People sell their homes for a variety of reasons. When you sell because you want to in order to grow and move up to a better living situation, that’s a good sell. When you sell because you no longer can afford your home, that’s not a good sell.
The national economy and the Arkansas and local Fort Smith economy in 2020 has seen some dramatic losses. Unemployment is so high, we’ve long since stopped talking about how high it actually is. The fact is, a LOT of people are out of work and struggling, including a lot of homeowners.
The home we live in, for most of us, is our most important physical asset. Meaning, it’s something we need to do everything within our power to hold on to. If you’re a homeowner who fears possibly losing your home, the one thing that can save you is money. In extraordinary times, we have to look wherever we can to generate or realize a little extra cash. Here are some ideas.
- Use a fixed-rate home mortgage to consolidate your debts and pay off credit cards with the highest interest. In early June 2020, fixed-rate mortgages dropped below 3.0%
- Get a HELOC/home equity line of credit. Pay only the interest on the amount of capital you use.
- Ask your lender about a reverse mortgage.
- Get all your home electronics accounts – internet, TV, phone – under a single account that will give you a bundle deal. If you have a landline, consider cancelling that account, because you probably don’t really need it.
- Make a commitment to use credit cards and credit accounts ONLY for vital purchases. Get used to paying cash for the majority of what you buy.
- When you go out of the house to do things, plan ahead so you can do everything together rather than making multiple trips.
- Pay attention to local gas prices and patronize the stations with the lowest.
- Take a look at your insurances – auto, home, health, fire, etc. Could you get a better deal by reconfiguring policies or changing providers?
- Cancel any cellular subscriptions for phones that are not being used or aren’t your primary phone(s).
- Start paying attention to how much energy you use around your home. Watch excessive water use; shut off lights; run a fan if possible instead of cranking on the AC. Utility charges add up fast!
- Stop buying expensive gifts for people for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. A simple gift from the heart should be all that’s necessary.
- At the grocery store, shop sales. Buy store-brand products when you can. You really can eat well without buying the highest-priced versions of your favorite foods.
- Water your yard less often.
- Wash your car less often.
- Eat at home more and eat out less.
- Consider renting that empty room to a boarder. You could get an easy $300 to $600 or more per month.
These are just a few ideas to put more money in your pocket and help you keep your home where it belongs – in your name.