Ready to find your new home in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, NC & the Surrounding Area? Click and let's get started→

4 Tips to Help You Afford Your First Home

People in all generations face challenges when it comes to financing their first home. Those just out of college spend a significant portion of their paycheck on student loan payments and often find it difficult to put aside money for a down payment. During the 30s and 40s, many people find that childcare and credit card payments take up a large percentage of their take-home pay. While it can seem discouraging, you can take several steps to make home ownership a reality no matter what your age.

Get a Temporary Part-Time Job

When you already have a full-time job and limited free time, adding a second job can seem overwhelming. However, remind yourself that it’s only for a season. It’s also important to save all funds from your second job towards your down payment fund. With the proliferation of online jobs available, you could find something much more flexible than you expected.

Create a New Budget

It might seem impossible to save for a down payment on a house when you consider your current income and expenses. If you’re serious about owning a home sooner rather than later, you may need to make some drastic changes to your budget. Start by looking at expenses you know you can cut, such as eating out rather than packing a lunch and entertainment costs like downloading movies. It will take discipline to go without things you have been accustomed to, but it will free up funds to help you reach your goal sooner.

Tap into Retirement Savings as a Last Resort

When you have tried several other methods and still can’t come up with the money you need for a down payment, consider withdrawing from your 401(k) or your individual retirement account (IRA). While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) normally imposes a penalty when people withdraw funds before they reach age 59 ½, it makes an exception for first-time homeowners. You can take up to $10,000 out of your retirement savings without incurring a penalty.

As this reduces the amount of money available to you at retirement, you should only use it as a last resort. Consider making it a goal to re-invest the money once you’re in your new home and more financially stable.

Improve Your Credit Score

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, all consumers are entitled to receive one free copy of their credit report from all major reporting agencies once a year. Before you start the home-buying process, we recommend obtaining a copy of your credit report and score. The higher your score, the more likely mortgage companies are to approve your request for a loan. While having a high score doesn’t help you save for a down payment, it will make the process go faster once you do have it saved.

To improve your score, make sure that you pay all bills on time and pay down balances as much as you can. Keep in mind that one of the key things mortgage lenders look at is how much credit you utilize versus how much you have available. We also recommend checking your report for errors since up to 20 percent have at least one inaccuracy. If you spot one, notify the agency reporting it and request that they update their records. Federal law requires that they do so.

Please contact us at Golf and Shore Properties for additional tips or to schedule a home showing. If you have a tip that has worked well or that you’re using, please share it in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

remove map-->

Real Estate Blog


4 Tips to Help You Afford Your First Home

Are you working toward buying your first home? If so, we would love to help you! Here are 4 tips that you could incorporate into your saving strategy.


The Best Reasons to Relocate to the NC Coast

Living the beach life is something that you have always wanted. You would love to live the beach life with your feet in the sand and hearing the waves crashing onto the shore. Watching the sunsets and sun rises on the beach feels like something you will never be able to afford. The truth of    Read More…


Simple Home Improvements Increase Home Value

With a budget of a few hundred dollars (or even zero dollars) and some elbow grease, you can dramatically increase the value of your home. Here are 8 tips you can try.


How to Transition from Being a Renter to a Home Owner

When you rent a place to live, you usually don’t become overly attached to it because you only expect to be there for a short duration. If you have rented for years, it may initially be difficult to change your mindset when you purchase your first home in Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, and the surrounding    Read More…


Three Tips to Sell Your House Faster

When you need to relocate quickly, the last thing you need is for your house to sit on the market for months. This can happen when you try to sell your home without a realtor or work with someone who doesn’t understand the local real estate market near Morehead City, North Carolina. We are sensitive    Read More…


5 Tips for Planning a Successful Move

Thousands of people move to the North Carolina coast each year. If you’re one of them, welcome! If you’re also a Golf and Shores Properties client, you have worked with one of our REALTORS® to find the perfect new home, the seller has accepted your offer, and you have a closing date set. It’s time    Read More…


What Determines How Much Your House is Worth?

At Golf & Shore Properties, we understand that you want to sell your house for as much as you possibly can. We also know that it’s important for home sellers to understand the process of establishing a selling price for your home. This not only gives you realistic expectations, it also provides you with the    Read More…


What to Expect During Home Inspection

At Golf and Shore Properties, we find that both buyers and sellers are often nervous about the home inspection process. The main reason for a home inspection is for the buyer to know that the house he or she intends to purchase is structurally sound. The American Society of Home Inspectors dictates how the inspectors are to evaluate the various areas. Read more to learn what to expect during a home inspections.


The Home Buying Process: Making an Offer

Here is a little bit about what home buyers will encounter during the process of making an offer on a home. Your REALTOR® is there to help you negotiate the best deal. So make sure you select an agent in which you have confidence!


Essential Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

The time to educate yourself about the home buying process should happen long before you make an official offer on a house. We recommend that you start saving for your down payment as soon as you decide to buy instead of rent. The more you are can save, the less you will pay for your    Read More…


Marketing Your Home to Sell

Marketing Momentum is everywhere and it has to do with the “moment”. Just like Instagram, here today, gone tomorrow. If you want to sell your house, consider the neighborhood as the number one market. This is a golden opportunity to meet the neighbors and have them meet your house. They are usually in your neighborhood    Read More…


Finding Your “Homeville”

What are your wants once you get beyond the material facts? What would you be prepared to pay and what kind of terms do you need or will you offer? This of course will be greatly determined by your Loan Advisor. Hopefully, you have already done your homework. The internet is the biggest source for    Read More…


What You Need to Know About Choosing a REALTOR ®

Here’s the skinny. If you go straight to the Listing Agent, will you get a good deal? Perhaps, but keep in mind, that Agent is working for the Seller and is obligated to get the Seller the best deal. Who is dealing on your behalf? Now, one would say that two Agents muddy the water.    Read More…


What Sets Golf & Shore Properties Apart From Other REALTORS ®?

We build. We have a builder in our office. We can design your home or build a plan that you have found. We also have lots in various areas that you can build on. Not only is this unique but extremely helpful in explaining the building process. Our infrastructure in Carteret County is a mix    Read More…


Need Help Moving to the NC Coast?

Real Estate Agents in North Carolina are often offered free or reduced prices for programs utilized in writing a contract. ZipLogix is a company that provides these contracts. They are a valuable tool and necessity in implementing the sale and listing of properties used daily by many professionals. Recently, zipLogix announced that they would partner    Read More…