In 2018, 10.9 million renters spent more than half of their income on housing.
As rent prices continue to increase, it’s no wonder that you’re thinking about purchasing your own property. But you might quickly find that the housing market isn’t much more affordable than the rental market – so you need to know where and how to look.
There are plenty of affordable homes out there that are sure to fit your budget. All you have to do is know what that budget is and then start looking with an open mind and a willingness to make some sacrifices.
Keep reading for five essential tips on how to find a place to call home that doesn’t break the bank.
1. Start With a Budget
The first question you need to answer before you start looking is: “what home can I afford?” Knowing that figure means sitting down and working out a detailed budget.
Of course, you’ll avoid any home that exceeds your budget. But you also need to take into consideration things like transportation costs. You might be able to afford higher housing costs if you live closer to work, for example.
2. Look for Sellers Willing to Make a Deal
How do you find sellers that are ready to make a deal? You know how to spot the signs.
First, you can look for homes that have been on the market for a long time. Sellers who need to move will be more open to making a deal.
Second, you can look for homes that have recently had their price reduced. This usually indicates that a seller hasn’t received any offers and is looking to sell their home, even if it means making a deal.
3. Buy a Fixer-Upper
When you see the words “as is” in a listing, it’s typically indicating a home that needs a bit of work. And a home that needs a bit of work can usually be had for the deal. You can also find fixer-uppers in your cities vacant housing list.
If you decide on an affordable home that needs work, make sure that you’re capable of completing the work. If you’re not doing the work yourself, then have a good idea of what the fixes will cost. Otherwise, you could end up spending more on renovations than you saved on the selling price.
4. Don’t Be Limited by Location
You pay less for homes that are in less-desirable neighborhoods. Less-desirable neighborhoods are those that are further away from your local hot spots, shopping, transportation, recreational areas, and schools.
Make a list of what’s important to you but don’t be limited by location. And consider that if you’re willing to relocate completely, you stand to save a lot of money. Moving to the Midwest or the Southern US is far more affordable than living on either coast, for example.
5. Don’t Be Limited by Home Type
If it’s important that you’re living in a hot spot or that you’re close to transportation, then you can’t limit yourself to a single-family home. These days, single-family homes located in metropolitan areas are often unaffordable for first-time buyers.
Instead, think about the benefits of a condo, duplex, or townhouse. While they may be smaller, they’re more likely to fit into your budget. And as more people opt for these housing types because of their affordability, many are designed with families in mind.
Start Looking for Affordable Homes
Before you start looking for affordable homes, make sure you set your budget. Don’t limit yourself to location or home type and have a willingness to be flexible with how much work you’re going to put into your new home.
With all of those items in mind, your sure to find a home that you can afford. And when you’re ready to start looking, start narrowing down your search with our listings.