Touted as the 17th hottest market in the U.S. by Realtor.com, the Santa Cruz real estate market is certainly an exciting place to be a buyer or seller. The allure of the ocean, calm coastal atmosphere, and easy proximity to Silicon Valley draws beach-goers and big-city professionals alike, but unfortunately this beautiful area is becoming less affordable for the average Joe. The median and average home prices in the county have trended upward since 2012, and even the rental market is feeling the crunch of a lack of inventory and high demand. That begs the question, what’s a renter to do when they’re trying to save up for their own home?
Here are a few money-saving tips to help you get in to your very own home sooner than you thought was possible.
1. Re-Think Your Location
Location is everything, and as much as it’s a big factor in the pricing of a house or condo, it also influences how much someone can reasonably demand for rent. Living closer to the beach will likely come at a higher premium than living a little further away from the city, so opting for a more affordable home now could be enough to help you save up enough to get into the market. Plus, you could be saving on your monthly parking expenses by living a little further from the core of the city.
2. Share Your Space With A Roommate
Living with others was great when you were in college and it can really help shave off some of your monthly expenses. Just one roommate can save you around 30% every month just by splitting the cost of rent and utilities. Sure, you’ll have to give up some of your space and privacy, but the advantages can certainly outweigh the drawbacks when you’re saving up for your own nest.
3. Consolidate Your Debt
There are two really important reasons to get a handle on your debt before you start seriously looking for a home. Firstly, pulling all of your debts (credit cards, lines of credit, and student loans) into one low-interest loan can help save you big on monthly interest while paying them down.
The second reason to consolidate your loans is that you’ll always know exactly how much debt your carrying, because it’s all in one place. Plus, you’ll only have one deadline to worry about every month rather than several. Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the largest factors in the mortgage approval process so taking care of your debt now and keeping all of your current lenders happy will really help your chances of getting a home loan down the road.
For even more great money-saving tips, check out our Santa Cruz Lenders section. It’s never too early to connect with a professional about buying Santa Cruz real estate. If you’re thinking about buying a home, or give us a call at 800.226.4717. We’d be happy to meet with you to go over your goals, wants, and needs.