Buying a home

Buying a home

Finding the right place is just one part of the journey—protecting your credit and considering the full cost can help you choose the house you’ll turn into your home.

1

2

3

Protect your credit while shopping for a home

Budget for recurring maintenance 

Understand home equity

One way to protect it: avoid making major purchases, like a new car, on credit until your house and mortgage are locked down. 

Seasonal maintenance can prevent small problems from becoming costly disasters. It can also plug money leaks, like a poor-performing furnace that adds around $100 to your monthly heating bill.

Home equity is the value of the interest you own in your home outright. Calculate it by subtracting any liens or mortgages on the property from the current appraised value of your home. 

4

5

6

Assess a renovation’s value

  

Think before buying a rental property

Learn about local laws

 

Not every home improvement project will increase the value of your home. Research local trends, because what increases the value of a home in Maine may not deliver the same value in New Mexico. 

Financial experts recommend looking at all the costs before investing in a rental property, including insurance, taxes and how much you could lose if you can’t get a tenant. 

You could be responsible for keeping sidewalks free of snow and in good shape. Local and state websites, as well as municipal offices, could be good sources for learning about your legal obligations.

1

Protect your credit while shopping for a home

One way to protect it: avoid making major purchases, like a new car, on credit until your house and mortgage are locked down.

2

Budget for recurring maintenance 

Seasonal maintenance can prevent small problems from becoming costly disasters. It can also plug money leaks, like a poor-performing furnace that adds around $100 to your monthly heating bill.

3

Understand home equity

Home equity is the value of the interest you own in your home outright. Calculate it by subtracting any liens or mortgages on the property from the current appraised value of your home. 

4

Assess a renovation’s value

  

Not every home improvement project will increase the value of your home. Research local trends, because what increases the value of a home in Maine may not deliver the same value in New Mexico. 

5

Think before buying a rental property

Financial experts recommend looking at all the costs before investing in a rental property, including insurance, taxes and how much you could lose if you can’t get a tenant. 

6

Learn about local laws

 

You could be responsible for keeping sidewalks free of snow and in good shape. Local and state websites, as well as municipal offices, could be good sources for learning about your legal obligations.

of Americans would describe themselves as knowledgeable about personal finance.

The Financial Literacy 2020 Survey was conducted by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® in March 2020 among 2,516 Americans. Savings accounts defined as savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs® but may not reflect the institutional opinions of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.

Would like to see other Money Guides by Life Stage?