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Learning More About Real Estate

After finally saving up enough money to use as a down payment, I decided that it was time to hit the market. I met with a lender, got pre-approved for a loan, and then started visiting different properties. However, I quickly realized that I didn't know as much about real estate as I would have hoped. I wanted to find a great neighborhood and know what to ask the professionals, but I could tell that I needed a little help. To point me in the right direction, I started working with a great real estate agent who was familiar with the area. This blog is all about educating the general public on real estate matters.

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Learning More About Real Estate

4 Steps To Financial Freedom By "Right Sizing" Your Housing Expenses

by Nathan Olson

Whether you're approaching retirement or are just looking for a way to simplify your life, downsizing the physical and financial costs of living can be the key to reducing your stress in many ways. But, where can you begin? Here's a 4 step guide to reducing your housing costs.

Assess Your Living Expenses. The first place to start when downsizing is to get an accurate picture of your current costs of living. This will help you not only know where you can reduce expenses, but it will also tell you how much you need to reduce them in order to come out ahead. Track all of your expenses for at least a few months (or a year) before making any decisions. You'll be able to see the actual monthly costs of your housing and utilities as well as irregular costs like maintenance, taxes, insurance, and repairs. Use this as a guide when looking for less expensive alternatives, like renting a home from a company like Clear Creek Rentals LTD. 

Consider all Your Options. There are a number of housing options available if you decide to sell your home. While many people automatically think of buying another, smaller home, you may find that a different option fits your needs better. For example, how much money would you save if you rent a home and let the landlord pay for maintenance, taxes, and repair costs? If this is what you want, would it make more sense to rent a home in your area or to rent in a location that fits your lifestyle better? Do you want to avoid landscaping costs and effort by choosing to rent or buy a town home? Are you interested in an even more extreme alternative like a "tiny home" or traveling in an RV?

Decide What to Do With Savings. Before making any long-term commitments, it's a good idea to form a plan for what you will do with the money you save from downsizing your housing. If you will end up with a large profit from your house sale, be sure you know where you will invest or save this money before you receive a check. After estimating the savings from other, ongoing monthly expenses, write down new goals to achieve with the money and put into place a way to reach them. You're likely to find this a motivation as well as a protection from wasting the savings. 

Start Small. If you're not sure how much downsizing you want to do, don't be afraid to start small rather than make an extreme change. This could mean reducing your debts, canceling services, adjusting from two cars to one car, or increasing automatic savings. Or, you could decide to sell your house and rent a home for a while before deciding what permanent housing choice you want to make. Any changes you carry through on -- large or small -- can help you on your road to financial security.

Following these steps, anyone can find the right way to downsize their housing and have more control over their financial future. 

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