If you’ve started searching for a first home, you’ve probably come across a very common problem: you covet a beautiful property that you simply can’t afford. The granite countertops and hardwood flooring make you swoon, or the location is amazing, but the monthly mortgage would ruin your budget and make living difficult. You can’t sacrifice everything for a house, but there are a few things you can do to improve the situation and make yourself happy.
Make an Offer
If you find a house you love that’s out of your price range, you can still at least put in an offer for a price you can afford. Even if the offer is much lower than the asking price, the worst that they could do is pass on it, which leaves you in the same situation as now, but it may get accepted. There are plenty of reasons why a person needs to get rid of a house quickly, so they may accept pretty much any offer that comes their way. Real estate investor Jim Randel teaches other investors that “Asking prices are meaningless” to help them purchase a house at a lower price; if it works for investors, it can work for you, too.
Lower Your Expenses
If you want to purchase a house that you know will cost more than your current price-range, you might need to adjust your price range by shifting around the rest of your budget. While it’s generally not a good idea to devote too much of your monthly earnings towards a house payment, you can sacrifice other luxuries if you’ve found one that’s incredibly important.
To get started, look at your expenditures If you don’t have a budget, use a site like Mint.com to help you, and find anyplace that you can cut your costs. It may sound difficult to stop eating out, buying new gadgets, and to cut your nice cell phone and cable plans, but you can do it without too much pain if you have a goal. You have to make changes that can stick, though, and avoid the rising costs that come with buying a bigger or nicer home, like expensive furniture, and keep utility costs low. It’s a little bit risky, but if you’re determined to purchase your dream home, you can make it happen.
Change Your Mindset
The best thing to do, and the safest for your wallet, is to make yourself content with less. A home is what you make of it, and though you see gorgeous properties on TV and the Internet, that doesn’t mean that those should be your frame of reference. Very few people need the thousands of square feet and multitude of bedrooms that are paraded about as “necessary,” and the extravagant cost is just a waste for most of us that live regular lives. Instead find a smaller, simpler house for you and your family. Fix it up if you need to, but remember that material possessions aren’t the key to happiness and a good life. Ignore the fancy houses you can’t afford and get yourself excited about those that work for you.
If you’re absolutely determined to get a home that you currently can’t afford, there are things you can do to try to make it happen. However, if it’s possible, you might want to consider letting it go, staying focused on places within your price range, and find someplace that’s a better fit for you, your family, and your budget.
Robin Knight is a real estate blogger. If you’re looking into buying a new home, find out more about the homes for sale in your area.