of it.
- When: Think about when to buy and look at trends because the time to strike is important. It’s no surprise that the state of the economy influences interest rates and housing prices but so does buyer interest.
- Where: Consider neighborhoods just outside of the hottest neighborhoods and you could save money while you get ahead of the curve. Get what you want without settling or going broke. Look at cities that offer tax incentives too!
Catch more how-to’s of home buying right here in our playlist.
2. Look at your credit. Your credit history is your financial footprint and it impacts many of our big life expenses and experiences with credit cards, car loans, home loans and mortgage rates. The better your score is, the better off you are. Here are ways to help get your credit on track:
- Pay down debt and stay out of it with regular on-time payments or tackling past-due amounts. Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score and late or missed payments could take years to work off. Don’t worry… you’re not alone.
- Get smart about the lines of credit you have. Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you’re using compared to your limit. High balances on your cards could leave a mark so avoid hitting your max and dodge hits to your credit score.
- Establish credit or help rebuild it while saving money that could be put towards the home of your dreams. Our Credit Builder+ Membership, gets you access to a loan that helps build your credit with on-time payments while you pay it back. You could even get a portion of those funds today to start saving up for your dream home.
3. Think ahead. And think about more than the cost of the actual house. There are other costs like interest, taxes, insurance, and other fees that creep up when you least expect it.
- The 28/36 rule of home-buying helps you minimize risk and prepare. Meaning your total monthly housing expenses–like interest, property taxes, insurance, and more–shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. And, your total monthly debt, like car loans, credit cards and more–shouldn’t exceed 36%.
- The 50/30/20 budgeting rule is your guide to planning and saving. Experts recommend spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings–per each paycheck. Adjust as you wish but keep your eyes on the prize of that future home. Make a budget and a plan to stick to! Saving is just as important as building a stable income.
The reality is that buying a home doesn’t come easy (or cheap), but planning for it in all the ways that you can will give the peace of mind you can’t put a price on. It’s never too late to work towards the future you want. So get your game face on and get after it. Catch more tips in the MoneyLion app now to learn more.