How to Know You Are Ready For Homeownership

Owning your own home is a big part of realizing the American dream. However, trying to buy a home before you are ready can turn this dream into a nightmare. Thankfully, there a few indications you can look for that reveal you are in a healthy place and are ready to embrace home ownership. Read on to learn more:

You Have a Decent Savings

In order to ensure the purchase of a home doesn’t put you into a bad financial situation, you should have at least 20% of the home’s purchase price saved for the down payment. Yes, you can qualify to purchase a home with much less as a down payment. In fact, FHA mortgage loans will approve you with as little as 3.5% down. However, paying 20% down means you don’t have to carry private mortgage insurance and your monthly payments are lower. You also will protect yourself from a market adjustment that lowers your home’s value significantly.

You Understand Home Ownership Involves More Than a Purchase Price

Another factor you need to consider when contemplating home ownership is the overall cost of home ownership. Your mortgage or purchase price is just one factor. You also need to account for homeowner’s insurance, moving costs to move your belongs from your current location to your new home, closing costs, property taxes, maintenance and repair costs and much more. Let’s face it, owning a home is a big responsibility. This tool by Zillow is a helpful way to determine if you are ready to take on not only a mortgage payment, but also are able to keep up with all other costs associated with home ownership.

You Can Come up With Down Payment Without Spending Savings

While paying that 20% down payment is important as mentioned above, you shouldn’t deplete all your resources to come up with this money. You also shouldn’t tap into retirement or other long-term savings accounts to get the money. You will need your savings more than ever once you are a homeowner. All the expenses mentioned above reveal this to be fact. You don’t want to deplete every resource you have trying to achieve your American dream. Instead, work towards saving the 20% down in addition to your existing or regular savings.

You Have a Long-Term Plan That Makes Home Ownership Wise

Another way to determine if you are ready for homeownership is to consider your long-term plan. If you plan on being in the same location for more than a few years, home ownership can make sense. However, if you know you will need to move for a job or other factor in a manner of one or two years, the closing costs and other expenses involved in the purchase of a home can mean staying put is the best idea. Home ownership shouldn’t be approached as a temporary living situation, but part of a long-term life plan.

Homeownership is a dream many Americans work to achieve. If you want to make this dream a reality for your family, consider the points listed above. Are you in the right place to buy a home? Sure, some things simply cannot be foreseen. However, when possible, create a long-term plan and approach homeownership in the right way to ensure you are in a positive situation when move in day arrives.

 

Sources:
https://www.hud.gov/buying/loans
https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-calculator/house-affordability/
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/23/how-to-know-if-its-time-to-buy-a-home.html

Managing Moving Related Anxiety

According to a study by the Physiological Society, outlined by Global News, moving is one of the most stressful life events you can experience. It makes sense when you consider the financial and logistical challenges that accompany a move, not to mention the change that it entails. Change in and of itself is stressful, so the change moving involves, plus all the other moving related challenges, combine to make it extremely stressful. As such, many people tend to experience moving related anxiety. If you are currently experiencing this, read on to learn how to handle your move related anxiety:

  • Keep the Right Attitude: Stress is a common cause of pessimism and lack of focus. If you are struggling with stress and anxiety relating to your move, remember to keep the right attitude to counteract that pessimism. Focus on the positive elements of your move, the chance to meet new, interesting people, the ability to engage in new activities. Even if it’s a small positive, focus on something that will be beneficial about your move.  Also, remind yourself that the process of moving is temporary in nature and you will once again feel settled in your new place, eventually.
  • Do Your Research: Since one of the main stresses relating to moving involves the unknown, one way to counteract moving related anxiety is to educate yourself on your new location.  Learn which roads are best, which times of the day, what restaurants are nearby that you just have to try, what parks are nearby and what do they offer. Knowing a bit of what to expect will reduce the “unknown” aspect of your new home and subsequently reduce your anxiety level relating to the unknown element of your new place.
  • Organize Your Move: Sometimes, anxiety can become overwhelming simply because you don’t have a plan of action. Make a checklist of items that need to be taken care of before, during and right after your move. This will ensure all your tasks are broken down into manageable size. Check off items as you complete them. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and reduce anxiety as you can see your “to do” list dwindling.
  • Begin Early: Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for your move. This will only make the tasks associated with the move that much more rushed and stressful. To prevent this from happening, start preparing for your move early. You can start organizing, removing clutter and boxing up nonessential items as many as weeks or months before your actual move.
  • Accept Help Offered: Finally, in order to reduce your moving related anxiety, accept any help offered. If your friends and family members are willing to help you, allow them. Give up some of your many tasks to able hands, and reduce the burden on yourself. Be sure to show your appreciation to anyone who helps you. Buy them dinner, provide drinks and snacks while they are helping you, etc.

Moving is a stressful and anxiety inducing life event. Thankfully, by following the tips listed above, you will better manage your moving related anxiety.

