Owning a home is part of the American Dream. Having a home of your own is a step in the direction of financial independence and living a happier life. Veterans, in particular, should have access to affordable housing.
However, saving up to afford a home of your own can be rife with obstacles. That dream of owning a home, in that picturesque neighborhood, quickly turns into a nightmare.
But affording a home shouldn’t just be a pipedream. Let’s take a look at how you, too, can move into a house that you can call home.
1. Start Budgeting Your Money
The most common problem that everyone has when trying to afford a home is budgeting. When’s the last time you sat down with your trusty calculator and budgeted your finances? — Probably not recently.
Knowing where your money is going is the single most important thing in gaining control over your finances. You might not realize exactly how much you’re spending on things that don’t qualify as necessities.
Reevaluate what you’re spending each month. You should set aside money for things that support your lifestyle (food, housing, etc.) and reallocate some of the miscellaneous spendings to savings.
2. Getting Loans From Banks for a Discount
Some veterans might be unaware, but servicemembers have access to VA loans. These loans are premium and should be taken advantage of when making large purchases.
Many of the benefits of VA loans add up quickly when purchasing a house, like no home mortgage insurance and down payment waivers. Here’s some more about VA loans that’ll help you decide.
3. Watch Out for Cycles
Real estate has cycles. There’s a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. You’ll want to buy a home during a buyer’s market when there’s a surplus of houses for sale and prices are cheaper.
There are a few things that can indicate a buyer’s market:
- A surplus of houses on the market
- Houses staying on the market for a long time
- Real estate agents listing properties over and over (relisting)
- Lots and lots of “for sale” signs
4. Set a Timeline to Afford a Home
A mistake that a lot of would-be homeowners make is not setting a timeline for themselves. They think they’ll eventually “get around” to afford a house, but it never happens.
Set a goal for yourself. Each goal should have a deadline on when you should achieve it.
5. Consider Your Deployment Schedule
You might want to move into a home right this second, but that might not be feasible.
There’s no sense in owning a house if you’re never going to be in it. If you’re still on-duty, and you might ship out to a base, then why buy a house that’ll be empty? Purchase a house when you know you’ll be able to move in and live in it.
Welcome Home, Soldier
Owning a home shouldn’t just be an American Dream. It should be a reality, especially for those that serve our country.
To afford a home, you should budget your money, consider VA loans, time real estate cycles, set goals, and consider your deployment schedule. Are you interested in moving into a new home? Check out our other articles on real estate.