How to Get Creative with a First-Time Buyers Budget

May 22, 2023

Struggling to buy your first home? You’re not alone! Housing affordability is at an all-time low, mortgage rates are up, and inventory is tight. But fear not, fellow house hunters! Here are some creative workarounds to help you conquer the homebuying challenge.

1. House Hacking

“House hacking” is a clever real estate strategy where you generate income from your home to offset expenses. Renting out a basement apartment or converting part of your home into an Airbnb counts as house hacking. It’s become popular thanks to digital platforms that make income generation easier. House hacking can even help you qualify for a larger mortgage if you buy a property with income potential. Here are some ideas to earn extra cash from your home: paid parking, renting your swimming pool, hosting photoshoots or events, creating a dog park, or listing your garage on storage apps. Remember to check local laws and HOA rules before diving in. Let me help you find a home with income potential in a friendly neighborhood.

2. Buddy System

Not thrilled about strangers in your house? Why not team up with a friend or family member instead? It’s like a buddy system for buying a home! More and more people are joining forces to tackle high living costs. You can customize the arrangement to fit your situation—maybe rent a part of your home to a loved one or buy a property together. Co-ownership means you can aim for a bigger, more valuable home in a hot location. Plus, you’ll have more time with your favorite people and enjoy the cozy vibes of shared living. Just remember to plan and create clear agreements before diving in. And hey, think about whether you’re ready for non-stop togetherness in a smaller space. Let me help you find the perfect home for your team.

3. Home-buying Helpers

If you need some financial help to buy your first home, don’t hesitate to ask your family or friends. They can assist with the down payment or other costs, making homeownership more achievable. Getting a gift for the down payment means you can borrow less money, which is awesome. If that’s too much, they could chip in for closing or moving expenses. Another option is having them co-sign your loan, which could get you a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. Lots of homeowners have received help from their parents—so you’re not alone. Just make sure everyone knows it’s a gift, not a loan, and put it in writing. Lenders might want proof that the money won’t increase your debts. You can also try crowdfunding or asking for monetary gifts instead of traditional ones, like wedding presents. Your loved ones want to see you succeed, so don’t be shy about seeking their support.

4. Special Programs and Assistance

To reduce upfront mortgage costs, consider applying for grants and funding opportunities. Grants can help with your down payment, and there are public and private programs available for first-time buyers. Some grants have income restrictions, so check eligibility. Explore grant programs like HomePath Ready Buyer, National Homebuyers Fund, and specialized bank grants. State and local sources may also offer assistance programs like forgivable loans or Individual Development Accounts. If you have income but limited cash for a down payment, government-sponsored loans like FHA loans allow down payments as low as 3.5% to 10%. I can connect you with a lender who will guide you through the process and provide options. Keep in mind that seller financing is rare, but you can negotiate for the seller to pay closing costs or contribute to your mortgage rate buydown. Sign up for my newsletter and get lender offers hot off the presses!

5. Expand your Search

Having trouble finding an affordable home? It’s time to get creative and embrace compromises! Expand your search to hidden gem neighborhoods or areas further from town. Let go of some must-haves and settle for OK-to-haves. Who needs two bathrooms when one will do? And a cozy balcony can be just as nice as a big backyard. If you’re up for a little DIY, consider homes that need some love. A dated house can become a beauty with a little elbow grease. Plus, you’ll have less competition and snag a better deal. Remember, your starter home is just the beginning. By getting into the real estate game now, you’ll build equity and be closer to your dream home. Let’s find you an affordable first home and start growing that net worth!

You Can Do It, I’m Here to Help

Buying your first home can feel like a wild adventure, but fear not! With a real estate pro on your side, we’ll conquer any obstacle that stands in your way. We’ll hatch a genius plan to tackle your financial constraints and hunt down a home that’ll make your heart skip a beat. Best of all, our exploratory consultation is completely free! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s embark on this epic homebuying journey together. Give me a ring, and let the house-hunting shenanigans begin! 🏡💪