The new year, and new decade, are here! Over the last few days I’ve thought a lot about where I was at the start of the last decade and what I accomplished in the 10 years since we rang in 2010. At the start of 2010 I was still in college at VCU. I thought I was going to be a fashion marketing executive and hadn’t even remotely started to think about my career as an entrepreneur. As much as I tried to plan every milestone out not everything went according to “the plan.” I did accomplish a lot though; I graduated from college and graduate school. I got engaged. I bought a home. And, I got married. Not too shabby for one decade. In this new decade I plan to accomplish more things on my bucket list and maybe even help a few of you accomplish your big milestones too.
Depending on where you are in your homeownership journey you may be more drawn to one of these resolutions over another. I’d love to hear which one is part of your 2020. Tell me in the comments or better yet, shoot me an email so I can help you along the way.
You may be thinking it’ll be a bit difficult to have a resolution involving your home if you don’t have a house yet. Here’s the thing, it can be scary to think about buying a home. I get it; renting is comfortable. There’s always a quick exit plan available with renting and that in itself can be very appealing. The thing about renting is that flexibility comes with a cost. You aren’t investing in yourself and I would bet you money that your monthly rent isn’t that much less (heck, potentially is more) than a mortgage. If Buy a Home is on your list of things to do in 2020 (or in the 20’s in general) here are three steps to help you get started.
This includes your rent, student loans, car payment, and anything else that isn’t flexible. Knowing how much you spend each month is important to determining your home buying budget.
There are a ton of loan programs out there that require little to no downpayment. Don’t let the idea of 20% down scare you away from home buying. The big myth around 20% down is from a time when homes were less expensive. What you’re saving for is the cost of buying a home. This includes your closing costs, pre-paids (insurance and taxes), home inspection fees, and other miscellaneous items that come with purchasing.
Listen, I get it. You think as soon as you reach out to a lender you’ll never hear the end of phone calls from this salesperson. Here’s the thing, if you find a good lender they won’t harass you. They are here to help you. They’ll answer your questions, shoot you straight on your ability to purchase, and lay out a plan to help you get there if you aren’t in the right financial spot yet. Don’t think of lenders as salesmen; think of them as financial guides.
I’ve seen this one a lot lately. With the release of Marie Kondo on the world last year decluttering has become a high ranking priority among homeowners and is topping the resolution list charts this year. If you’re looking to declutter your home here are two ways to get started.
It’s a few days in but there’s still time to hop on the Simplified Challenge train. Emily Ley does a wonderful job of breaking down your home (and life) into manageable areas. Jump into the challenge now and go back to days 1-5 later. Find Emily and the challenge at @Simplified and @EmilyLey on Instagram.
If you’re a bit past clutter (or simply don’t have the time) reach out to a professional organizer to help you tame your belongings. Sometimes you just don’t know what to do with some items – old school projects, textbooks, cellphones from 2010 – and need some advice on what to do with them. There are several great professional organizers in the Richmond area (and I’m sure wherever you live too if you’re reading from another place.) Check out a few under Preferred Partners.
I love a good renovation project. If you’re looking to do some updates this year here are my to three suggestions for getting started.
Seriously though, make a plan. There is nothing worse than getting knee deep in a project and realizing you were.not.prepared for the amount of work or materials it would take. Watch some YouTube videos, make a Pinterest board, gather some product info and then get started.
Again, nothing worse than being so deep in a project there’s no turning back and the only way out is to spend more money than you planned. Been there, done that. Determine your budget, take the time to find products (lights, counters, etc.) that fit within your budget, and then purchase. Purchasing as you go is how projects end up costing you triple what you thought they would.
I’m all for a DIY but know your limits. Plan to hire professionals for things like removing walls, changing the way the electrical works, or redoing the plumbing. Changing things inside your walls (or the walls themselves) aren’t as easy as watching a YouTube video. If you’re making some bigger updates be sure to consult a professional.
Jessica Deleo is a licensed agent in Richmond, Virginia with One South Realty Group. All information provided is of my own opinion and intended for educational purposes only. Read full disclaimer.