Get more home for your money with these tips

May 26, 2022

More space doesn’t have to come with an outrageous price tag. These tips can help you save money and determine how much home you can afford. We're here to help as you prepare for the homebuying journey.

 

Whether your family is growing or your hobbies are filling up the garage, sometimes a little extra room goes a long way toward improving your life. These tips can help you upgrade on space while staying on budget.

 

Start with research at your fingertips.

Now is the perfect time to browse real estate sites to determine where you want to live. Many websites will show you the approximate price of homes in a given area. You can also use mapping apps to determine how long it would take you to commute to work or go to your favorite places.

 

Prioritize what you need and what you can afford.

Make a list of must-haves in your next home. Think about where, specifically, you need more room. And what you’ll need in the next five to 10 years. You may find that while you can live without the large upgraded kitchen, the fourth bedroom and laundry room are non-negotiable.

Once you identify your must-haves, it’s equally important to know your budget. Use an online mortgage calculator to determine a target price range for your mortgage. Don’t forget to think about the added cost of maintenance, utilities and property taxes when planning your budget.

 

Save for a down payment.

The larger your down payment, the less you’ll spend on interest overall. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy a lower mortgage bill each month. Putting 20% down also means you could avoid paying for private mortgage insurance – which may cost as much as $1,000 a year! Despite popular belief, however, your down payment doesn’t have to be 20%. There’s no magic number; just make sure your down payment fits your financial needs. Get tips on choosing the right down payment for you.

So how do you save enough for a down payment? Homeowners usually cash out on equity when their home sells and then use that cash to fund a down payment. If you can’t wait for your home to sell, consider taking out two mortgages on your new home – you can pay off one mortgage when your old home sells and avoid paying for private mortgage insurance in the meantime.

 

Pay down your debt.

Debt can affect your credit score and can make it harder for you to get a low interest rate on your next mortgage. If possible, pay down your credit card balances and loans before applying for a mortgage.

 

Location, location, location

Do your research and determine whether you can save money based on your new home’s location. Make sure to take property tax and utility costs into account, and determine whether a location will add to (or hopefully save!) any costs associated with your current commute. The cost of groceries and everyday items can also fluctuate in different neighborhoods.

Fix up your home before selling – or buy a fixer upper. Ever heard of sweat equity? Putting some work into your current home can increase its value and selling price. If you’d rather fix up a home you can enjoy, consider buying a fixer upper at a lower price. You can customize the home and enjoy it for years to come.

 

Find the right mortgage.

The ideal mortgage supports your financial goals and can help you save money. Luckily, there are many mortgage options to choose from, with rates and terms that can be tailored to your needs. Talk with a mortgage loan officer to get personalized advice and information about today's market trends. And explore your options as a first-time homebuyer.

It’s time for your bigger, better dream home!

With careful prioritizing and planning, you can get the space you need and stay on budget. Good luck and happy house hunting!

 

If you’re ready to start your homebuying journey and have questions about the current market we're here to help. Reach out to a mortgage loan officer to discuss your situation.

Related content

The ongoing evolution of custody: Tips for renewing your custody contract

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Employee benefit plan management: trustee vs. custodian

OCIO: An expanding trend in the investment industry

What’s the difference between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

4 benefits of independent loan agents

How institutional investors can meet demand for ESG investing

At your service: outsourcing loan agency work

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

Changes in credit reporting and what it means for homebuyers

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

What are alternative investments?

Investment strategies by age

How to start investing to build wealth

5 questions to help you determine your investment risk tolerance

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

Start a Roth IRA for kids

Tips for realtors to help clients get their homeownership goals back on track

3 tips for saving money when moving to a new home

Pros and cons of a personal line credit

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

What Is a 401(k)?

How to open and invest in a 529 plan

How grandparents can contribute to college funds instead of buying gifts

Investing myths: Separating fact from fiction in investing

The unsung heroes of exchange-traded funds

4 questions you should ask about your custodian

ESG-focused investing: A closer look at the disclosure regulation

What are conforming loan limits and why are they increasing

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

5 financial benefits of investing in a vacation home

7 diversification strategies for your investment portfolio

Can fantasy football make you a better investor?

A guide to tax diversification and investing

Year end tax planning tips

4 major asset classes explained

ETF vs. mutual fund: What’s the difference?

Effects of inflation on investments

Bull and bear markets: What do they mean for you?

4 times to consider rebalancing your portfolio

A beginner's guide to investing

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

Can you take advantage of the dead equity in your home?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

8 steps to take before you buy a home

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

Are professional movers worth the cost?

First-time homebuyer’s guide to getting a mortgage

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Get more home for your money with these tips

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Community activist achieves dream of homeownership

Bringing economic opportunity to underserved communities one home at a time

Overcoming high interest rates: Getting your homeownership goals back on track

Is it cheaper to build or buy a house

Home buying myths: Realities of owning a home

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Know your debt-to-income ratio

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Key considerations for launching an ILP

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

Interval funds find growing popularity

A first look at the new fund of funds rule

How liquid asset secured financing helps with cash flow

How you can take advantage of low mortgage rates

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

What type of investor are you?

Understanding yield vs. return

Retirement income planning: 4 steps to take

Retirement expectations quiz

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Military homeownership: Your guide to resources, financing and more

Do I need a financial advisor?

4 questions to ask before you buy an investment property

How much money do I need to start investing?

How do interest rates affect investments?

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rates and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.