Three Ways to Get Your Finances in Shape

You want to buy a home, but first you need to get your finances squared away. You’ll need money for a down payment, for moving and for other costs. How can you get more money in just a few months? Here are three ways that work together as nicely as compound interest.

1. Slow down your spending.

Like counting calories on a diet, tracking your spending can be an eye-opener. You’ll identify “spending leaks” that can be easily plugged, like eating out less often or only buying items at the grocery store that aren’t on your shopping list. You’ll see that small changes make a big difference to your bottom line.

2. Save more.

Like spending less, setting money aside is important, too. Look at your monthly expenses and determine how much you can save, then have that money debited from your checking account and put into a savings account, a short-term CD or other vehicle with every paycheck. This account should be considered separate from your retirement savings.

3. Pay off revolving debts.

If you can’t pay cash (or debit) for something, don’t buy it. Focus on reducing credit card balances. Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, make payments on time, and pay much more than the minimum payment.  As you eliminate each debt, double down on the remaining cards.

Keep your goal to buy a home top of mind always, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can make your dream happen.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!

Slowing Market Good for Both Buyers and Sellers

Experts are predicting that the housing market will slow down in 2019. But, that’s not such a bad thing. A slower market is more stable and offers advantages for both buyers and sellers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in mid-January 2019, according to Freddie Mac. While rates were nearly half a point higher than they were a year ago, they’ve since pulled back, making homes a little more affordable for homebuyers heading into spring.

Existing home sales in December 2018 were the lowest since November 2015, more than 10% lower than year-ago levels, reflecting sensitivity to rising interest rates and prices, according to The National Association of REALTORS. NAR chief chief economist Lawrence Yun explained that softer December sales reflected homes under contract at higher mortgage interest rates.

NAR also reported that the median sales price was $253,600, 2.9% higher than a year ago. While gains have been higher in previous years, prices are still rising – a benefit to home sellers.

Realtor.com economist Danielle Hale told Forbes.com that 2019 will bring less competition for homebuyers as the inventory of homes increases on the market. The Forbes.com forecast for 2019 is a 2% decline in home sales volume and a 2.2% rise in home prices from 2018.

These statistics are national averages, and market conditions could be very different in your area. Your BHHS KC Realty agent can share important local data with you that will improve your ability to buy or sell a home.

For more home tips, follow us on Facebook. Looking for a new home in the Kansas City area? Visit us at BHHSKCRealty.com!