Ready to buy a new home? Not so fast! You’ll first want to establish a budget to understand exactly what you can afford month after month.

What does it take to set up a homebuying budget? Here are three tips to help you establish the right homebuying budget.

1. Consider Your Monthly Expenses

How much do you spend on food, electricity and other monthly essentials? You’ll want to consider these costs closely before you begin your search for the perfect home.

Ultimately, your monthly expenses can play an important role in your ability to afford your dream house. And if you can assess your monthly expenses, you can map out your home costs accordingly.

Make a list of your monthly expenses versus your monthly earnings. Then, consider if there are non-essential items that you can remove from your monthly budget.

Remember, if you save money now, you may be better equipped to land your dream house when you kick off you your home search. If you can cut non-essential items from your monthly expenses, you can start saving for a down payment on a new house.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Banks and credit unions across the United States offer a wide range of mortgage options. Review all of the mortgage options at your disposal, and you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage that meets your needs.

Adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages are two of the most common mortgage options for homebuyers. However, if you discuss your financial needs with a bank or credit union, this lender may be able to provide you with additional mortgage options as well.

After you are pre-approved for a mortgage, you will be able to set a price range for your home search. As a result, you can narrow your search and accelerate the process of finding the perfect home at the best price.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are available to assist you throughout the homebuying journey. These real estate professionals can put you in touch with lenders, keep you informed about new homes that fall within your price range and even offer tips to establish a homebuying budget.

Perhaps best of all, real estate agents will make it easy for you to explore a broad array of homes that match your budget. These real estate agents can help you determine which homes you can afford – and which ones you can’t – and ensure that you can stick to your homebuying budget.

Your real estate agent is committed to helping you get the best results, and he or she is happy to respond to any homebuying queries. That way, you can receive expert guidance as you start your search for your ideal residence.

When it comes to buying a home, there is no reason to browse the real estate market on your own. Instead, work with an experienced real estate agent, and you can find a great home at a budget-friendly price.

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You paid enough for your house and not just for the price of the house. It cost you plenty to cover closing costs, title fees, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance and realtor commissions. The last thing that you want to do is to see your belongings stolen.

Home safety may be more than you think

Turning your house into an island, a place that only you can navigate or enter is another thing that you likely don’t want. Yet, both external theft and internal actions that make your house unsafe happen. That’s because home safety is not organic. A house isn’t safe just because you lock the doors. To keep your house safe, you need to be mindful.

An example of mindfulness is locking your second floor windows when you plan on being downstairs for several minutes or longer. Checking that you secured the window in the basement before you head upstairs is another example of mindfulness. Other home safety actions include:

  • Testing your home security alarm similar to how you test your fire alarm. Contact the home security alarm provider about testing. If you installed the home security alarm yourself, follow the product instructions on how to perform a self-test.
  • Closing curtains, blinds and drapes at night to keep passersby from seeing inside your house. From inside your house it may not seem like it, but it’s easier to see inside a home when the lights are on and it’s dark outside.
  • Driving large, empty product boxes to a garbage bin instead of leaving them at your house’s front curb. Sight of these empty boxes advertises to people walking or driving down your street that you have these products inside your home.
  • Keeping your house clear of clutter, so you don’t get trapped in the event of an emergency, including a weather storm like a flood, earthquake or tornado.
  • Letting friends and family who you trust know when you’re going to be out of town and when you expect to return. Practicing home safety also means that you leave your contact information with these people you trust. It’s also beneficial to have at least two contact forms for these people, things like email and telephone.
  • Developing relationships with your neighbors, people who can look out for you and your property while you’re away.

You’ll feel better after you make your home safer

Home safety requires action on the inside and the exterior of your home. It might go overlooked, but to be safer at home, you need to communicate certain facts to people who you trust. Staying up to date on security tools like house alarms,wireless security cameras and electronic notifications can lead to continual home safety.

Living in a safe house extends beyond locking your doors. It also involves more than you.If performed right, your home will be safe for you and everyone who enters it. You’ll also gain another advantage. Your house will offer more physical support and reliability for you and  your guests.

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