toolset

How to Buy a Home with Enough Cash Left to Decorate

Buying a home is a thrilling time whether it’s your first home or your tenth. The thrill of getting those keys and taking in the view of a fresh, clean and bare house is really exciting until you remember you have to decorate it. This can be a challenge for anyone, especially if you’re upgrading to a much bigger space. Suddenly all those dreams of kitting out the kitchen with chef-worthy appliances and decorating the guest bedroom in a beachside theme seems way too draining on your wallet. You have the house but no cash left to furnish it.

Hopefully you managed to finagle a fantastic loan and/or mortgage, such as those who qualify for a VA loan or a Section 184 loan for Native Americans. However, even if you don’t quality for “special” loans, there are still ways to ensure a reasonable down payment and mortgage payments. Before signing anything, make sure you’ll have enough liquid cash to actually enjoy your new digs. Here’s how.

1. Prioritize a down payment

Luckily, the days are gone when zero down payments and predatory loans were the norm. However, just because you can secure a mortgage with a really low down payment doesn’t mean you should. Instead, build up a nest egg of a down payment (at least ten percent) but at the same time put aside cash for “move in costs.” If you can swing another ten percent for decorating and furnishing, you’ll be able to really enjoy your investment.

2. Negotiate closing costs

First time home buyers are often surprised by just how many fees there are, and closing costs can be a killer. If you work with a great real estate agent, they may be able to get the seller to share those costs with you or maybe even take care of them entirely. It never hurts to ask (or haggle).

3. Don’t pay for inspections

In many states, a home inspection is required before a purchase, but even if it’s not you shouldn’t be footing that bill as the buyer. The house will need an inspection before anyone (not just you) makes a bid, so ensure the seller takes on that responsibility. However, you should also demand a comprehensive inspection and have a say in who the contractor is. Inspecting the plumbing, foundation, roof and any appliances (such as the water heater) are a must.

Finally, don’t be afraid to go thrifting or tap into your Pinterest skills for furnishing and decorating. Frugality can look really good.