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

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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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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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