Financial Planning for My Dream Home

How to get financially prepared to purchase your dream home.

It’s been a little bit stressful around here lately.

Last Tuesday my husband and I found out we were approved for our new apartment and that we could move-in as early as Saturday. Yes, that’s right friends, we were able to move in FOUR days. We spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights packing everything up, Saturday morning our movers arrived and by Saturday night we were settling in to our new place. It’s been fantastic but is it bad that I’m already thinking ahead to our new place? We’ve agreed that our next move will be in to a home that we’ve purchased and it feels so good to have #relationshipgoals.

City apartments are great but we’re ready for suburban life.

I’m loving our new apartment though. I am. It’s big (especially by apartment standards) and the bathrooms are super nice. They have spa tubs and there are large closets. We definitely have the space but my favorite part is, hands down, our new kitchen! It’s a gorgeous space with marble countertops and pantry shelves above the laundry space which is behind the door at the far end.

The appliances are updated and it’s really spoiling me about what I expect from the kitchen in our home when we buy it. I can already tell that I’m going to want at least a few open shelves and a lot more countertop space. 


The other big bonus is that it’s only 1.5 miles from my office which, in Atlanta, is an enormous perk! Now there is no more need to ride the train, no more 1.5 hour commute, and no more 14 hour work days. I was actually home with my husband today by 6pm! That hasn’t happened in a while.

One of the first things I said to my husband after we settled down Saturday night was, “I love this place. I could really live here.” although what I really meant was, “I love this place. I could really live here until we find a home to buy.” We’ve been back-and-forth on home ownership for a while but now that it feels like life is settling down, careers are established, and dogs have joined the family it feels like it’s time to start getting serious about the possibility of buying a house. If I’m being honest it’s something I’ve thought about for a while. I even have a ‘secret’ board on Pinterest where I pin images of homes I consider “dream homes.” I’ll give you a peek at my favorite one, ready?

How to get financially prepared to purchase your dream home.

I’m just a sucker for farmhouse style. Go ahead…check my Pinterest boards if you don’t believe me (or if you just want to be pals on there)

Now that I’m secure in my career (I just passed my last evaluation and I’m now officially a permanent employee) the next step is planning for our forever home and since I’m such a planner the other night I sat down and spent a few hours on the Capital One Home Loans Online Neighborhood site reviewing all of their information and tips for first-time home buyers.

There was a plethora of great information on there, tips like:

How much can you afford?

Figure out how much you can afford to spent on a home. A great rule to follow is to look at houses that are 2.5 times your annual salary (but more importantly, your monthly mortgage payment shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income). Capital One has an amazing mortgage calculator if you want to find out the range for your home ownership goals.

Save your down payment 

A down payment is traditionally 20% of the purchase price of the house (although this can vary based upon your credit and the type of loan you obtain). The higher down payment the better though because it can lower your monthly payments and help you avoid high mortgage insurance rates.

Don’t forget closing costs

They can add to the amount you need to close your loan and take possession of your new home so make sure you set extra money aside to cover them.

Check your financial history

Your financial history is important to pull a copy of your credit report, dispute and clear up any errors, pay off any debts that you can and get your score in shape!

For more information on home buying, review Capital One’s Tips for First-Time Homebuyers on the Home Loans Online Neighborhood. If you’re interested in learning more about Capital One Home Loans and how they can help you, visit Capital One or call them at 855-900-8886.

So that’s my next big plan. I love the apartment we are living in now but I also love having a plan to help us move toward home ownership.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

What about you? What’s your home buying plan? Do you already own your own home? Are you planning to buy (or move) soon? Any tips for future home owners?

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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