Real Estate Hacks That Will Save Your Family Moneyby Rayanne M. Writer
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Owning a house is a wonderful way to build equity, but over-buying can make you extremely house-poor. To keep your housing costs logical, you might consider living a little smaller, changing up your storage choices, or renting out an open bedroom to raise cash.
Change Up Your Storage
Moving into a small house can mean dealing with a cramped kitchen, a single bath, or a single bedroom that the children need to share. You may also be dealing with smaller closets in your home. Redefine the concept of pantry. While storage under the children's beds will probably include toys and out of season clothing, consider getting plastic tubs for under the adult beds. In these tubs, you can store
dried foods, including rice and beans
extra toiletries, soaps and cleaning supplies
If you are limited on your clothing storage, consider investing in a vacuum packing system for out of season clothing. Sweaters and jackets will be safer in an airtight plastic bag in the summer months; tees and shorts can be packed small in the same bag as the temperature drops. Try to set up the closet space you do have with clothes that you will wear within the next two weeks.
Stay Flexible and Sell Quickly
Once you own a house, you will build equity. Should you find a house that suits your family better than your current home, you may need to act quickly to get in the new house. Consider offering your current home to the professionals by researching, “we buy houses in San Antonio” or your particular locale so you can quickly move forward.
To focus on flexibility, keep an eye on your budget. Running up credit card debt on unnecessary purchases may put you in need of a refinance that you can use to pay down that debt. Once you take out the equity of your home, you have to take the time to build it back up. Instead, do your best to keep spending low so your debt stays manageable. Less debt means more flexibility.
Big houses are expensive. Even if you get a big house for a great price, it will cost more to heat, cool and maintain. Instead of dealing with high heating and cooling bills, do your best to live comfortably in a small space.
For example, one of the best ways to live smaller is to function as a family with a single bathroom. A 2/1 (two bedrooms, one bath) is generally the cheapest and smallest house in the neighborhood. Getting a house with three bedrooms will cost a bit more, but that additional bathroom will increase the price by quite a bit.
To make this work, consider setting up a hair and makeup station outside the bathroom. Use a timer to reduce shower and bath times as well as excess hot water use. Consider bathing in shifts; while most of us prefer a daily bath, not everyone needs one in the morning. Finally, if you can work out in the morning, shower at the gym.
Rent Out A Bedroom
If your home is large enough to offer a spare bedroom, preferably with a nearby bathroom, you may be able to raise extra cash by renting out a room to someone on vacation or someone looking for a longer-term situation.
Bringing in a roommate can be risky. Make sure you check out the tax risks and be certain that you have the power, as owner, to get an unpleasant renter out quickly. However, if your financial situation is extremely tight or you need help as well as extra cash, bringing in a renter who will help with yardwork or home maintenance can help an older person age in place. Take your time and set up short term contracts so both parties have the flexibility they need to settle in and be satisfied with the situation.
Recent uncertainty in the world has many people looking for a home they can own. If you have struggled to build up savings for a down payment or are concerned about your credit, talk to a realtor about options to help you get qualified for a mortgage. There are many programs in place to help you find a way to buy instead of rent.
Created on May 13th 2021 13:28. Viewed 143 times.