Megan Tolland's Blog
Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.
It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.
Straighten out your credit
If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.
Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing interest at the same time.
Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals
A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.
Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.
Rethink your insurance coverage
Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.
Automate the headaches away
With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.
First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.
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For those who plan to list a house in the foreseeable future, it often is beneficial to track the real estate market. By doing so, a home seller can identify real estate market patterns and trends and quickly address any potential property selling hurdles.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze housing market data so you can accelerate the property selling journey.
1. Review the Prices of Recently Sold Houses in Your Area
Check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can find out whether sellers are accepting offers to purchase at or above their initial home asking prices.
Furthermore, it may be a good idea to see how your house ranks against recently sold residences. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
2. Determine How Quickly Houses Are Selling
As a home seller, you should find out whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market. If you look at how quickly houses are selling in your city or town, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's one.
In a buyer's market, you will find many sellers and few buyers. Conversely, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of buyers and few sellers.
The differences between a buyer's and seller's market are significant. If you understand whether you're getting ready to sell your home in a housing market that favors buyers or sellers, you can determine how to price your residence so it will generate plenty of interest from buyers. And as a result, you may be able to streamline the home selling journey.
3. Assess the Prices of Homes That Are Similar to Your Own
Your home may be one of many available to property buyers. Thus, you should review the prices of houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data will help you narrow the price range for your residence.
Also, you may want to review rival home sellers' property listings and see how these sellers promote their residences to prospective buyers. Because if you can find ways to differentiate your home listing from competitors', you could boost the likelihood of a successful house selling experience.
As you prepare to add your house to the real estate market, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent will offer recommendations so you can enhance your residence both inside and out and help you establish a competitive initial home asking price. Plus, a real estate agent will help you review an offer to purchase your home and determine the best course of action.
Take the guesswork out of selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can monitor the real estate market and use housing sector data to simplify the property selling journey.