While the necessities of life may be food, clothing, and shelter, most of us tend to spend a disproportionate amount of money on shelter. Apartments in larger cities can cost thousands of dollars and even in smaller towns, it is easy to end up with a big, expensive house that seems to take up most of your paycheck. A good mortgage won’t do you much good if you’re paying too much for your home. If you are in the market for a new home and don’t want to overspend, there are plenty of ways to live well without spending a ton:
Foreclosures. Foreclosures are homes which are sold by banks or government agencies after a homeowner has defaulted on a mortgage. These homes can be sold below market value and they range from very modest homes to mansions. You can literally find foreclosures in every neighborhood. An added bonus: some government agencies and banks offer incentives and special programs for buyers to get these properties off their books, so you could end up saving even more. Keep in mind that foreclosures are sold “as is,” so you need to do your research to avoid any surprises.
FSBO (For Sale by Owner) Homes. When someone is facing huge personal debts, foreclosure, or bankruptcy, they will sometimes sell their home at below market value to get some cash to repay their loans. As with foreclosures, you will need to do your research to avoid possible problems. You will also need to work with an attorney or buyer’s agent to help you through the buying process.
Fixer Uppers. Fixer uppers are homes that need some work. How much work varies widely. There are homes that are gutted inside and some that just require a good cleaning and a coat of paint. Look for homes that require lots of cleaning and painting but no work on major things, such as foundation, electricity, roof, or other major systems.…