Conceptually, paying your own mortgage has always seemed more appealing than paying a landlord’s mortgage every month. Especially this time of year, when tax time puts the whole year’s finances out there on one piece of paper, seeing how thousands of dollars have slipped away for another year can be a little frustrating. Not surprisingly, then, this is a time of year when, as a buyer’s agent, I begin hear the phone ring a little more often!
Seen from the long term perspective, dollars put toward a home you are buying go toward building a future -- something rent dollars cannot do. But there are more intangible benefits to owning versus renting: control over the title being potentially the most valuable. Any tenant who has been forced to move because the homeowner needed to sell, or was foreclosed upon, or decided to move back in himself, is someone who has learned the value of controlling when their next family move should happen.
For tenants newly considering becoming a first-time homeowner, consulting a reputable local buyer’s agent is the place to start. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you determine a practical budget, and then guide the pre-qualifying process to make it happen.
The next step will be to identify properties that fall within your budget. Are there neighborhoods you have always wanted to live in, but thought you couldn’t afford? In today’s market, just about every neighborhood – even the most chichi ones – have experienced some foreclosures. A buyer’s agent can help you identify potential homes at bargain prices. Some might need a little work, but the long-range payoff can be worth it.
The bottom line? Everyone has to pay to live somewhere, and in today’s market, owning a home in our area is more attainable than ever. With mortgage rates still at near-historic lows, if you are on the verge of becoming a former renter, now is the time to consult a reputable local buyer’s agent. I am always available for questions -- and would be happy to schedule a pre-qualification consultation anytime you decide it is worth exploring.