If you want to know how best to lower your housing costs, this article will prove very helpful.
It explains a lot about lowering housing costs, why and how to do just that and some of the best secrets many don’t know about this.
First things first…
It is no secret to the home owner that the largest investment that the average American makes is the purchasing of a home.
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Yes, the whole “your home is your biggest asset” thing is true for most Americans.
The reality to the homeowner comes each month when they pay their monthly mortgage payment.
Depending on their mortgage rate and the total cost of their mortgage, the check or direct payment withdrawn from the individual’s bank account can reflect an amount of hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.
So for a period of anywhere from a monthly payment over a span of 10 years to 30 years, the contractual demands of the mortgaged home owner are made.
Wouldn’t it be a nice feeling personally and economically, if there were ways to lower housing costs?
Thankfully there are, as you will learn from reading the rest of this article.
The lowering of housing costs could include those monthly payments, but could include other cost reduction methods as well.
Importance of Reducing Housing Costs
So, reducing housing costs have a number of associated benefits to the individual renting or buying their home.
The first obvious benefit is that a reduction in household expenses could equate to an increase of available money.
The question is almost laughable, but who wouldn’t mind having a little more discretionary income available in the household?
Another added benefit speaks to the individual personally.
Quite frankly, there is something exhilarating to saving money by cutting expenses.
It is like a moral victory in achieving an edge in this life by cutting costs and going toe-to-toe with the system.
That’s one of the main reasons people have for even saving money!
It is a battle victory in the overall war between the haves and the have nots.
11 Best Ways of Lowering Housing Costs that Really Work
1. Cut the Commuting Cord
One sure way to infuse more income into the household account is to cut back on the time spent away from home.
This possibility of lower household expenses requires the individual to cut back on the expenses associated with commuting.
This is not suggesting that you quit your job.
It is however recommending that if your commute to work can be accomplished by walking, carpooling, bicycling or even using public transportation, a significant savings can be realized.
In addition to the money saved are other associated benefits.
Those benefits could include reducing carbon emissions globally and by walking or bicycling receive cardiovascular benefits.
You can even make money and get paid to walk! Talk about the best of three worlds: saving money, making money and losing weight… all at the same time!
2. Move It
Perhaps your monthly rent or mortgage has become too high.
Just maybe due to the circumstances of life you have more house than what you need.
Therefore, consider downsizing. By renting a less expensive apartment or purchasing a smaller home, the resident can realize significant savings.
Those realized savings could be from paying less for rent or reducing one’s mortgage as well as savings realized in utility bills.
The smaller the home the less energy is required to heat or cool.
Also See: How to Get Paid Money to Move… and best countries that pay!
3. Let’s Talk About It
If renting a home, communication can translate into dollars and cents. Specifically, if the landlord is considering the raising of rents, enter into a dialogue with them.
Stress things like:
- Your good payment record
- Being a model tenant
- And the fact that you wish to stay
Also, argue that if the rent goes up and you decide to move, the apartment maybe vacant for a while which will cost the landlord or rental company a rent payment.
Also the added cost of preparing the apartment for new tenants.
By communicating it can be a win/win for all involved.
4. Moving in Together
How about a roomie?
A good way to cut costs is to share the cost of living.
The important aspect to this possibility is to find someone with the same likes and dislikes as you.
After all you will be sharing the same living space and compatibility is extremely important or can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Also, be careful about any leases being signed together or separately. You don’t want to be holding the proverbial bag.
Also See: How to Rent-to-Own Your Home.
5. Will Work for Rent
Another option to significantly reduce housing costs is to barter with the landlord.
For example, if you are able to paint, do odd jobs or possibly landscaping you can perform these labors around the complex.
Simply strike an agreement with the landlord that you will do x,y, or z for a set amount taken off of your monthly rent.
6. Joe Sent Me
In order to attract additional businesses, many companies offer incentives to their current customer base offering various discounts.
Some of those discounts include a certain percentage off of a purchase or product or an exact amount.
These rewards are offered if referrals are made and new customers are gained by the company.
- Free Air for Tires
- Free Books by Mail
- Free Shampoo Samples
- Free School Supplies
- Free Birthday Stuff
- Free Gas Cards
- Free T-Shirts
The apartment industry is no different and can be very competitive.
It wouldn’t hurt to ask the apartment manager if this can be arranged especially if it seems that some of the apartments are not renting out.
The manager may pay you a cash reward or offer to deduct a certain amount off of your monthly rent.
For the homeowner, a significant option of reducing your monthly mortgage is to consider refinancing.
The finance company will arrange for an appraiser to walk through your home to present a market value of your residence.
Paperwork will need to be filed and it is important that you negotiate the lowest interest rate that you can.
Obviously, it needs to be lower than your current rate.
