I’ve only made a few major purchases in my life, and I’ve learned that it can be very intimidating. If you love to save money or have a tight budget, the thought of putting so much money on the line can be downright scary.
I’m sharing three easy tips in this post that will help take some of the sting out of your loan costs. When you buy matters and can save you big bucks. These tips provide 5 ways to save money without much extra effort.
The Home Buying Hack
We bought our first home a few years ago, and the process went really smoothly. The housing market was way more favorable at the time, and competition was fairly low. I found a house I liked, knew it was right for my family and got my offer accepted right away.
Fast forward a few years, and we’re facing a whole new scenario. Interest rates are high, inventory is low and prices have skyrocketed. When we sold our home in order to move, we could have never anticipated how hard it would be to get back into one!
Many families are facing the same dilemma. The home buying hack I’m going to share, is something I learned from our previous mortgage lender. I’m so glad I read this advice because every little advantage we can get in our home search is crucial.
Tip #1: Buy in the Winter
In short, if you want to save money on your home loan, buy in the winter! Buying during the winter provides 3 opportunities to save money. If you can plan your home buying during the winter months, chances are, you’ll reap some pretty big benefits. It might take a little extra doing (especially, if you live where it snows like me!), but the payoff is worth it, in my opinion.
Way to Save Money #1: Time!
You save time! Everyone is motivated to move quickly in winter time, and because of that, you get into your home faster and stop wasting money on your rental or putting money into a home that’s not forever.
We all know, time is money! It might not seem like a big deal, but if you’ve ever been through the home buying process, any way to save time is awesome! There aren’t as many home buyers in the market during the winter months which means less competition for you. Less competition can mean a quicker negotiation process. It can also mean a shorter search in general.
No one likes the nightmare situation of putting an offer in on multiple homes, only to lose out repeatedly.
Way to Save Money #2: Seasonal Pricing
Not only will the home buying process move more quickly during winter time, homes are simply priced lower during this time frame as well. There is an understood seasonality to home prices and using this to your advantage is a no-brainer! Regardless of any other factors, your loan costs will simply be lower from the start without you doing anything extra.
On top of the built-in seasonal savings, buyers are far more willing to come down on price because they are likely pressed to get out of their homes fast. I hate to use the word, “exploit”, but you should definitely exploit this to your benefit, within reason. A good realtor will help you toe the line properly.
Way to Save Money #3: Future Home Repairs
This final benefit is the most unexpected. You can actually save money on future home repairs by buying in the winter. Crazy, right?
Homes are under the most duress during winter months. Things that are hidden during spring and summer months can be exposed due to the cold, wet weather. Roof repair is a costly example as well as issues with plumbing. Even good home inspectors can miss some of the flaws in a home in the favorable conditions of summer.
By buying during the winter, you can either avoid buying a lemon or work repair costs into your negotiations to save money on your loan costs.
We are definitely going to use this winter time tip if at all possible on our next home!
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The Car Buying Hack
I go back and forth on whether or not it’s smart to buy a brand new car, or if it’s a better idea to purchase something used, even just a couple years older.
There are definitely some benefits to a brand new car. The warranties are great which provides peace of mind. Some dealers also offer perks like free maintenance for a set amount of time.
Certified pre-owned is the option I tend to lean towards, but I can’t say I won’t ever buy a brand new car again, either.
My first experience with purchasing a new car went well and I was definitely appreciative of the perks.
Tip #2: Utilize End of Year Deals
Buy your car at the end of the year! We didn’t do this on our purchase, but we definitely should have.
Way to Save Money #4: Discounted Pricing
Dealerships are trying to offload their inventory to make room for the next years models, so you can get great deals.
I don’t know if this is true or not for car dealerships, but I know for manufacturing, at least, weeding down your inventory as low as possible at the end of the year is good for taxes. This might be a reason for good deals at this time of year as well.
If you do take advantage of end of year deals, I would just caution on one thing. I’ve never understood the benefits of no payments for a year deals. In my opinion, you should pay that baby off as quickly as you can! Cars depreciate in value quickly. If you can’t afford to make payments on a new car right away, you shouldn’t be buying one.
Tip #3: Capitalize on Sales Quotas
If you can’t wait until the end of the year, wait until the end of the month. I don’t know if this is true for all dealerships, but most salesmen have quotas!
Way to Save Money #5: Get Haggle Pricing
We stumbled onto this benefit when we bought our Corolla a few years back.
We did not plan on purchasing a brand new car, but the salesmen did the expected, “You don’t want a used car, come look at these new ones” trick. To be fair, it did work, but only because were able to hold out for a good deal.
We were there until after closing because this guy did not want to lose out on our business. He was so exasperated with us by the end of the process because we kept saying no, that he let slip the whole quota thing.
He was really motivated to sell and so were his bosses, so we ended up saving $2000. I’m sure that cut down on his commission from the sale, but it was better than no commission.
If you can get yourself into a similar situation, you can save money with only the extra effort of being hard to please!
$2000 may not seem like a lot, but depending on your monthly payment and interest rate, that could mean shaving off 6-8 months on your car payment!
I hope you’ll use these strategic buying tips the next time you’re in the market for a new home or car. The savings will be worth it!
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