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Save Money on Housing

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Housing is the highest living expense for most people, so this is an area where saving money can have a huge impact.

  • Consider Renting - This is controversial advice for those who believe the "American Dream" is home ownership. In some areas it's become the American Nightmare as resetting mortgage rates are forcing people to lose their homes. In some places, like my home near San Francisco there is a wide gap between rents and mortgages. Nationally its on the high side, but the average house purchase is probably 3 times the national average. Rents, on the other hand, are still quite manageable with the increased salaries. And, you have a lot more variety if you choose to move around every few years.
  • When Buying a Home Shop for a Mortgage - I did this very successfully by going to Bankrate and finding an insanely good rate from a lender I had never heard before. (It helped that I had great credit.) The website they had didn't inspire confidence - it was a design that looked like it was made in 1995 and it was missing some basic information on it. I had the lender write up a Good Faith Estimate and went to FleetBoston, now Bank of America, to match that rate. I got a great rate with a company I trust. I don't think Bank of America does this match any more, but it can't hurt to go into any negotiation with a great rate even if you don't intend to take it. One great way to get a shop for a mortgage is to get a bunch of quotes easily over the web by visiting Lending Tree.
  • Learn to Negotiate -Whether you are renting or buying, there is usually a step in the process where you need to haggle with another person to get the best rate.  In the next few months, I hope to pick up a book or two on negotiating and build this highly valuable skill.
  • Think diminutively - You might recognize that as a twist on the popular Apple slogan of "Think Differently." This idea is to try to think of ways to live in a small space. I've written about why to think small. I've also written about how to live small.

You certainly have to get a little creative with housing. It's not like you are going to find a coupon for $30,000 off a new home in the Sunday paper

[Each Monday for the next couple months, I'm write about how to save money. I recommend reading the whole Save Money series. Last week we looked at how to save money on hobbies.]

Last updated on April 30, 2015.

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8 Responses to “Save Money on Housing”

  1. MoneyNing says:

    The match from BoA is great advice! When I buy a house, I will need to remember to do this. It goes to show doing something simple can help save so much money down the road.

  2. broknowrchlatr says:

    I got a better option than renting. Buy the smallest house on the smallest bit of land you can get. In my city, you can rent at $850 a month, or you can by a condo at as little as $50k at the apartment size. With principle, interest, taxes, association dues, and insurance, you can come in at $450-$500 a month (and build equity)

  3. Another Week of Great Posts | How I Will Be Rich says:

    […] Man and Money has some tips for Saving Money on a Home. (One of them is Renting instead of Buying **cough** Link […]

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    I have friends renting a little house for only $650/month. It’s got 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a yard, and a basement. Oh, and a full bath. Bigger than my little apartment for $733/month. Of course, theirs is in greater Harrisburg, PA and mine is in DC Metro.

    I totally agree with thinking small.

    Mr. Micah and were given almost all our furniture, whatnots, and now we have enough to live quite comfortably. We don’t have to worry about furnishing a big place. Maybe at some point we’ll be able to afford artwork, even. Plus I spend 8 hours a day at the office and another 2 commuting. So why have a huge place? (no kids yet)

  5. Matt says:

    I would really recommend against lendingtree.com. Or use it to look but Don’t give them your email address or phone. I used them a few years back and was attacked by lenders within minutes of finishing my request. It would have been fine, I didn’t get the quality of offer, or quality of lender I requested. So I decided to stop. But they just kept coming. I rejected all offers, stopped answering my cell, and started marking the emails as spam. I ended up having to call lending tree to have them take down my request. Only then, did the calls and emails start to taper off.

    In my experience Lendingtree.com is like chumming the water: It only attracts sharks.

    love the blog!

    m

  6. […] how to save money. I recommend reading the whole Save Money series. Last week we looked at how to save money on housing.] Share […]

  7. Star Money Articles for the Week of September 17…

    Here are some recent interesting posts from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond: Get Rich Slowly details how to make homemade grape juice. Consumerism Commentary compares financial advisors and stock brokers. AllFinancialMatters updates us on his kitchen r…

  8. […] Save Money on Housing – Remember what I said about the car maybe being the best place to make a change and save lots of money? I lied… housing is where most people spend their money. Follow these tips and there’s a good chance your wallet grow thicker. […]

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