How to Save Money When Buying or Owning a House
There are countless ways that people can save money when they are either planning on buying a house or already own a home. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t often consider the most basic ways of accomplishing this simple, yet important, goal. Saving money, especially during this economic climate, is one of the most effective ways to manage the days and months ahead, and also very important for some people to be able to stay in their home.
The idea of saving money appeals to almost everyone, yet so many first-time homebuyers are focused on getting a house –sometimes any house- that they neglect to look at the end result, the bottom line, or how things will be a few months down the road. If we empower these people with some of the information provided here (and yes, much of it is basic common sense, but also a great deal of it is often simply ignored or forgotten about when it’s most important), then we create a network of solid clients and referrals for years to come.
Just a few of the important things people can do in order to save themselves some money when buying or owning a house:
Location, location, location
Yes, the simple mantra that is heard ad-naseum from so many real estate agents over the years is still the most important when buying a home. Many would-be and first-time homebuyers want a nice neighborhood to live in. But that shouldn’t be the only aspect to choosing the right location for their home.
They should consider the commute to work. How many people do we know who have lost their homes or were forced to relocate closer to their jobs because the price of commuting became unreasonable when gas prices spiked? The stories of these people are numerous and they share an important lesson.
When buying a home, a person should consider the hidden expense of commuting to work. If that cost will make their finances too tight, then it’s best to advise them to look in a different neighborhood, and most likely an entirely new town closer to where they work.
Know the market
Any real estate agent should be looking out for his or her client’s best interest, but this isn’t always the case. After all, people are in the business of making money and if a homebuyer is looking at a house that is twenty percent higher than the market value, and they don’t notice, how often will a realtor actually advise them against paying that much for the house?
There are many wonderful, honest real estate agents out there, but there are also far too many unscrupulous ones, and given the current environment, it can be tempting to just let things ride for a client. However, homebuyers should be encouraged to know the market and not overpay for any home. There are plenty to choose from at this time, so this shouldn’t even be an option.
Turn that television off!
The new flat screen televisions, whether they are plasma or LCD, generate a lot of electricity. Drive buy any home in the evening and you’re likely to see one on. Often, people leave the room to check their email or to clean the dishes or walk the dog and they may not even realize that they have been gone for half an hour or more.
Encourage clients to watch their electric consumption and turn off the television or other appliances and lights when they are not being used. This will save a considerable amount of money at the end of the year, which could be used to upgrade something in the home, or be able to afford the down payment on the house they really want.
This list could go on for hours, but the point is made: there are endless ways to save money for the new or existing homeowner or homebuyer. Just sharing a few tidbits of information can go a long way toward having lifelong clients who will refer you to their friends and family every single time.
David is the Founder and CEO of LoanOfficerSchool.com, an approved education provider for The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and The National Mortgage Licensing Systems’ (NMLS) required pre-licensing education and continuing education.
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