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5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Buying a House

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Buying a House

Buying a new house is a huge step, so it is important that you make your decision very carefully. Small mistakes and ignorance can cost you a lot. If you are not careful, buying a new home can become profoundly exhausting and scary, instead of exciting. It is a massive financial investment so make sure that you avoid any mistakes that can harm or halt your investment.

Here are some of the errors that can be very costly and shatter your dreams of buying a new home so make sure that you avoid them.

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1. Not Having a Clear Budget

The right budget is not what banks think you can afford to pay. It is possible that you are not comfortable with spending that much money. Having a very clear budget in your mind is important. Do not rely on the bank to tell you how much you can afford to spend. Create your budget by listing all the monthly expenses, include the rent in it, cost of using vehicles, loan payments if you have any, payments of credit cards, insurances, savings, etc. Subtract this amount from the take-home pay and you will know the exact sum of money you can afford to spend.

By knowing the exact budget, you will be able to hunt for houses that are within your price range. By not knowing the budget you will waste your time on properties that you cannot afford. It is possible that you end up investing in a place that you cannot afford. This can cause a lot of financial problems for you.

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2. Skipping the Qualification of Mortgage

Before you make an offer on a home, it is important that you have a pre-approved loan. You should know whether you qualify for a loan or not. Every loan has its requirements, for example, if you are applying for a reverse mortgage, you should have all the reverse mortgage information. It is important that the money the bank is lending you matches with the offer you are making for a house. The bank can reject or decrease the loan if you have poor credit or unstable income which can cause problems if you have already made an offer.

It is important to be careful even if you have a pre-approved mortgage as it is possible for it to fall through because of any significant change in the credit score. If the deal falls through, you will have to forfeit a lot of money, and it can be a major financial setback.

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3. Not Considering Added and Hidden Costs

Buying a house is not as simple as it looks. There are so many things that you have to consider. It is not just a simple act of moving from rent payments to paying the mortgage. There is the closing cost, insurance of homeowners, property taxes and the homeowner’s association fee. Most of the home buyers have all the major costs in mind, but they fail to consider hidden costs such as the maintenance cost. It is possible that when the added and hidden costs are included, the house becomes over budget. That is why it is important never to forget the hidden costs.

You can get an estimate of the whole cost by asking about average maintenance, a cost of insurance, taxes, etc. Add them to the monthly mortgage to know exactly how much the house will cost you.

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4. Skipping the Down Payment

Always keep the financial housing crisis in 2008 in mind, as one of its causes was giving mortgages to buyers who were unable to pay the down payments. When you skip one of the payments, it means that the mortgage payment gets higher along with the interest payment. Then the expenses will also increase because you need to pay insurance until at least twenty percent of the house is paid off.

5. Not Inspecting the Interiors

Do not spend your money by looking at the exterior of the house. It is possible that the most beautiful house can become a nightmare for you. It is not cost-effective to get stuck with the trouble of spending on unexpected repairs. Always take on the opportunity to inspect the interior of the house. It will help in seeing the actual state of the house.

While making your purchase makes sure that you do not make any of the above mistakes. If you manage to avoid these errors, then you will easily buy the best house within your budget.

Featured photo credit: US News Money via media1.fdncms.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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