If you’re hoping to buy a home soon, the start of a new year is a great time to set goals, whether that be to save a little more or to cut down on your spending. We’ve put together some New Year’s resolutions to consider if you’re planning to buy a home in the new year.
1. Set a savings goal
Setting a savings goal is a great place to start. It will give you something to work towards and help you budget accordingly throughout the year to reach your goal. You could start by researching the market to get an understanding of the sale prices of recently sold properties in your ideal suburbs. This will give you a benchmark of what you’ll need to save each month to get there. To get started, check out our savings calculator.
Not only can setting a goal help you focus on your savings, you’ll also be able to show your lender (when it comes time to apply) that you have a savings history.
2. Improve your credit score
As part of the home loan application process, your lender will check your credit report. Consider making some financial changes now to help improve it over time, if required. Paying your bills on time, paying off any outstanding debt and keeping your credit card balances low are all things you can do to improve your credit score.
3. Think twice about a career change
Whether it’s leaving your current job or switching careers entirely, the start of a new year often inspires us to think about where we see ourselves heading over the upcoming year. If it's the year you plan to buy a home, but you’re also thinking of a career change, it’s worth making sure your timing of job changing and home buying line up. Lenders can be hesitant if you’ve only been in a role for a short time.
4. Take control of your spending habits
If the Christmas and New Year period burns a bit of a hole in your pocket, you might want to start reconsidering some of your future spending while saving for a house. Take the time this year to review your statements and make some changes to your spending. Can you live without a streaming service subscription for a few months or those new shoes you’ve been eyeing off? Making small changes to your spending early will put you in a better position when you’re ready to apply.
5. Do your research
Buying a house is no easy feat, not only when it comes to saving but also when it comes to the planning and research involved. The earlier you start this process the better prepared you’ll be when the time comes to apply for a loan and put in an offer to purchase a house. Over the course of the year, start researching the market, house prices, ideal suburbs and even visit some open homes to find out what you do and don’t want in a home. It’s also worthwhile to look into the additional costs involved in buying a house, what concessions you might be eligible for, and the home buying process in general to give you a good understanding of what’s required of you.
The home buying journey can feel daunting at times but with a few changes to your spending habits, some research and a bit of New Year motivation, this could be your year.