If you are in agreement with the terms and the subsequent reduction of your monthly mortgage payment, then you can consider refinancing.
Another benefit, due to the lower interest rate, will be less interest paid over the life of the loan.
It is important to remember and determine whether this is a good financial move given the possibility of fees. Those fees could be the cost of the appraiser and/or administrative fees.
A major factor in your consideration of this option is your long-term plan of staying in your home and whether money will be saved.
8. Do It Yourself (DIY)
Because the American home is the largest investment for an American to make, it is important to maintain that investment.
This maintenance can be through scheduled replacements and regular repair.
Examples can be maintaining the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), roof repair or painting.
The reality is that nothing lasts forever, therefore repairs will be needed.
To cut housing costs make sure that you have a preventative maintenance schedule in place to reduce expensive costs.
A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Also, to save money, a course on how to do minor repairs around the home may provide good returns on the money spent for the teaching.
Having to call out a professional for a job that can be done by a DIY person may be a way to lower household costs.
Also See: How to Become a Home Stager.
9. Challenge the Tax Rolls
As property owners, the privilege of supporting schools, city and county services, community hospitals, are part of the tax process when assessments are leveled against your home.
You don’t balk at these property taxes and want to pay your fair share.
However, it may be prudent to challenge your yearly property tax statement to ensure that all of the information is correct.
Specifically, does the document reflect the correct square footage, the right number of bedrooms and are you satisfied with the appraisal or value of your home.
If not, there are options for the homeowner to take to dispute any of this data.
It is also important for the homeowner to claim any exemptions that maybe offered to homeowners.
There are exemptions for seniors, veterans, possible homestead exemptions, etc.
If found in your favor, your property taxes may be reduced.
10. Be a Landlord
For the most part, space within a home is at a premium.
However, there may be extra room. This extra room can be in the garage or a spare bedroom.
If this is a option, why not consider renting out the empty space for cash.
Perhaps by rearranging the garage and consolidating some of your own stored items you may be able to free up space.
Remember storage units abound in America because people have accumulated so many things.
Why not rent to a trusted friend or neighbor your space and turn a profit.
Also, it goes without saying that if you wish to rent out an extra bedroom this is an option.
However, the watch word is caution and should be entered into if you are completely satisfied with the character, lifestyle, personality, etc. of the potential paying guest.
11. Go on a Diet
Finally, go on a diet.
Tighten and plan your budget by discontinuing household services that are duplicates or are not being used.
Examples could be streaming service, television cable, movie channels, electronic subscriptions, etc. You know the drill.
You can read the following for more powerful tips:
- Extreme Frugality (14 Powerful Tips To Help You)
- Frugal Living Tips (21 Benefits & Super Helpful Tips)
- Frugal Vs Cheap – 16 Differences and Tips To Help
Also, for the sake of the environment and your own finances consider using less energy.
Will you really notice a temperature change if the thermostat is set a couple of degrees lower in the summer or higher in the winter.
Also, conserve your usage of other resources like water and natural gas.
Personal Story of Lowering Housing Costs
I recently had a major decision to make in my life.
No, it wasn’t a life or death situation or did it have profound life-changing implications.
My major decision? Whether to cut the cable or not.
I found that my low-low introductory rate was rapidly increasing for in cost each month.
My completely free of charge gift card in appreciation of being a new customer was now a faded memory.
TV cable reality was in full force.
Besides my TV viewing habits had changed. My choice of viewing over 60 channels was now reduced to basically two.
Also, I had become numb to the automatic withdrawal of $104 and change taken from my account each month.
I had enough. I was at the end of my rope or should I say cable.
And so, just recently, I made that all important call to cut the cord of my cable service.
May I say that I have never felt so much alive and empowered as I did in following through on that decision.
The added benefit was that I freed up $104 and change back into the household coffers.
I found one way to lower household expenses – Continuing to Scale Back!
You Can Do It
It would seem that everyone can use a little extra cash at some point in the month.
There are bills to pay, credit cards to pay down, vacations to be enjoyed, children or grandchildren to be spoiled.
The list long as is the list of ways to lower household expense.
With a little thought, some ingenuity, and a bit of discipline, you can realize extra money flowing into your bank account.
The basic needs of life are food, interaction with other people and shelter.
Like death and taxes expenditures on food and shelter is inevitable, but we shouldn’t have to pay more than is necessary.
Consequently, there are ways to reduce your overhead as it relates to our home.
Not only will we gain satisfaction by spending our money wisely, but we will feel good about ourselves.
That joy will be realized in that we have taken significant steps in reducing waste, making our mark on the world stage, and increasing the quality of our own life.
In closing, why not make one small adjustment and if that slight change is enjoyable build on that decision and let the snowball roll.