7 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Should Make if You Want to Buy a House in 2016

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  • Create and Stick to a Budget

The new year is a great time to rework your budget and to see if you have the room in your finances for the extra costs that come with a new home. “Once you move, the budget will certainly change — especially if you are moving from a rental to a home,” said Andrew Gipner, a certified financial planner with Longview Financial Advisors in Huntsville, Ala.

Some of the costs to plan for include things from home maintenance costs to “the potential increase in variable expenses, such as electricity and water, [and] additional expenses of property tax, insurance, private mortgage insurance … and maybe even homeowners association fees,” said Gipner. After you’ve accounted for all these extra expenses and added them up, you’ll have a clearer picture of how buying a home could affect your day-to-day finances.

Once you have a budget, you should take it for a test drive, suggested Katie Wethman, a certified public accountant and realtor in the Washington, D.C., area. “Stick to your projected budget in advance,” she said. “Start following your new budget as soon as possible, and put any extra savings into a separate account.”

  • Pad Your Homebuying Fund
  • Save an Emergency Fund
  • Get a Raise
  • Improve Your Credit
  • Pay Down High-Interest Debt
  • Learn Some Home-Care Basics

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