• Get creative in helping your clients save money on their way to homeownership.

How many Starbucks coffees would it take to pay for a down payment on a new home?

Let’s use Alexandria, Virginia, as our example. According to Starbucks pricing, a Grande Starbucks Cappuccino costs $3.65. The Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS) and current market stats list the average sold price in Alexandria in June at $612,327; so 20 percent of the average home sold in Alexandria would be $122,465.

So it would take you not purchasing 33,552 Grande Starbucks Cappuccino’s to put a down payment on a home in the city by the Potomac. That’s a lot of years of no Starbucks, right?

Putting down 20 percent is not an easy task (and it isn’t always necessary to put down that much!) But doing so requires cutting back in other areas of your life and focusing on saving every penny to reach your goal of homeownership.

As real estate agents, we are always sharing great ways to save when buying, which usually focus around getting closing cost credits and lower prices for the home.

Add to this some other small cost saving tips and techniques, and together they may make all the difference in coming up with the money to make the purchase of a lifetime. Here are a few ideas to suggest to your clients when tightening their belts.

Ways to save money inside the home

  1. Eliminate your cable bill for one year
  2. Stop buying coffee outside the home
  3. Buy generic brands at the grocery store
  4. Cancel magazine subscriptions
  5. In-source everything household: Clean your own home, do your own weeding and mowing, etc.
  6. Make gifts for people versus purchasing them for one year
  7. Sign up for razors from the Dollar Shave Club
  8. Downgrade to a cheaper cell phone bill; there is usually always something better if you call in
  9. Request a credit card rate reduction
  10. Try buying used books when purchasing from Amazon for just one year
  11. Consolidate student loans

Ways to save money outside the home

  1. Try uberPOOL instead of uberX
  2. Cycle or walk to work if possible within two miles
  3. Only eat out one time per week or month
  4. Stop smoking or drinking, if this is something you do regularly
  5. Keep the tires on your automobile properly inflated; every two PSI of air you’re able to add to your tires can improve your gas mileage by 1 percent

Every month, I review my own finances that somehow always add up over time.

Real estate is famous for adding to your expenses quickly. Only $2 here and $5 a month there — next thing you know, you are $200 a month in debt for 20-30 little things you signed up for.

This is the same for consumers, and if we are going to add value to our customers, we need to share and remind them of small ways they can save without impacting their lifestyle too much.

This year, like last year, I vowed to make a bigger difference in my clients’ lives, and that means more than just saving them money on the purchase of their home.

I want to be the one they think about when they think about loyalty to their lifestyle and true care for their quality of life, which means taking more time to get to know them and doing things that are more personable and less generic.

Truly love what you do, and it will show through everything and everyone.

Cheryl Spangler is the principal broker and co-owner of FORBZ Real Estate Group. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Email Cheryl Spangler

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