A home is the largest investment most of us will ever make, which means small differences in how you deal with it can really add up over time.
Buying a house is a huge financial undertaking. If you’re planning to become a homeowner come 2017, here are five rules you should know by heart.
1. It never pays to be house poor
You may be tempted to stretch your budget and buy that larger home with the bigger yard, but remember: The more you spend on housing, the less wiggle room you’ll have in the rest of your budget. Not only that, but overspending on housing can get you into serious financial trouble. According to a report by the MacArthur Foundation, between 2011 and 2014, more than 50% of Americans had to make at least one major economic sacrifice to cover the mortgage or pay the rent — sacrifices such as delaying retirement savings or taking on credit card debt. If you’re not careful, buying too much house could cause the rest of your financial plan to take a serious beating.