The start of a new year always brings on thoughts of starting fresh and making goals to achieve for the year. If you are a home owner or intend to become one in 2015 here are five resolutions you may want to add to your list!
- Try cutting back on some of your extraneous expenses and putting that money towards extra mortgage payments. Making additional mortgage payments will allow you to finish paying in a shorter period of time, which means you end up paying less in the long term. Even just a few additional dollars a week put aside for your mortgage can make a big difference.
- Check your credit score and try to raise it. If you want to prepare to buy a home in 2015 your credit score is important. Your credit score and credit history are two of the biggest factors banks look at when you apply for your home loan. A year is plenty of time to get your credit score in order. Focus on paying your bills on time and your credit card balances off in full each month. Also be sure to close any credit cards that you haven’t used in months that have a zero balance. A good rule of thumb is to only have 3 open credit cards at a time. Having too many credit cards can negatively effect your credit score.
- Did you make some big improvements on your home last year? Give your home insurance agent or carrier a call and see if there are ways you can save money this year because of the improvements. Having the latest information about your home on file will make sure you are getting the best price. Looking back on 2014 can help you save in 2015!
- Start saving for a down payment on a home. For first-time home buyers, the median down payment is 6 percent, and 13 percent for repeat buyers. This can take months to save for, but if you make it your goal in 2015 it can be achieved if you cut back in other areas. Most Americans say they cut back on entertainment and clothing in order to save for their first home down payment.
- Feel your finances are in order already? As a first time home buyer a good goal then for 2015 is to obtain a pre-approval letter from a financial institution indicating approval for a loan up to a specific dollar amount. These letters do not guarantee anything, however it will open up the door to seriously begin your home buying process.
Whatever your resolution may be, try sticking to it for all of 2015! We wish you the best of luck and Happy New Year!
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