As a Generation Xers, your financial life gets a little more complicated. You start juggling more things and your time is compressed because you have multiple demands. You moved into a bigger house because of the kids. Maybe you start thinking about saving for retirement. You need a vacation. Your kids are expensive and want everything.
How do you balance all the competing financial demands? One method of staying in control is to segment the different key aspects of your finances. Consolidate your investments in one place to manage them. Have one system to manage your income, family bills and credit cards.
There are lots of details to managing regarding your home, so it is best to get a handle on this now. These details including the here and now expenses, the intermediate opportunity to grow your home equity, and the longer term ability to maximize the future selling price when you decide to move again.
Organizing for Today
Believe it or not, having a preventative home maintenance schedule is one of smartest things you can do today. There are four key value points starting with reminders of important maintenance tasks which frees up your mind to remember other family details. Next, is the tasks that keep the home operating efficiently reducing utility bills. Third, is you avoid unplanned and expensive repair or replacement costs. And finally, you keep the home safe and healthy from fire, water, and air quality hazards that can affect your family.
In addition, you may have bought this house with plans for remodeling it. It is best to lay out all the remodel projects you want, and do pricing research on brands and products for each item on your project. This gives you a realistic way to decide on priority of projects, and the budget for each one. Tracking costs, receipts, and warranties keeps you in control today. But it also is helpful in the future at tax time and when you decide to sell in the future.
A Few Years Out
You want to grow the equity in your house two ways. One is you want the estimated value of your home to go up because of neighborhood and market conditions. Staying aware of the market conditions of your house’s value for the next few years is important. The other is to reduce the balance of your remaining mortgage. Tracking your full mortgage schedule gives you this visibility.
Estimating how your home equity is growing by forecasts of the value of your home growing and the balance of your debt shrinking is a big part of home personal finance. Knowing this at all times allows you to make the best long term financial decisions regarding your home.
Just like you sold your first home and bought a bigger home, odds are that you will do the same in the future. Keeping good financial records of your house keeps you ready when you decide to sell the house. You don’t control the market conditions, but you want to be aware of them. But you do control how well your house has been maintained and if the features of the house are updated and competitive with other homes in the neighborhood.
Understanding what is the best listing price strategy will impact your cash at closing. But you also need to account for the current balance on your mortgage, sales commissions costs, and other closing cost to selling the home to get a complete financial picture. Having estimates for this upfront helps in planning the next cycle over how much you can put down on the next house you are trying to buy.
As a Generation X’er, your lifestyle dictates the need to juggle multiple things at once. The more organized you are, the more in control you are of the various aspects of your financial life. Because your home has so many short, medium and long term facets to it. And it is a big part of your net worth, it is one of the more important aspects of your home finances to get in order.