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Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner

Six Unconventional Ways to Become a Homeowner

Each month as you write your rent check, you dream of the day when you’ll be able to write a check for your mortgage instead. No one likes throwing money away to a home you’ll never own, which is why home ownership is considered the American Dream, but has that dream seemed like it’s always just been out of reach for you? It actually might be closer than you think. Here are six options you may not have considered that could transform you from a renter to a homeowner:

  1. Buy a Mobile Home.

Mobile homes may not be something you dream of, but the truth is they can be great starter homes to get you out of renting. At about $41 per square foot for a mobile home versus about $83 per square foot for a new house, these manufactured homes are a lot more affordable than your average house.

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An advantage of buying a mobile home over a new house is that you can walk through the exact house you’ll be getting, and you won’t have to worry about building delays and new development headaches. Mobile homes can also be customized to feel more like a traditional home with garages, decks, and vaulted ceilings.

  1. Buy a Modular Home.

A modular home is similar to a mobile home in that they are manufactured in a factory. They differ slightly from mobile homes because they are assembled in pieces and moved to a permanent location. They are insured and appraised the same way that a traditional home is, and you can even purchase a warranty just as you would with a traditional  house. Modular homes can be customized and take less time to build than a traditional home. You can also expect to pay 10 to 20 percent less for your modular home than if you had the same thing stick-built.

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  1. Build Your Own Home.

If you have the budget for a new home, you might consider building your own. The good thing about new construction is that you know exactly what you are getting and aren’t as likely to experience those little “surprises” that often develop in an older home. Choose a reputable builder and ask about your customization options to make sure you get a home you love. You can even talk with your builder to see if you are able to work on some of the building yourself to reduce costs. Remember that you’ll need to own the land to start building a new home, so shop around to find a good deal on a piece of land you’ll enjoy for years to come.

  1. Go to an Auction.

Auctions are a good choice if you have a large amount of money saved in the bank. You will have to pay the full amount you win the house for at the auction, but if you can afford it you can get a great deal.

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If you watch any of the home flipping TV shows, you’ve probably seen people buying homes at an auction and were impressed with the deal they got. One thing you don’t want to do, though, is be like them and buy the house mostly unseen. Do your homework and evaluate the home before you spend the cash. Understand that if you purchase a home at an auction, it’s likely going to take time and money to get it to the condition you want.

  1. Obtain Special Financing.

Look into what options you have when it comes to financing. Rural areas have the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program that offers zero-down financing. However, don’t assume rural means “country” and isolated. Homes can be found around major cities. You just need to check if the address is eligible for the loan. If you don’t qualify for this option, do look into other down payment assistance programs and financing that are available to first time home buyers.

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  1. Get a Co-Buyer.

What’s a co-buyer? It sounds just like what it is. Someone buys the home with you. This is often done with a younger and older generation, such as parents buying a home with their adult children. You can find a property that has separate living areas so it doesn’t feel like you’re back home living with mom and dad.

If you’d rather not move in with your parents again no matter the space on the property, maybe you can get your parents to cosign the mortgage to get a more affordable interest rate if they have good credit. Another option is asking mom and dad to purchase the home for you in their name and let you pay the mortgage as rent.

You could also buy a home together with friends or even your siblings.

There you have it- six ways you can say goodbye to renting and hello to home ownership. Think outside of the box, and you might just be one step closer to home ownership.

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Anum Yoon

Writer & Journalist

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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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