Bill Bieker's Blog
Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.
It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.
Straighten out your credit
If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.
Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing interest at the same time.
Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals
A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.
Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.
Rethink your insurance coverage
Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.
Automate the headaches away
With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.
First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.
If you receive an offer to purchase your home, you may have only a limited amount of time to decide whether to accept this proposal. As such, there are several factors you'll want to consider to determine whether to approve an offer to purchase your home. These factors include:
1. The Price of Your Home
If you established a competitive initial asking price for your home, you should have no trouble determining whether an offer to purchase falls in line with your expectations. Thus, if an offer to purchase your home is at or above your residence's initial asking price, you may want to accept a buyer's proposal and move forward with a house sale.
Of course, if an offer to purchase your house falls below your residence's initial asking price, you should still evaluate the proposal closely. If you feel the offer to purchase is the best proposal you might receive, you may want to accept it.
2. The Current State of the Local Housing Market
Examine the current state of the local housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you discover you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you can assess an offer to purchase your home accordingly.
If you find a buyer's market is in place, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home. Because in this market, the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, and rejecting a homebuying proposal does not guarantee you will receive better offers to purchase in the near future.
Comparatively, if a seller's market is in place, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to any offers to purchase your residence. In this market, the number of buyers exceeds the number of quality houses available. As a result, you may receive dozens of offers to acquire your residence if you wait for the local housing market to develop.
3. Your Home Selling Goals
You should feel good about accepting an offer to purchase your house. Therefore, if an offer to purchase enables you to achieve your home selling goals, you may want to accept it sooner rather than later. By doing so, you can take the next step to finalize your house sale.
As you debate how to proceed with an offer to purchase your house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional may be able to offer housing market insights that you won't find anywhere else. Plus, he or she can provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ultimately decide to accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can guide you along the final stages of the property selling journey.
There is no reason to settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house. But if you consider the aforementioned factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.
If you're on the fence about whether to attend an open house, there is no need to worry. Ultimately, it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially if you're on the hunt for your dream home. And if you attend an open house, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a particular residence is right for you.
There are many reasons why you should attend an open house, and these include:
1. You can assess a house both inside and out.
An open house provides a stress-free opportunity to walk through a house and examine it on your own. As such, an open house is a can't-miss event, particularly for a homebuyer who is actively seeking the perfect residence.
Of course, an open house enables you to learn about a home's condition both inside and out. And if you find that you like a home after you attend an open house, you can always set up a one-on-one home showing with a seller's agent or submit an offer to purchase.
2. You can envision what life may be life if you purchase a particular home.
It's one thing to look at pictures of a home and imagine what it would be like to live there. However, homebuyers who want to do everything possible to find the right residence should attend an open house to fully capture what it may be like if they purchase a particular residence.
Remember, how a home makes you feel can have far-flung effects on your decision about whether to submit an offer. And if you attend an open house, you may quickly discover whether you can picture yourself as the owner of a residence. Or, if you find that you are uncomfortable with a home, you can instantly move on and pursue other houses.
3. You can obtain home insights that you won't necessarily find in a house listing.
A home listing often contains details about a home's age, recent house upgrades and other pertinent information. But a home listing alone rarely provides you with all of the insights you need to make an informed decision about whether to submit a homebuying proposal.
During an open house, you can ask a seller's agent lots of questions about a residence. This will enable you to obtain insights that you otherwise may struggle to discover in a home listing. And as a result, you'll be able to make the best-possible decision about how to proceed with a residence.
Clearly, there are many reasons to consider attending an open house. If you need extra help as you pursue residences and debate whether to attend open houses, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert guidance throughout the homebuying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to find your ideal residence in no time at all.
When you move into a house, the aisles of paint at the hardware store can seem awfully overwhelming. How will you ever choose a color for each area of your home? Adding color to a home is part of what will make it your own. One of the last things that you may think of is the color of your front door. Instead of painting the entire exterior of your home, it might be a good idea to look at your front door.
It’s not a sin to think outside of the box when it comes to the color of your front door. Why not let your house stand out from the crowd? There’s many different colors that pop out and make great additions to any front door. We’ll break down some of the great possibilities for your front door here.
Red is a great color because it goes well with many neutral tones. It brings a bit of life to a sometimes rather bland exterior color of the home. You can put a red door on a home that is a shade of tan, gray, or even white. Keep in mind that there’s also many different shades of red for you to choose from that allow you to find the tone and feel that works for you.
Yellow Or Orange
You can certainly welcome visitors with a touch of cheeriness right at your front door. Yellow brings a certain kind of warmth to the entrance of your home. Yellow goes well with white, grays, tans, even brick and stone exteriors.
Orange needs to be used carefully. With the right tones surrounding it, you can make use of orange on your front door to make your home a bit more welcoming. Shades of orange work well with grays, blues, greens, and white exteriors.
Earthy Tones: Green And Blue
Green and blue are great colors to help your home stand out from the crowd and provide a touch of style and warmth right at the front door. There are so many shades of green to choose from. You can go with a light green such as mint or lime. You can also choose a darker shade of green like olive or avocado.
Green shades on a door pair well with whites, browns, tans, stone, cream, grays, and even shades of blue.
Blue is often a color that we use more indoors. There’s so many different shades of blue that are available. Blue doors pair well with an exterior that is gray, white, tan, stone, brick, or gray.
You can really use the front door of your home as an element of surprise. When you think of what colors go together, it’s hard to go wrong with a bold front door.
Purchasing a house on a budget can be difficult for even the most diligent property buyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you create an effective homebuying budget and reduce the temptation to spend beyond your means to acquire your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a property buying budget.
1. Examine Your Finances Closely
Your income, everyday expenses and other financial factors may impact your ability to buy a house. Therefore, you should analyze your finances closely to determine how much you can spend on a residence.
Once you evaluate your finances, you can establish a price range for your home search. Next, you can kick off a house search and move one step closer to acquiring your dream house.
2. Get Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number based on your outstanding debt, length of credit history and other factors. It may have a major impact on your ability to secure home financing and establish a successful homebuying budget. As such, you should review your credit score and work to improve it before you enter the housing market.
To obtain your credit score, you can request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each credit reporting bureau. Thus, you should take advantage of this complimentary perk and obtain your credit report as soon as you can.
If you identify outstanding debt on your credit report, you should work to pay this off. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, you should contact the bureau that provided the report to fix these mistakes.
3. Meet with Lenders
Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss various home financing options. If you consult with these lenders, you may be better equipped than ever before to create a successful homebuying budget before you launch a house search.
Ultimately, lenders can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you get a mortgage prior to searching for a house, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can speed up your home search and discover your dream house faster than ever before.
As you get ready to begin your quest for your ideal residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can put you in touch with top lenders in your area and help you secure home financing. Furthermore, a real estate agent can tailor a home search to your property buying budget. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you negotiate with a seller's agent to ensure you can get the best price on any home, at any time.
Create an effective homebuying budget – use the aforementioned tips, and you can establish a property buying budget and use it to streamline your home search.