Julia Holmes, the wife and mother in the TTMF puppet family, has some advice to give you about preparing for the homeownership process and working towards making this a reality in the next 2 years. Julia and her husband Clyde both know firsthand how much work this entails as they planned together for many years to put the foundation in place to bring this goal to life. Read on as Julia shares some of their biggest learnings.
One of the very first things you should do before getting deeper into anything else is to get prequalified so that you understand your home ownership budget. Prequalification is easy to do and takes into consideration the following factors: age, income and existing financial commitments. Simply take your ID, most recent Pay Slip and a Job Letter to the TTMF. To make an appointment, give the TTMF a call, or fill out the short online form here.
Once Clyde and I got prequalified with the TTMF, we knew exactly what we could afford and were better able to search for properties that were within our price range.
Once we knew our budget, we had to adjust our search to stick within our purchase capability. Here are some of the ways we were able to find more affordable options:
- Location: We expanded our boundaries and started looking further away from city areas and explored neighborhoods that weren’t previously in our search
- Fixer-upper: We started looking at properties that would need some measure of renovations or adjustments
- Starter homes: Instead of searching for our big dream home that would meet our long-term future family needs, we looked for a smaller home that would be a better fit for our current needs
Save, Save, Save
It was so important that we identified healthy financial habits and kept each other accountable, so that we were able to both put money aside regularly. This is something you can diligently do over the next two years to meet your home ownership goal by 2020. A mortgage comes with more costs and fees than you can imagine, so it’s vital you adjust your spending and saving accordingly.
To help build up our savings we employed so many lifestyle changes and tactics including things like reducing our credit card limit, reducing our cable package, buying less meals out, carpooling, reducing our cell phone usage and finding other additional income sources (e.g. doing odd jobs or catering projects to supplement our income). You can read more about these saving tips here.
Now don’t be fooled – this is one of the most challenging parts, but sacrifice and discipline got us there in the end!