Being a homeowner or investor is more than just having equity and a place to call home. It changes your life physically, emotionally, and financially. Before buying a house, make sure you’re ready for these five financial changes.
1. Your credit score will drop.
Once you get a mortgage, your credit score can drop 10 to 40 points, so don’t be alarmed. You’re taking on a lot of debt, so that’s why it falls. But the drop is temporary. One study from LendingTree discovered it takes about nine months for your credit score to recover. Once it improves, paying your mortgage on time each month will boost your score.
2. You have more costs.
Compared to renting, your costs will seem like a lot, especially when there are costs that new homeowners forget or didn’t consider. Some of these costs include pest control, lawn maintenance, HVAC maintenance, taxes, and possible HOA dues. Utilities will also increase if your new home has more square footage than your last place, and you’ll need new insurance coverage.
3. Savings is important.
Unexpected expenses like repairs and breakdowns are common homeowner problems and aren’t always budgeted for initially. This is why a savings or an emergency fund is crucial. Get ahead of the game by saving three to six months’ worth of expenses. This should include your mortgage payment, utilities, and other regular bills.
4. Late payments don’t exist.
One late payment is a catastrophic avalanche of severe consequences. Most lenders have a two week grace period, but if it’s not paid by then, you’ll get charged a late fee. The late payment will also hurt your credit score. If you hit three months of being behind on a mortgage, the lender can foreclose your home.
To avoid this, create a monthly budget or take advantage of the several applications that can help you budget. You can also start automatic payments or monthly reminders, so you don’t miss a payment. If you do miss a payment, contact your lender immediately and ask for a goodwill gesture of removing the late payment from your credit report. You might be surprised by people’s kindness over a mistake.
5. New tax benefits
As a homeowner, you’ll get a new tax deduction compared to when you were a renter. Your real estate taxes and mortgage interest could create tax savings for you later. Especially as a new homeowner, it’s essential to talk to a professional to see if you can maximize your deductions and hopefully get more cash.
If you’re ready for these five financial changes to your life, then contact me today to begin your home buying journey. We are here to help–(512) 721-1094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.