It’s true. This TR family has completed our home purchase and will soon be completely moved into a house of our very own.
At first glance you may not consider this to be the most frugal decision. Buying a home is a huge expense, but home ownership is actually a significant part of our journey towards controlling our expenses.
It is easy to miss the mark on this goal and end up overextending your budget. But if you are careful and do your research, you can indeed save money every month by buying a house. There are many online calculators that will help you begin to determine how much house you can afford. Be careful! The principal and interest mortgage payment is just the start of the true monthly cost. You should also factor in taxes and insurance (Get online estimates or help from a mortgage professional to estimate these costs in your area). Now you will have a better idea of your base per month cost of owning a home.
Of course, utilities and repairs also factor into the bottom line. In most areas, you can get a history of a properties average heating and electric costs from the power utility. You can also get estimates for costs of water, sewer or sanitation costs from your local municipal offices. Make sure you are using all of these figures to calculate a realistic budget for yourself.
Now that you’ve identified what you can afford, begin to seek out any assistance your city or state might offer. We are lucky to live in an area that has many resources for home owner assistance in the form of grants or forgivable loans. These resources are available at local state and federal levels, depending on your income, family-size, veteran status, etc. You may also have opportunities to work with Community Development organizations that will allow you to purchase on land contract or at well below market values. Do your research!
Work closely with a trusted mortgage originator to talk you through the pros and cons of different mortgage loans: FHA vs Veterans vs Standard, etc. You may or may not qualify for numerous types of mortgages that could have different impacts of what you can afford, or are allowed, to purchase.
We are very fortunate to be saving over $300 dollars every month by purchasing our own home and we couldn’t be more excited to dive into the numerous (and never ending) home repairs/remodels/maintenance.
Tip: Put a portion of your savings into a “home” account for future expenses so that you aren’t hit hard by an unexpected repair.
If you think home ownership is out of your reach, we encourage you to take a second look..