Buying a home is an exciting and scary adventure. Taking on an extraordinary amount of debt is seriously intimidating for any middle-income household, let alone current nursing students or recent alumni. There are some simple steps to keep in mind that might not always seem obtainable. Be cognizant of the fact that home ownership may not be the right choice, right now. There is no shame in renting. However, with some serious dedication—even with debt—students too can purchase the home of their dreams.

Many people—especially students—may have made some bad choices and spent a little too much money on some expensive items or elongated vacations. Those with poor credit may think that all is lost for them and their significant others. There comes a time for all of us when we must take control of our finances. Paying what you can on your current debts is imperative. It can seem extremely overwhelming, but even making the minimum payments on loans will improve credit over time. If it feels as though you or your loved one are drowning in some financial debt and are maybe afraid that you won’t be able to qualify for a home, don’t fret.

The very first step to take is contacting a mortgage broker. It can be daunting to stare one’s credit in the face and really understand why you might be unable to apply for a home loan just yet. Your broker will do a conclusive scan of where your credit is currently. They can also give you advice on how to get back on track. It really isn’t quite as hard as some would think to get back within a respectable range. Taking a step will also allow you to take an overall look at your expense report. There may be things that you’re currently spending money on that aren’t needed. Clearing these finances up can be a huge help. This is something our parents have been telling us for years, but now is time to put it into action.

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What if you have no money? There are some out there who might go as far to say that you are uptight or frigid in your spending habits. Maybe you have children and don’t have much wiggle room. We all have little princes and princesses in our lives that deserve a little (or a lot) of pampering. Not all of us are lucky enough to have high paying jobs. So, if you truly feel that owning a home is the right thing for you, then you may want to be ready to make some difficult choices about the type of home you’re willing to purchase.

The bank is always willing to give a loan to those who demonstrate they will return the favor. You may just have to go a bit out of your comfort zone to go get those in power into your favor. What I mean is, expand your search for a home. Most young people shoot for the stars and want their first home to be a dream castle. Unfortunately, if you don’t want to spend too much on your mortgage each month you may have to look into some “underdeveloped” or rural areas. This may seem like a fault, but you’d be surprised how many positives there are about owning a home outside of city limits.

You don’t necessarily have to live in the slums, but extending a search 20 or 30 miles outside of your normal radius may result in cheaper and newer homes, which mean less on your mortgage each month. Depending on where your live, your loan may actually be considered developing your home in a “rural area,” which could mean little to no down payment. This isn’t always the case, but it is always worth discussing with your broker. If there are amenities, such as a pool (which is very common), that you just can’t live without, don’t worry! You may still be able to make an aqueous improvement to your abode on the cheap. Keep in mind that if you do take the plunge into a rural area or smaller suburbia, it is likely you will see the value of your home increase exponentially faster than if it were in a more densely populated area.

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Foreclosed homes have been taken by the bank. Because this appears to take more time, money, and effort than it is worth, these homes are sold at a reasonably discounted price.

You may want to budget for improvements, but even so this is a fantastic option when you don’t have too much leeway. Adding a couple coats of paint, fixing doors, and replacing flooring are all easy and extremely cheap solutions to an otherwise complicated home purchasing issue.

If you plan ahead with your mortgage broker and make small improvements to your credit score you can undoubtedly afford a new home. Whether you have student loans or just don’t have quite the income to support a mortgage in theory, don’t stress! You may not get into your dream home immediately. However, a “cookie cutter” home won’t always allow you to make the improvements you’d like to since it will most likely be much more costly. View these steps as a smart way to invest long term and hopefully allow yourself a little extra financial freedom when all is said and done.

Monty Miller
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