 

Sources:
https://www.lifestorage.com/blog/moving/moving-stress-and-anxiety/
https://globalnews.ca/news/3311454/the-most-stressful-situations-in-life-and-whos-more-stressed-about-them/

 

Divorce? Moving Out & Moving On…

Divorce is never the desired end of a relationship, but sometimes, it is unavoidable and the best choice for a couple. When you face a divorce, there are many tasks to complete, one of which is moving your stuff (or their stuff) out of your joint living situation. Be sure to talk to your attorney before you move anything out of your home as doing so before your divorce is final can be a mistake. Once you are sure you can move your stuff out and the logistics of divorce are complete, it’s time to focus on moving your stuff. The following are some tips to help you do just that:

Get Rid of Sentimental Items: In Storage or Permanently

It might be pictures of you and your former spouse, or items you received together as a wedding or engagement gift, regardless, get rid of any item that is tied directly to you and your spouse’s former relationship. These items can be thrown away, given away or stored. If you think there might be a chance of reconciliation in the relationship, you can simply store these items in a separate location. However, make sure you move them out of your space. Don’t keep them around where you will see them.

Start The Packing Process (If You Choose to Move Out)

If you want to stay put in your home, the one you and your spouse shared, you can follow the tips listed below to renovate or redecorate your home to make it your own and create a like new space.

In many cases, moving out and selling the property is the best idea after the end of a marriage. If you want to sell your home, it’s time to go through the contents of your home and organize items, making it easier to move when the time comes. Get rid of items like mentioned above that hold sentimentality. Get rid of any clothes you haven’t worn in at least a year or that no longer fit or are in style. Once you do this, you can even begin packing nonessential items, such as off-season decorations in storage boxes. Make sure to properly label all boxes, as well as where within the house they are found so you can easily unpack them when the time comes. You can even get a storage unit and get a head start on moving items out of your home, making the eventual moving process easier.

Redecorate Your Home, Making it Your Own

Couples often choose the style, textures, colors and furnishings of their home together. Consequently, after a marriage ends, it can be difficult to keep everything as is, even if one spouse remains in the home and one moves out. If you are staying in your home after a divorce, replace your furnishings, repaint, change the style of your décor, make it your own. This will allow you to enjoy a fresh start, even while remaining in your home. Donate any quality items that still have life left to a charity.

Moving on after a divorce isn’t easy. The steps above will hopefully help make this process as easy as possible, whether you stay in your home or move into a brand-new place.

 

Sources:

Divorce Moving Out Checklist: How to Move Out to Move On

Pros & Cons of Multi-Generational Living

The traditional American home, consisting of a Mom, Dad, two kids and a dog is no longer considered typical. Today, there are many families with more than one generation residing together, under one roof. This can be the result of an aging parent or parents needing to move in with adult children for care, or a young adult moving back home for support. As you might expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to this living arrangement. Read on to learn more:

Pros

  • Can Make Life Easier: If childcare or elder care is an issue, having grandparents reside in the same home as their adult children and grandchildren can be advantageous. This makes the issue of daycare and/or after school care obsolete and saves significant money when compared to assisted living facilities. When an elderly parent needs extra care, moving them into an adult child’s home can also save the family a great deal of time. No longer is the middle generation pulled between their parent’s need for care and being present with their children. It is also beneficial for the elderly parent to no longer be living alone, which is often lonely.
  • It’s Actually Going Back to The Country’s Roots: Although we might consider it a new trend, families of several generations living together was actually pretty common before World War II. There is a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from older generations. Their beliefs and advice is valuable beyond measure for younger generations just starting out in life.

Cons

  • Can be Difficult to Set Boundaries: Although having grandpa and grandma right there can be great in some respects, there must be clear boundaries set at the beginning to avoid conflict. Who do the kids listen to? All the adults, their parents, their grandparents? Can grandparents overrule the parents, what about parents overruling the grandparents, who has the final say? All this needs to be sorted out, before the families move in together. As it relates to an adult child moving back in with mom in dad, the same is true. Boundaries need to be set first. Does an adult child have a curfew? Are they required to help around the house?
  • Finances Can Get Sticky: Another potentially problematic issue that can come up with multi-generational living are finances. How are they shared? Who pays for what? Does the mortgage payment responsibility fall only on the middle generation? What about any benefits grandpa and grandpa might be getting? Should they be contributing to the household fund? How is food divided, who pays for groceries? All the details involving money need to be decided ahead of time, written out and signed by all responsible parties. It might seem silly, but it’s a good idea to get all this stuff out in the open beforehand. Otherwise, you might end up with a nightmare situation on your hands and no easy way to get out of it.

Multi-generational living has its advantages and disadvantages. It isn’t the right decision for every family, but can be a great choice for others. If you are considering it, keep in mind, plan out the details, before the move in for the best chance of success.

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