5 Tools for Buying Your First Home
For a lot of people, buying their first home is a long, tiring process. It’s when all the financial issues we’ve been ignoring surface. Empty savings account? Not-the-best credit? Lots of debt?
It can be stressful for anyone. But with some preparation, preparing to buy your home can start habits that last long after you’ve moved in.
We have put together a list of 5 tools for saving for your down payment and improving your credit score. Buying your first home doesn’t have to be so stressful!
These tools should help you on your quest to own your home.
What is it? It lets you check your credit score. The app gets information from two of the largest credit reporting bureaus: Equifax and TransUnion.
How does it help? Your credit score affects your eligibility to get a mortgage. Credit Karma not only displays your scores but tells you factors are affecting your score. Is your credit card balance really high? Have you missed a payment recently? Credit Karma helps you stay on top of your financial well-being. Credit wise does the same thing but it only pulls from TransUnion.
What is it? It’s a wake-up call. It’s like Credit Karma but instead of showing your credit score, it shows your spending compared to other people.
How does it help? Money is such a taboo topic. Even amongst friends, people feel uncomfortable talking about their financial well-being. Status Money shows how your net worth and credit score compare to others anonymously. If you think you need some motivation, this might be the tool for you!
What is it? Simple is an online bank.
How does it help? It is helpful if you have multiple savings goals. It lets you create different goals to put money aside for down payment for your home, vacation, college savings, etc. When you set aside money for one of these goals, it removes it from the available balance: Out of sight, out of mind!
It also has a feature that breaks down your expenses by category to help you see where and how you are spending your money. And you don’t have to do much work since it pulls from your spending.
What is it? It invests small amounts of money in stocks, bonds and real estate.
How does it help? Acorns is like a bank account. It allows you to link a bank account or credit card so you can invest small amounts of money into stocks and bonds. Acorns “rounds up” your purchases. With as little as $5, you can invest.
There are no minimum balances so you can withdraw for your down payment.
You will have to declare any earnings you get however!
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
What is it? It’s a budgeting tool.
How does it help? Like it Simple, it helps you break down your expenses. It does involve much more work on the front end and costs money to use ($7/month). It has lots of fans though!
There are lots of tools to help you save to buy a home (or for any other reason really). Sometimes it takes talking to a mortgage lender to pin point issues.
Let us know and we’ll get you in contact with someone here in Hampton Roads that can help you get on the path to financial independence.