Shopping for a new home can be an exciting adventure. While it’s a big decision and a big investment, when you choose the right one, it can be a heady feeling. However, one of the most important factors is figuring out how much you can afford on a limited budget. You might be ready to move or even need to relocate for various reasons. Here are tips to help you finance a home purchase when your budget is tight.

Pay Down Consumer Debt

If possible, pay more than the minimum payment on your credit accounts and consumer debts, such as car payments or your current mortgage. Even a few dollars more each month can make a difference by reducing the outstanding balance more quickly. Your credit report will show quicker pay-downs and payoffs, which will increase your credit score and make you eligible for better loan terms on a new mortgage loan. You’ll also need to check your credit score to ensure it is in good standing and clear up any discrepancies or errors you may find.

Save for a Larger Down Payment

Consider taking a side job or a temporary part-time position to earn extra money for your down payment on another house. Bank all additional income, such as cash gifts for birthdays and anniversaries and job bonuses along with income tax returns. Sell unused items like bikes, toys, clothing, and even older vehicles that no one is driving, and add that money to your down payment fund. A larger down payment could get you a lower interest rate and smaller payments, making your house purchase more affordable.

Avoid Major Purchases

Don't buy anything expensive or something that requires long-term payments. Spending money or acquiring new debt could hurt your application for a home loan. Additionally, if you don’t have the savings for a standard-sized down payment, you may end up having to pay mortgage insurance initially.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

To get the best deal when buying a home, consult a real estate agent for representation. The agent can explain financing options on various properties and advise you on ways of saving for the down payment or explaining how to approach a financial institution to discuss loan options. A real estate agent works with home buyers for a living and can help you figure out what you can afford to spend when buying a home, so you can shop for properties in a realistic price range. When it comes time to make an offer, they can also help you negotiate for a price that fits your budget.

A new home is a large investment. However, that doesn’t mean it’s out of your reach, even if you’re currently on a tight budget. By carefully planning and optimizing your budget, spending, and saving, you can afford a house. Start planning for your next home by taking steps like those listed above. Reduce your debt-to-income ratio, find ways to save all you can, and work with a real estate professional for valuable assistance and guidance.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.