All families have an idea in their mind of the dream home. This doesn’t mean you’re all thinking about moving into a massive mansion with a tennis court in the back garden and ten private bathrooms on the second floor alone. No, every family has a dream home that suits their own dreams and wishes. For example, your dream home may simply be a nice three-bedroom house with ample room in the back for a garden. Other people may dream of not evening owning a house, and they’d rather have a flat in the middle of a city as that suits their family.
Regardless, we’re all searching for that dream abode, but it doesn’t always fall into our laps right away. Most of the time it takes months or years of saving before we can afford to buy the property we wish. What I want to do is give you a few tips that you can apply to your life and save money while you search for this home. Some of the tips are going to be more advanced than others and could take some time for you to integrate into your life. However, they will all help you reach your goal as quickly as can be.
Downsize to the smallest place you can manage
Obviously, the issue most people have is that they still need somewhere to live while they search for their dream home. So, you’re constantly going to have expenses like monthly bills, and so on. To make these as low as can be, you should think about downsizing to the smallest place you can physically manage. If your family can live in a small studio apartment or a one-bedroom one, then rent that. If you’re currently just a couple and don’t have any kids, then you could even find a room for rent in a house and cut your living costs dramatically. This means that you have significantly fewer costs to worry about because your rent is lower, your bills are cheaper, and you save more money.
The same idea can be applied if your dream home is more of a long-term plan for your family. Perhaps you really want to own a home and aren’t keen on renting. So, buy the smallest and cheapest place you can manage. Live here with your family until the time is right for you to move, and you could save so much cash by not paying rent and then having a property to sell that may increase in value!
Create a ‘dream home’ checklist
This idea may seem a bit weird, and you probably won’t see the link between it and saving money. However, trust me, you’ll soon see why it makes sense. Ideally, you will search for your dream home, find it, enter the negotiations with the current owner, pay for surveys and so on, then get the keys. Obviously, that’s a condensed version of events, but you get the picture. Realistically, this doesn’t happen to everyone. Most people find a home, get interested, make a bid, get it accepted, pay to have someone survey the home, and then find issues and negotiations break down. This could happen multiple times, which means you spend a lot of money paying for home surveys or for other people to help during the home buying process.
As such, you need to create this checklist. It will help you figure out exactly what you’re looking for in your dream home. Think about all the tiny details, think about how much you’re willing to spend, and consider things like if you want to make repairs or not. Now, you will only bid for a home when every single thing on this list is checked off. This tells you that the home is perfect for you, which means there shouldn’t be any issues with the survey, you shouldn’t get any second thoughts, and you can proceed with ease. It stops you considering homes that aren’t up to scratch, which is where you waste a lot of money.
Set a target and create a budget
When it comes to saving money, the best advice is to create a budget. This helps to restrict your spending, meaning you have plenty of money left over to put into a savings account or stash away under your mattress – whichever way is your preference! I love budgeting, but my issue is that most people don’t think about what they’re saving for. You need to set yourself a target – this could be a certain amount of money you need to afford a mortgage, for example. From here, you can think about a timescale. Set a date in your mind for when you want to start viewing properties and really get into buying a home. Now, you can work out how to create a budget that allows you to reach that target as quickly as can be!
The idea is that you budget a lot better because you can literally work out how much need to be saved every month to reach your target in the given timeframe. What’s more, it almost sets you a challenge, which weirdly makes saving seem more fun. It’s like a game now, a race against the clock!
Put some of your savings in an ISA
An ISA is an individual savings account, and they’re very helpful if you want to get the most out of your savings. Most people put their money in a general savings account, while some will even keep it in their bank account or as cash around the home. None of these ideas is inherently bad as you’re still achieving the same goal of saving for your dream home. But, if you want to maximise your savings, then an ISA will help you out dramatically.
There are a few benefits to these accounts, with the main one being that they’re a tax-free way of saving/investing money. Any interest you earn from your account won’t be taxable, which instantly means you save more money. Plus, they can function almost as an investment account for your family. Deposit money in an ISA and the bank will basically invest it in numerous things like stocks & shares, etc. Basically, this means the ‘interest’ in these accounts is so much better as they’re determined by the investments. To put it simply; someone with money in a general savings account will end up saving less than someone with money in an ISA over the same period.
Do as much on your own as you can
Saving money while searching for your dream home should take into account loads of things. For one, think about when you actually find that dream home. The saving shouldn’t end when your bid has been accepted, and everything is moving quickly. If anything, this is the time where you can spend loads of money without even realising. Generally, it comes in the form of paying other people for their services. The obvious one that springs to mind is a removal company or cleaning company. A removal company can help you move into your dream home, but are they worth it? Cleaning companies are often hired to clean your existing home so it’ll pass landlord inspections when you move out.
In my eyes, you can save so much money by just doing things by yourself. Sure, it might take longer to move on your own or clean your house, but the savings are well worth it. This can also translate into general home life during your search. If you have issues around the house you currently live in, try and fix them yourself with some DIY before you pay to call in help. Stop turning to others for help when you don’t really need it, and you’ll save a fortune.
Learn how to negotiate
Finally, my last tip is to brush up on your negotiation skills. I won’t go into too much detail here as I’m hardly a seasoned negotiator! Instead, there should be a video either above or below this point that gives some advice on negotiating when buying a home. All I want to say is that you need to learn these skills as they will help you save so much money. You can slash the asking price of a house by a substantial amount if you negotiate wisely.
Not only that, but there are other things you have to negotiate as well. For example, negotiating a fee with a solicitor when you go to buy the home. Or, trying to negotiate with the estate agents to maybe get them to point you towards a surveyor that’s cheap and good at their job. If you know how to negotiate, then you’ll pretty much go through life-saving a lot of money!
I know, searching for your dream home can take years and be a real struggle. But, just think about the light at the end of this long dark tunnel; your family, living happily in a wonderful home. Follow the advice I’ve detailed above if you want to save money and shorten the search for your dream abode.