-What advice do you give renters that want to become homeowners?
-What are common pitfalls you see first-time home buyers experience?
-What can renters do to prepare for home ownership?
-How can renters know when they are ready to become homeowners?
Happy Spring, and welcome to peak home-buying season! Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchasing decisions you will make in your life and because of that fact, it’s important to know for sure when you are ready to take the plunge.
Recently I chatted with a friend of mine, Sabrina Seidner, who I thought would have some valuable insights into how to know when you’re ready to become a homeowner. She’s a licensed real estate broker with Corcoran in New York and has been helping her clients find the homes of their dreams for 15 years. As a $100 million broker she has had the honor of helping countless New Yorkers through the decision to become homeowners. Here’s what we talked about:
- Consider your state-of-mind as a renter. How are you feeling about being a renter? Are you unhappy with your lack of control of your home, and not having the freedom to make changes to your space? Are you tired of rent increases? If these factors don’t bother you, then renting is likely your best bet now; however, if you’re ready to take greater control over your living situation and your financial future, you are ready to consider homeownership. Avoid complacency and do not assume homeownership is out of reach for you! [such great advice!]
- Consider economic conditions. Now is such a great time to be a homeowner! This is one of the most valuable ways to insure your financial security now and way into the future. Home price appreciation is sitting near 6 percent per year (according to the latest Case-Shiller HPI). Add to that the fact that average mortgage rates are historically low, sitting near 4.40 percent – the 45-year historical average is 8.2 percent. However, rates have been climbing this year, so if buying is on your radar, it’s probably better to act sooner rather than later.
- Make sure your credit is solid. Paying your bills on time and maintaining good credit will save you some real money on your mortgage payment and the interest that you pay over the long term. You’ll also need to be ready for the additional expenses of homeownership. Make sure you come up with a realistic monthly budget for all of your home expenses.
So, how’d you do? Are you ready to commit? If so, Sabrina has some straight-talking, helpful advice for buyers in this market [it’s so good!]:
- Be open to fix things, look at different neighborhoods. Everyone must give up something on the list of wants. Be flexible. If you love everything but the kitchen, you can renovate. You can live with pink tile in the bathroom. If it’s not your ideal neighborhood at least try it out — walk it, grab a bite to eat. Be open minded!
- Absolutely do not let family and friends discourage you. They are not the ones craving a permanent home, a sense of ownership. Family has a way of subtly putting buyers down. “Oh, your sister owns a much better place.” Well, you’re not your sister. Being miserable in a rental doesn’t make it better. Accept life’s imperfections. Making your own home is all about you anyway. Don’t crowd it with naysayers.
- Don’t be afraid to work with me (your real estate broker) and submit offers. You may not get the first one — or several, but offers are useful. You get the practice and when the right apartment comes along you are prepared!
[…such great advice!] I’m so thankful to Sabrina for her advice and appreciate her help on this subject. If you would like to reach out to her and chat more about real estate, you can find her at www.corcoran.com/sseidner.
So, how are you feeling about buying a home? Is this your year? If so, congrats! You can do it! And, if you have any other questions or concerns about your credit and buying a home, be sure and reach out for help. We are here for you!