As existing homes sales decline after four straight months of strong gains, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) blames the drop on the dearth of properties on the market. “Without a large choice, it is hard for people looking for homes to find something they want and that seems to be the problem facing the housing market,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.
Another housing shortage problem occurs with mortgage rates: Thirty-year and 15-year fixed rates and 5/1 ARM mortgages all rose slightly on Tuesday, Aug. 30, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders. When low mortgage rates start going up, higher mortgage rates, particularly long-term changes in mortgage rates, make it harder for some households to move, which in turn reduces the number of sales for houses already on the market.
For prospective home buyers, there will always be things out of your control. However, there are still a lot of things you can control — and that includes saving for a house when the opportunity does arise.
Here are 3 steps you can take to get you on the right savings track:
Saving should be automatic. Set up a savings account and if you have direct deposit at work, use that to put a dedicated amount of money into your savings account every paycheck. The savings will happen regularly this way, and you’ve budgeted for it, you won’t notice the difference as much.
Don’t punish yourself in the process. Saving can be difficult, and even when you are saving for something totally worthwhile, the daily pressure of saving every penny to hit your budget can build up a lot of frustration. It is ok to treat yourself to a simple pleasure once in a while. If treating yourself to the movies can get expensive, get a subscription to Netflix, or a premium channel with a lower monthly cost than taking yourself to the show and buying popcorn. The idea is to save money, not to spend zero, and you will find it much easier to save if you’re actually enjoying your life while doing so.
Save in big chunks. You can skimp on the small stuff, but the big gains come by cutting out the biggest expenses. Doing the weekend getaway instead of the annual big vacation or driving the “rust bucket” for another year might still be more cost effective in repairs than a new car payment. The point is snatching big bills where you can instead of pinching pennies is an effective way to build up savings quickly.
If you have any questions about savings in regards to purchasing a home or other investing questions, call Mooney Lyons at 1.847.382.2600, or visit us at mooneylyons.com.
Mutikani, Lucia. Existing home sales decline but prices remain strong. Reuters. 24, Aug. 2016
Terrazas, Aaron. Rising Mortgage Rates Will Begin to Impact Home Sales by Mid-2016. Zillow. 24, June 2015.
Reeves, Jeff. How to save for a house in 10 simple steps. USA Today. 28, Oct. 2014.
Kerns, Deborah. Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Aug. 30: Slight Boost, Affordability Fears. NerdWallet. 30, Aug. 2016