The housing market is charging these days as a shortage of apartments for sale creates strong competition among home buyers. That drives home prices higher and higher.
If you’re looking to buy a home, you better buckle up.
The real estate market remains hot, although things may slow down a bit, according to news sources like CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Low mortgage rates continue to ensure robust demand and the number of homes for sale is well below normal.
If you are looking to buy a home, you need to be smart and strategic. Keep these six tips in mind:
1. Boost your credit score
Do you want to buy a house? Then now is the time to think about something: your creditworthiness. We know this sounds boring, but it’s really very important if you are looking to get a mortgage at some point in the future.
The higher your score, the better your loan is likely to get. So good credit can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a 30 year mortgage.
If you’re looking to get your creditworthiness back on track – or just want to keep improving it – try a free platform called Credit Sesame.
In a matter of minutes, you can view your credit score, along with a breakdown of the factors that contribute to your credit score and personalized tips on how to better manage your credit score. With a few strategic decisions you can improve your credit score and save thousands.
2. Grow your money 16x faster – without risking it
To buy a home, you need to save money on a down payment.
With a debit card called Aspiration, you can earn up to 5% cashback and up to 16 times the average interest on the money in your account every time you swipe the card. Plus, you never pay a monthly account management fee.
To see how much you could make, enter your email address here, link your bank account, and add at least $ 10 to your account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and is subject to military encryption. This is nerd talk for “that’s perfectly safe”.
3. Get paid every time you buy toilet paper
To save that down payment, you should find new ways to save money on everything else. For example, groceries make up a good part of your budget. Everyone has to eat. You can also make some cash back while your groceries are being bagged.
A free app called Fetch Rewards rewards you with gift cards just for buying toilet paper and more than 250 other items in the grocery store.
Here’s how it works: After you’ve downloaded the app, just take a picture of your receipt showing that you’ve purchased an item from one of the brands listed on Fetch. For your efforts, you will receive gift cards for places like Amazon or Walmart.
You can download the free Fetch Rewards app here for free gift cards. Over a million people already have it, so they have to be into something.
4. Stop overpaying for online articles
Here’s another way to save money. Wouldn’t it be nice if you got a notification every time you shop at Amazon or Walmart.com and you’re on the verge of getting ripped off?
This is exactly what this free service does.
Just add it to your browser for free, and before you check out, it will check other websites including Walmart, eBay, and others to see if your item is on sale for a cheaper price. You can also get coupon codes, set up price drop notifications, and even see the item’s price history.
Let’s say you buy a new pair of shoes and assume you’ve found the best price. Here you will receive a pop-up in which you will know whether this particular pair of shoes is available cheaper elsewhere. If coupon codes are available, these will also be automatically applied to your order.
Last year, this saved people $ 160 million. You can get started with just a few clicks to see if you are overpaying online.
5. Get $ 540 / year off your auto insurance in minutes
When it comes to saving for a down payment, reducing your other bills can make a world of difference. When was the last time you checked car insurance prices?
You should buy your options every six months or so – this could save you quite a bit of money. But let’s be honest. It probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. But it doesn’t have to be.
A website called Insure.com makes it super easy to compare car insurance prices. Just enter your postcode and age and your options will be displayed.
With Insure.com, people saved an average of $ 540 per year. That could be money in your pocket just to take a few minutes to consider your options.
6. Stop paying your credit card company
Getting a mortgage on a home is a form of debt. But credit card debt is the most expensive debt out there, and your credit card company gets rich just by ripping you off with high interest rates. However, a website called AmOne can help you fight back.
If you owe your credit card company $ 50,000 or less, AmOne will provide you with a low-interest loan that you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The advantage? You have to pay an invoice every month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 3.49% APR), you become debt free the much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $ 50,000 online. You need to give AmOne a real phone number to qualify, but don’t worry – they won’t spam you with phone calls.
Buying a home is an important step in life. If you follow these strategies, you will get closer to your goal.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He’s a homeowner.