Just because Autumn is quickly approaching, doesn’t mean that your finances have to ‘fall’, too! Finances are not a typically fun discussion to have, but it is necessary when you’re beginning your homeownership journey with your significant other. Here are a few key steps to maintaining your money together before becoming a first-time homebuyer.
Start by having a candid conversation about your finances. A good icebreaker is to discuss how your family handled money and how they taught you to save and spend. Through this conversation you will learn a little bit more about each other and your spending habits.
This conversation also opens the door to discussing whether you should keep your bank accounts separate or create a joint account. With separate bank accounts, each one of you will have to pay close attention to keeping bills separate and have that responsibility of making sure they are paid on time. A joint account allows you to have a clear idea of your expenses and spending together.
The next step on your homebuying journey is to create a budget. Detail out your finances, like monthly income, expenses, and spending, as well as any debt or loans you may have. Once everything is written out, it is easy to find patterns of unnecessary spending and saving opportunities. Maybe you go to the movies weekly – try an alternative like spending time outside going for a hike instead! Be honest and open about your loans and debt because this may delay the homebuying process. Even though it is our instinct to feel responsible for our own financials and not want to share it with others, there is the possibility of decreasing the loan or debt faster by paying it off together.
Once you have a better understanding of how your money is being spent and saved, start focusing on building your savings account. You will need cash for both your down payment and closing costs to buy your home. When you meet with your Summit Funding loan officer, they will do a deep dive into your finances and prep you for the loan process. Coming in prepared with your saved cash will allow you to be ready to purchase your home when the time comes.
Investing and saving, as well as communicating are all important factors to become a first-time homebuyer. Starting these discussions will get you one step closer to achieving your homeowning dreams and get ready to start a new chapter of your life.