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Budget-Building: Your Dream Home with a Smaller Price Tag


When you picture your “dream home,” what do you see? A brand-new house with all the bells and whistles? The perfectly landscaped yard? Four bedrooms? Two bathrooms?

Well, if your laundry list of wants doesn’t match the realistic budget you’ve set, don’t worry – there are some tactics you can use on your dream-home quest that might make things easier on your budget.

Existing vs. new

The image of your "dream home" that comes to mind is often often one built from scratch exactly to your ideal parameters. But when you have a tight budget, this might be an impossibility. Fortunately, if you do enough looking, you can come close with an existing home.

Older houses have character and uniqueness that newer homes might not have. Plus, with nearly half of Americans prioritizing new over existing homes these days, there are that many more intriguing older homes available on the market.


Elbow grease

We can’t all be talented builders and handypeople. But there are a few things that even the least construction-minded people can handle taking care of themselves. When you’re searching for your dream home, take note of things that you can fix yourself, and focus your decision-making on elements that will require paid assistance, like roofing, cement or structural issues.

And thanks to the web community, there are a variety of great ideas and how-to videos at your fingertips.


Neighborhoods on the rise

Selecting the right neighborhood is important. But it can also limit your search considerably if you jump to conclusions about which neighborhood is “best.” Dig a little deeper and find out which neighborhoods are on the rise, or are poised to see development in the near future.

If you buy during pre-rise stages, you’ll enjoy a lower price that later pays off in dividends as the neighborhood takes shape. Keep tabs on commercial real estate purchases and where retail spaces are being developed in the coming years to find neighborhoods that fit this bill.


Have patience                               

If you’re itching for that dream home, sometimes it requires a bit of patience. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have everything you want right off the bat. Make a list of the things you’d ideally want – a finished basement, a new deck, a second bathroom – and plot out a multi-year plan for making them a reality.

If you’re on a budget, it’s not realistic to do it all at once, but if you spread it out over time and have patience (and vision), you can spend less upfront on the property and mold it into your dream home through the three or four years after purchasing.


Don’t let your budget discourage you from dreaming big. You can achieve a dream home over time if you have the right frame of mind, a little bit of patience and a willingness to try something new.

Free e-book download: A South Dakotan's Guide to Buying Your First Home Volume 2: Searching

Topics: Property Development, Homeownership

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