For most college students and recent grads, the prospect of buying a home seems slim and distant. With the cost of a college education growing each year and the price of houses inflating, it can seem daunting to begin to save for a down payment or build credit.

 However, there are ways to start planning now for buying a home, even if you are burdened with student debt and rising rent.

 In this article, we’re going to do just that. If you’re a recent grad or a current college student, read on for a guide to buying a home.

What do you need to buy a home

Once you graduate college you might be wishing you could have taken an elective called “How to Be an Adult 101.” There are many personal finance problems in life that just aren’t taught in school, from saving for retirement, to borrowing for a house or car, to investing in stocks and bonds.

So, what are the main things you’ll need to buy a home? Before you start applying for mortgages, you should know that just because you can get approved doesn’t mean you should buy a home.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and one that most homeowners take decades to pay off. With high interest rates and private mortgage insurance (PMI), the cost of owning a home can be immense.

To avoid PMI and get a good interest rate, you’ll need a few things.

Credit score

Your credit score is one thing that lenders take into consideration when determining how risky it is to lend to you. They want to know that they’ll receive a return on their investment and that you won’t stop paying your mortgage. A good way to gauge this is by looking at your financial history.

Your credit score mainly takes into account the following five things:

  1. Payment history – 35%: Do you pay your bills (utilities, loans, etc.) on time each month?

  2. Credit usage – 30%: How much of your maximum credit have you used? If you max out your cards this can reflect poorly on your ability to manage money. However, if you don’t use any accounts you might have a hard time building a payment history.

  3. Length of credit history – 15%: The longer you’ve been paying bills the more trustworthy you are to lenders

  4. New credit – 10%: If you recently opened or attempted to open cards this will temporarily lower your credit score as it could be a sign of financial duress

  5. Types of credit – 10%: store accounts, credit cards, loans, etc. Having a variety of credit types will boost your score.

Having student loans as a college graduate can often give your credit score a leg up on others who don’t have a credit history. However, to boost your score you’ll want to keep making on-time payments and consider using a credit card if you can afford it.

Employment history

Most recent college grads cringe when they hear that their employment history is important to lenders. However, you might be pleased to know that being a full-time student is something lenders take into consideration.

They will, however, need to see employment history from your current employer, and the more you can prove that you have a stable job the better.

Down payment

One of the most important things you can do right now is to save for a down payment. Designate a portion of your paycheck each week to a separate savings account if you need to in order to hold yourself accountable. The bigger down payment you can make, the better your interest rate and the more money you’ll save over the length of your mortgage.

Finally, don’t let increases in your salary change your lifestyle. Staying frugal will help you avoid “lifestyle inflation” or spending more simply because you make more. Decide what you value, and choose purchases wisely.

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Pittsfield, MA:

This Single-Family in Pittsfield, MA recently sold for $212,500.
This is a Ranch style home and features 7 total rooms, 2 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.81 acres, and was sold by
Robert Daw, Jr – Daw Real Estate

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We all love to put off our household chores until the last minute. The secret to cleaning is to actually clean more often for less time. Just taking a few minutes out of each day can save your house form being a mess and save you hours of time scrubbing. Take a look at some of these cleaning tips that will become shortcuts for you to clean your home. Once you get into the habit, it will be much easy in the long term. 

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Waiting to clean up spills is simply creating a nightmare for yourself later in the week. Stains will be much tougher to remove the longer they sit there. Everywhere from kitchen countertops to the bathroom sink should be wiped down frequently, especially when something spills. Baking soda, vinegar and even simple dish soap are great tools to help lift various stains and return surfaces to like-new. 

Spot Clean

Without full on scrubbing everything down, from time to time you should spot clean areas of your home like refrigerator door handles, door knobs and cabinet doors. This way, when you go for a deeper cleaning, it will take less time.

Use Door Mats

This tip sounds oh so simple but can make a huge difference in how clean your home is. Getting a good doormat can help to clean up dirt and debris from the shoes of people who are entering your home. Keep a mat on both sides of the door at entryways, and this can help reduce the need for frequent vacuuming throughout the home. 

Start At The Entryway

A tidy entrance is so welcoming to guests. Aside from quick cleaning touch-ups, you can add a few things to the entryway to make it even more inviting. Make sure that the entry to your home is presentable. Add some plants to help improve the appeal of your home.  

Make Sure There’s Clear Paths Throughout The Home

Inside of the house, make sure that you have clear paths everywhere with nothing in the way. You don’t want a lot boxes, clothes, or furniture in the way of paths where people walk. Clutter can also pose a safety hazard, causing people to trip. 

Put Everything Away

Done right, everything in your home will have a place to go. If you don’t have enough storage, your quick clean-ups are a good time to recognize this, so you can set aside a time for more serious organizing. The more things that you have out, the more clutter your home will accumulate. Each day, remember to put things away. You’ll need to accessorize with practical things like shoe racks, baskets for keys and containers for utensils in the kitchen.

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Selling a home can be quick and seamless, particularly for an individual who crafts a property selling blueprint. Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you create a successful plan to sell your house.

1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

A seller who understands the housing market in his or her city or town may be better equipped than other sellers to achieve the optimal results during the property selling journey. In fact, this seller can use various housing market data and insights to make informed decisions time and time again.

For a home seller, it is important to review the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. This individual also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, a home seller can determine whether a buyer’s or seller’s market is in place.

Furthermore, a home seller should look at the prices of comparable houses in his or her city or town. This housing market data will enable a house seller to see how his or her residence stacks up against the competition and prepare accordingly.

2. Learn About Your Home’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Consider what separates your home from other houses in your area. This will allow you to explore ways to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.

Look at your house from the buyer’s perspective and think about why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence. Then, you can craft a buyer-centric home selling blueprint designed to stir up lots of interest in your home.

It may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. By performing a home inspection, you can learn about any underlying house issues. You next can address these issues before you add your house to the real estate market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a must-hire for a home seller who is unsure about how to create a successful property selling blueprint, and for good reason. This housing market professional can offer expert insights into the real estate market and home selling journey. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the property selling cycle.

In addition, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your residence. He or she will promote your residence to the right groups of potential buyers, set up property showings and open house events and much more. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you analyze this proposal and determine whether to accept, reject or counter it.

Ready to list your home? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can develop a home selling blueprint and boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful property selling experience.

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