Money Moves To Consider Before Moving Money Moves To Consider Before Moving Spring is often the busiest time of year in most real estate markets. If you are considering moving soon, there are some financial moves you may want to consider first. Whether a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions to ensure you are in a great financial position before moving. Is Your Credit Score in Tip-Top Shape? Your credit report is essentially a “report card” of your financial habits, and your credit score is your grade. Your score provides a snapshot to potential lenders of how risky a borrower you are. Therefore, maintaining a good credit score is essential when it comes time to get a mortgage. The lower your score, the greater your chances of getting stuck with a higher interest rate and smaller loan amount, or worse – getting denied altogether. If your credit score could use improving, it may be worth putting off home buying for at least a few months until you can bring it up a bit. It may not be ideal, but it’ll be worth it when you lock in that low interest rate and get approved for a bigger loan amount to buy your dream house. Have You Considered the True Costs of Home Ownership? While renting is fairly straightforward and is a predictable monthly expense, the costs of home ownership are entirely different. There are factors that can affect your financial well-being when buying a home, and if you’re not careful, could end up costing you more money than expected. Some things to take into account are moving costs, closing costs, property taxes, the amount of interest you pay each month on your mortgage, utilities, maintenance costs such as chimney and eves trough cleaning, HOA fees, homeowner’s insurance, and unexpected repairs. Some of these costs are predictable monthly expenses that can be built into your budget, while others may pop up when you least expect it. You need to be financially prepared for either scenario. Especially if you are a first-time home buyer, you’ll want to ensure you create a budget beforehand, so you can know what to expect and gauge how comfortable you’ll be, since the costs will likely be drastically different than what you’re used to dealing with. A budget is important for seasoned homeowners as well. Whether you are moving to a bigger place, to a different town, or downsizing, the budget you are used to sticking to will be affected to some degree. Make sure you go over your anticipated costs before moving and how it affects your monthly budget. Do You Have an Emergency Fund? Remember those unexpected repairs I just mentioned? That’s where it comes in handy to have an emergency fund. The last thing you want when dealing with an already stressful situation such as a leaking roof or broken refrigerator is to be scrambling to figure out how to pay for it. An emergency fund is there to save you in a pinch and is something all homeowners should have. A home is one of the biggest financial commitments you will make in your lifetime. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, or simply looking for a new place, you should ensure the process is as stress-free and cost-effective as possible. Make sure you consider the various financial aspects of moving and home buying before you take action, to ensure that your finances stay in tiptop shape. Leslie Tayne Leslie H. Tayne has more than 15 years' experience in the practice area of consumer and business financial debt-related services. Speaker, Author of Life & Debt, Attorney and Founder of the Tayne Law Group, P.C., Leslie is working towards reshaping the debt industry by offering real, proven solutions to help her clients get back on the road to financial freedom.