Between stay-at-home orders, supply shortages and navigating a very changed world, buying a home this summer can still be a great idea. With fewer people entering the home buying market providing less competition, buying a home in the next few months might be a solid financial decision, as long as your bank account and budget are ready for the commitment. Read on to learn three of the best money moves you can make to help you buy a home this summer, so you don’t have to put your dreams of home ownership on hold.
Use This Time to Pay Off Debt
One of the best things you can do to secure a better financial future for yourself and your family is to pay down your debt and eliminate interest costs that come with it. Did you know that the average American is more than $38,000 in debt, excluding mortgage debt? That’s a lot of bills to pay! Paying off debt doesn’t just mean you won’t owe anymore, it’s like getting a raise every single month. For example, if you spend $150 per month on your car payment, that’s $150 you could be spending on something else or saving up in your account for a down payment on a home. Now is a great time to rework your budget and see where you might be able to find a few dollars to pay down your debts faster, so you can have more liquid funds for future use.
Prioritize Your Finances
Money is a tool, and you want to be sure that your finances are working for you, not the other way around. One of the best things you can do right now is to prioritize your finances and take a hard look at how much you are earning, what you are spending and saving and what you could change for the better. If you’re sick of binging the 100th season of that show you’ve been watching, spend some of your quarantine time working up a new budget, learning more about how spending changes can impact you and resolve to make better choices to put yourself on solid financial footing for when it comes time to buy a home.
Keep Your Credit Steady
If you’re using this time to pay down your existing debt and prioritize your finances, you might find your credit card balances going to zero, and that’s great news! However, your credit report and credit score depend on having accounts open in good standing to build a favorable credit history. Once you have those credit cards paid off, be sure to keep the accounts open if you plan to buy a home soon, and stay on top of your payments as much as possible. Closing your cards, missing payments, applying for new lines of credit and other factors can negatively impact your credit score, and your ability to buy a home. Keeping your credit steady is always a smart money move, but never more so than now!
While a transformed world might have put your possibilities on hold, home has never been more important. It's okay to keep dreaming of the possibilities a home can afford you. The NC Housing Finance Agency offers many resources to help you get ready for when the time is right.
Learn more about the possibilities of home ownership today at www.NCHomeAdvantage.com.