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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

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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