How to Budget for a House: Top 10 Tips

Houses can obviously be expensive, so you need to practice some budgeting. This guide shows 10 tips on how to budget for a house.

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Did you know most Americans don’t have the funds to cover a 1000 dollar emergency? If you’re ready to learn how to budget to buy a house and save money, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to budget for a house.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

1. How Much Money Do You Make?

Before buying a house, you’ll want to determine how much money you make each month. You can use an online income calendar to determine how much money you have after taxes get taken out.

2. Write Down All Your Expenses

Next, you’ll need to write down expenses like utilities, insurance, groceries, and bills. The money you have left is your expendable income.

Divide your expenses between fixed and variable. Fixed expenses include things that don’t change, like rent, bank fees, and car loan payments.

Variable expenses are things you buy at a store. You can decide how much you’ll spend on these things. Some examples include groceries, clothing, personal care items, and more.

After you know how much you’re spending each month, you’ll want to see where you can trim expenses. You might notice you’re spending too much on leisure activities or groceries. Don’t keep eating takeout or fast food.

Make the adjustments now so you can pay off loans and outstanding credit cards.

3. Get Rid of Debt

People can buy a home with debt, but it’s easier to get approved for a mortgage if you don’t have a lot of outstanding debt.

You’ll see your credit score improve when you pay off debt. Give yourself a year or six months to begin reducing your debt.

4. Start Saving a Down Payment

The down payment is like insurance for lenders. When you hand over the money from your account, you’re invested in buying the house. Lenders are still cautious about lending money, even if the economy is improving.

Focus on your budget and save money for your down payment. Give yourself a goal and start setting aside funds into a separate account.

Each month, transfer money to this account. Over a year or six months, you’ll accumulate money. When you have a goal, you’ll feel more motivated to budget and lower your variable expenses.

5. Buy a Home Within Your Budget

If you buy an expensive house, you will end up paying too much. You shouldn’t buy a home that’s more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

Don’t spend more than 36 percent on total debt. Total debt includes housing, credit card payments, car expenses, and loans.

6. You Might Need to Pay Private Mortgage Insurance

There are a few other fees involved with buying a house, like private mortgage insurance (PMI).

The PMI will get added to your monthly mortgage payment if you can’t put down 20 percent on your home.

7. Inspection, Appraisal, and Closing Cost Fees

Before the lender agrees to lend money, they’ll want your house to get appraised. An appraisal could impact your ability to get the loan.

A home appraiser will consider home features, lot size, and the house’s condition to determine a value.

A home inspector will walk through the house and look for problems you’ll need to deal with now or in the future. Having an inspection will help protect you from significant unforeseen issues.

You can walk around with an inspector during the inspection. The inspector will explain what they find.

The closing costs could cost between two to five percent of the total mortgage value.

You’ll need to pay for the appraisal, inspection, and closing costs. Make sure you set aside funds to cover these extra expenses. This way, your budget won’t get stretched thin.

8. Try to Get a Pre-Approval

Show sellers that you’re serious. You’ll want to get pre-approved from a lender before you even go shopping.

When you put your offer down, you’ll get more attention because the seller knows you’re prepared to go forward.

Learn about how to get the best home loan provider.

9. Work With a Real Estate Agent

Working with a real estate is worth the cost. An experienced agent can help you out with paperwork and the buying procedure. When you hire a knowledgeable agent, the process will be a lot smoother.

For example, if you found an ideal home, you’ll want to see similar homes in the area. What are the prices of those houses? If the house you found is overpriced, you can negotiate with the help of your agent.

Consider asking your network if they have any real estate agents they’d recommend. This way, you can work with a reputable agent.

10. Save an Emergency Fund

Emergencies happen all the time. Like you already know, most Americans don’t have enough money to cover them.

When you buy a house, you will have to deal with maintenance and repair issues. Instead of relying on a credit line or credit card, save an emergency fund. This way, you won’t have to rack up debt.

You won’t feel super stressed out when an emergency occurs.

Now You Know How to Budget for a House

We hope this guide on budgeting for a house was helpful. Now that you know how to budget for a house make a list of all that you need to do. Look for homes within your budget, and try to pay off debt.

Browse our other helpful resources on finance, health, and more.