As I bought my house last year after an almost 3 year home search process, I have some battle wounds to show for it. As a Black Southern Belle, I had super high standards but did not have the budget to match. For all of my BSBs out here, it can be done, you can buy your dream home while staying in budget. Here are some tips to get you there quicker:
1) Buy a home a few years old versus new: I know those brand new homes seem great and you can customize your heart out but they also come at a cost. One way to save money on a home is to buy a home that is a few years older in the same neighborhood. It will still be modern but you won’t pay that brand new surcharge.
2) Don’t do your upgrades with the builder: If you do decide on a new home do NOT be fooled by builder credits or incentives. More often than not they have jacked up prices for home upgrades. If you want marble countertops and espresso floors, find a local contractor and save your money.
3) Purchase a home with rental opportunity: If you still want to shop til you drop after buying a home that is usually pretty hard. With closing costs, down payments and furniture costs hitting your budget your lifestyle may change but not if you have a rental unit. Try to find a home with a basement or a room over your garage for some extra income. You may even end up with more income than you started with if you play our cards right.
4) Pick your Haves and Have Nots: I know as BSBs we are spoiled and want the best but sometimes we can’t have it all. In the case of a home make sure to write down your must haves and your deal breakers, they will save you a lot of time and money.
5) Do not judge a home by its current decor: I love my current home but I hated the decor when I first saw it. There were bright orange walls, dated blinds and many other home decor atrocities but I did not let that deter me. Remember that Home Depot and Target will be your best friends when you buy your home and all cosmetic issues can be fixed. You may be scarred by their home decor decisions but what you save on your home will help you heal.
For all of you Belles in the home search, don’t give up. Make it fun. Have a group of friends come with you and get brunch afterwards to discuss each home. You don’t have to do it alone and you can certainly make it a party. And remember soon enough you will be hosting those parties in your own well decorated home 🙂