According to the most recent statistical information provided in the Current Population Survey of the US Census Bureau, the homeownership rate is 63.6% in the United States today. For every one of those homeowners, the thoughts of homeownership had to begin somewhere. And certainly, for many, the actual reality of homeownership may have been slowed down by various “buts” along the way; “I would buy a house, BUT…” fill in the blank. Perhaps the homeownership rate would be higher today, except that for some potential homeowners, the “buts” defeated their dreams of homeownership entirely. One of the reasons that the “buts” defeat us, is because we think that they are bigger than the dream of home ownership, and that may be the reason we have such a hard time facing the truth. The reality is it’s more-often-than-not an education about some piece of the home ownership process that is missing that we need to gain more knowledge about, that is holding us back from being a homeowner. Here’s some common “buts” that many face when it comes to home ownership, and a potential strategy to eliminate them.
I would buy a house, BUT…
…I don’t know where to start: Many Real Estate Agents offer a complimentary Buyer’s Consultation with potential clients. During that consultation, you might expect a walk-through of the home buying process, including an overview on the status of the market, resources to establish financing options, and a deep dive into the location, price range, and type of house that you’re looking for. While you may be buying only one house, a professional real estate sales person could be assisting the purchase and sale of dozens of houses in their career. Put that experience to work for you, and gain some insight on what to expect along the way.
…I don’t know if I can afford it: Speak with a lender and get prequalified. During that process, you will discover the type of financing that you qualify for and how much you can spend. If any credit issues arise, you’ll be able to address them. Buyers might be surprised on the types of programs and lending options that are out there and available to them, that could make the dream of homeownership a reality.
…I can’t decide on one, there may be a “better” one out there: During a Buyer’s Consultation with your real estate agent, you will have the opportunity to get crystal clear on the “perfect” house for you. There may never be a “100%” house, meaning that a house has absolutely every little thing that you are looking for. There may, though, be many that are “80%” houses: there may be something that you need to compromise on. For instance, the kitchen is perfect, though you don’t like the carpeting throughout; the bedrooms are just the right size, though you don’t like the busy street that the house is on. There will always be compromise in the house hunt, and consider that when you find a house that is an “80%” house, that may be the “one”. With hundreds of houses on the market, it may be tempting to keep looking and looking and looking, when there will often be some level of compromise that needs to be had.
…I don’t know anything about home maintenance: Most new homeowners experience a learning curve when they purchase a new home about the basics of “around the house” to-dos to complete. With so many resources out there, including YouTube videos, books, and homeownership seminars at the local Big Box hardware stores, the good news is that information is rich for the homeowner “do-it-yourselfer”. And should the level of expertise, or time needed, be too great for something on the to-do list? Professionals and handymen are only a phone call away.
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"Had known Kris for a few years outside of the Real Estate arena. After a conversation on the subject, she appeared to have all the pertinent answers to my questions. She listened to our concerns. She did a masterful job staging the house and promoting it. She sold our house in 2 days.