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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

From Dream to Reality: How to Finance Your Dream Home

Written by Posted On Thursday, 11 August 2016 17:16

A house is no small investment, even more so a dream home that's outfitted with all the amenities, curvatures, colors, and virtually everything that the person wishes. And since you likely won't be able to finance houses like you do your Fro-Yo addiction or book collection, it makes frugal sense to focus on the realistic variables and constants that count.


Secure Information

Particularly your credit report as this will be the single most important piece of data that will either get you approved or rejected for a home mortgage. Fortunately, securing your credit report is completely free of charge. You can request it from one of the three credit bureaus in the U.S., namely Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. The quality or actual number of your credit score won't change based on the source provider you choose so you don't need to dive into each credit bureau's history and way of running things.


Determine Your Financial Limit

Play with mortgage calculators that are available online. This can give you a fairly good estimate of how much you'll need to put down and the ensuing monthly payments. Determine how much cash you have in hand by subtracting monthly expenses from monthly income. Be specific and list down each expense you incur on a monthly basis. Ideally, you should also have an emergency fund for any expenses incurred post-purchase of a home.


Buying Versus Building

A dream home is often built from the ground up, but many people also find their dream houses on the market. There are different pros and cons to consider. For instance, in general, it is cheaper to purchase an existing property than to build one. New house construction projects averaged at $282,000 in 2014 versus $209,000 for existing properties in the same year. However, new building practices and technologies are reducing the cost of building a new home. Modular building techniques, like those used by Family Built Homes, are cheaper and more efficient than traditional methods. They aren’t necessarily as customizable as building everything to your exact specifications from the ground up, but it may be worth researching for your situation.


Consider Renovations

If you have an existing property, but isn't quite the dream house you've been asking for since you were a teenager, renovating it can be a cheaper and faster alternative to building one fresh off the lot. Moreover, renovations can be planned out over a long period of time, enabling you to save up, pay in cash, and forgo debt.


A dream house shouldn't be just a dream. You can make it into a reality much easier and sooner than is expected. Use the four steps above to get your dream home started without breaking the bank or suffering from years of construction delays.

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