Do you let impulse rule your decisions or are you a more methodical consumer? Your past spending habits have a lot to say about what type of home buyer you'll make. Take this quick quiz to see your strengths and possible buying pitfalls.
1. I save money: (a) on a regular schedule; (b) when I have money leftover; (c) pretty much never. I have very little savings.
2. When I shop: (a) I use a list; (b) I do pretty good about remembering what I need; (c) I tend to buy things that catch my eye.
3. How important is it for you to appear well-dressed and successful? (a) I know it's important for things to look good, but I don't like to overspend (b) looking good is worth spending a little extra money (c) I live to look like a million bucks!
4. I tend to return purchases to the store: (a) not often; (b) once a month; (c) all the time. If you have a receipt you can return it!
5. I have a car that I: (a) own; (b) make payments on; (c) lease.
6. Before I make a big purchase: (a) I research the latest prices and trends; (b) I think about what exactly I want to buy; (c) I've generally just gotten a raise or bonus.
7. Large purchases make me feel: (a) like a grown-up; (b) a little uneasy; (c) successful and in control.
If you answered mostly a's then you are a careful, methodical shopper. Your strengths in the home buying process are clear. You won't make an impulsive decision. Changes are you'll shop around a lot before you make your final choice. You have plenty of money saved. You are very money conscious. You and homeownership should have a beautiful relationship.
If you answered mostly b's then you tend to pretty good with your money. You don't overspend, but you should focus on saving more. Homeownership comes with a lot of unexpected expenses. Build up an emergency fund and a downpayment account.
If you answered mostly c's then you need to beware. You could very easily be an impulsive shopper. Looking good is really important to you, so be careful not to overspend on a home. You also may have a hard time with commitment. You may lease your car or return items to stores. Be sure you spend time running real numbers and putting together a solid plan for buying before you start the process.