Yep, it’s 2021. Finally.
Along with putting 2020 in the rearview mirror, it's time to think about our resolutions for this new year. We at the Nevada Housing Division naturally have a few ideas about how to become a better homebuyer or homeowner.
For The Homebuyer
Question: Who doesn’t want to be healthy, wealthy and wise? Just as we thought: crickets. As a homebuyer — or someone toying with the idea of purchasing a home in the near future — there are ways to make sure your resolutions are resolved. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a darn fine place to start.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we can give a homebuyer is to check the health of your credit. Know your score. Even if you're not planning to buy for a year or more, it's important to develop a game plan for improving your score if necessary. And look for errors. Both boosting your score and fixing errors take time, so start early. Like, as soon as you’re done reading this.
RELATED: Here's the Scoop on Credit Scores
We’re not promising win-the-lottery-quit-your-job kind of wealth here, but you can get wealthier by getting pre-approved for a Home Is Possible mortgage. (HIP for short.) Not only will you understand how much house you qualify for, you’ll know about how much bonus money you’ll receive. We’re talking thousands of dollars. You’ll also be a more attractive buyer, which is important in a seller’s market like the one we’re in. Work with a HIP-qualified lender to get the ball rolling.
Resolve to be an educated homebuyer. Whether you’re a seasoned buyer or a newbie, homebuyer education programs are designed to make sure everyone learns something new and helpful. It’s so important, we require completion of a homebuyer education course for anyone who takes advantage of our homebuyer programs.
Keep in mind that your certificate of completion is good for one year, so there’s no need to procrastinate. Get ‘er done! (See, we’re helping you with other resolutions, too.)
There are many great choices out there, but we believe our homebuyer ed course is best—‘cause we partnered with Freddie Mac on it, and it’s, well, free.
For The Homeowner
Now, let’s shift gears and cover a few stellar New Year’s resolutions that homeowners can (and should) accomplish this year. (Though in the name of full transparency, we are disclosing that these are good resolutions for homebuyers and renters, too.)
It’s so easy to put off addressing potential home safety hazards like carbon monoxide, radon gas and dryer vent blockages. Out of sight, out of mind. But it’s super duper important to address these common, potentially deadly problems. We’re not going to scare you with the statistics, but suffice it to say, today’s the day you’ll be ordering your carbon monoxide detector, your radon test kit and detector, and your dryer vent cleaning kit, right? Good, thanks.
RELATED: Homeowner Responsibility 101
No matter how penny-pinchy you are, there’s always at least a little room for improvement in the area of spending and saving. We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend taking a hard look at your income, expenses, your needs and wants, and tighten the purse strings a bit. Done well, it will affect your wealth in the short and long term.
A home is a good investment. A home that has been improved is often an even better investment, as wise homeowners know. But how do you go about this in a COVID world? Luckily, we have the answer for that one too, in our How to Tackle Home Improvements While Socially Distancing blog.
Another wise avenue to explore is financial literacy. The resources available are endless, but The Muse was kind enough to share 13 Free Classes to Help You Manage Your Personal Finances. It’s a good read and relevant even when we're not in a pandemic-caused economic shutdown.
2021 Is Your Year
You’ve got the whole year ahead of you (give or take a few days) to cross these resolutions off your to do list. Hopefully, we’ve provided motivation along with a healthy dose of how-to so you can accomplish these healthy, wealthy and wise resolutions. And if you're interested in learning more about getting into a home of your own, talk to some HIP-certified lenders and find out what you qualify for. It might be more than you think!