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Preparing to Buy a Home: 4 Things to do to Get Ready

Preparing to Buy a Home: 4 Things to do to Get Ready

Buying a new home is a life-changing experience. It can be long and tedious at times; however, it can also be a pleasant experience if you do some hard work in advance to get prepared. Here are four things you can do to get ready when buying a house.

Check Your Credit Report

Mortgage lenders use your credit score and history from your credit report in order to determine whether or not you qualify for a mortgage loan. Your credit score also determines the interest rate for your loan. You should check your credit report on a regular basis to make sure all of the information reported by the three credit bureaus is shown correctly. There are many online websites where you can monitor your credit report. If you don’t currently have any credit, it will be hard to get a loan. Many people will open a credit card through their banking institution. Once the card has been received, they buy gas or groceries with it and pay it off each month. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be.

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If you have any delinquent accounts on your credit report, you should work with the creditor to bring your account up-to-date, offer a settlement, or pay it off in full. For any errors or discrepancies you find, you should send a letter or a claim form to the reporting credit bureau to dispute it.

Downsize Your Living Expenses

In order to purchase a new home, you will need to have money saved for the down payment, closing costs, and other expenses, such as moving.  By downsizing your current living expenses, you can use the money that you save for your new home. You can cut your expenses by moving into a cheaper place, stop eating out frequently, and reducing your cable bill.

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For example, if you are currently renting a house with a large rent payment, you should consider moving into an apartment with cheaper rent. If you are not sure where the best apartments are in your area, you should do an online search for “Dallas apartment reviews” or “Phoenix apartments.” Be religious about saving money as well. It may be hard at first, but once you are adjusted to cutting back, it will seem like a breeze and you will be in your new house in no time.

Take a Home Buyer Course

Enrolling in a home buyer course is helpful, especially for first-time home buyers. These courses provide information on steps that you need to take to purchase a home, look for a real estate agent, or apply for down payment assistance programs, and other helpful tips. The length of the course varies from one day to a few weeks based on who is offering the course.

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If you are interested in attending a home buyer course, you should check with local banks, real estate companies, and nonprofit organizations in your community. You may find that some companies offer this course for free or for a minimal fee.

Get Pre-approved for Your Mortgage Loan

Getting pre-approved for your mortgage loan is recommended before you start shopping for a house. A pre-approval allows you to know in advance how much you have to spend on a house. It also gives you a buyer’s advantage over other buyers, who haven’t been approved for a loan yet, when you make an offer on a house.

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As part of the application process, you may be required to provide documentation to show proof of income, employment, rental history, and other important factors. So you should start gathering these documents as soon as possible.

By using these four tips, you will have a jump-start on making your dreams to own a home become a reality.

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How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

Sight – Visual Stimulation

The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

1. Maximize your exposure to light.

Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

3. Take note of your environment.

Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

4. Engage in conversation.

Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

5. Listen to upbeat music.

Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

6. Work your nose.

Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

7. Have a good breakfast.

Start off with the most important meal of the day.

Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

8. Drink lots of water.

Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

Touch – Tactile Stimulation

Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

10. Splash cold water on your face.

Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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11. Use acupressure.

Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

12. Get moving.

Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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