Budgeting To Buy Your First Home

by : J Harris



When it comes to buying a home, many prospective first time buyers know what they want, but feel they can't afford it. Buying your first home takes some creative planning and a workable budget and tremendous discipline but with those in place, even the prospective first-time homebuyers on restrictive budgets can realize their dream of home ownership.

First of all, a typical budget should include all monthly loan payments, all other monthly expenses like child care, expenses like utilities, food, car repairs for the past year, records of the taxes an estimate of what the new mortgage payments will be, any medical payments, and personal expenses like entertainment and travel. Make the budget flexible for events such as births, taxes, insurance, medical emergencies, tuition, among others.

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A little goes a long way. This saying is never truer than when it comes to a budget. When buying something, particularly if it is a big ticket item research the best buying alternatives. Look for good condition used items as an alternative to new. Another rule of thumb is to distinguish what is needed and what is wanted. Needs would include shelter, food, clothing, and transportation. Wants are a new piece of jewelry, a big screen television, or a $40,000 Sport Utility Vehicle. Therefore, when thinking about a budget and saving for a home, often less can actually be more. A $15,000 vehicle may actually be more acceptable than a $25,000 one, as well as a $20 meal may be just as good as a $100 one. The biggest impact I see blowing up the pathway to purchasing a home is purchasing a new car. Resist this temptation. If your car is stolen, totaled or broken while saving towards a home, find a used replacement without adding more debt if possible.

Families often needlessly spend more than 10 percent of what they make. This can translate to $431 a month based on the average income. The use of credit cards, debit cards, and wire transfers can make it harder to feel the immediate impact of needless expenditures. So, keeping an eye on bank accounts and credit reports is vital to the house savings budget. Discipline is hard but keep your eyes on the prize.