Buyer(s), in any market, whether it be a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market or an even market, face a number of interesting questions, normal choices and important decisions. We at Jill Myers Realty look forward to helping you navigate through these questions, choices, and decisions, and we include some information about the same in the next paragraphs.
An interesting choice, always, is the decision of whether to buy. As Hamlet is quoted, “that is the question”. These paragraphs cannot fully answer that question for you, and meeting with you is no substitute to what we have written here; though, we would pose some interesting questions and thoughtful ideas to consider when making choices and decisions. These aforementioned questions and ideas are relevant whether you are looking to purchase your first, your tenth home, or your hundreth home.
The Portland Metropolitan Market during the year of 2004 to the present day present elucidate our grandparents already-known truths of patience, discipline, determination, and perseverence.
Buying a house and owning a home can be a wonderful experience; though, it is not to be taken lightly. And while we all intellectually quote, un-quote “know” that, it remains to be salient to say it again, and again. Too often we see well-meaning people feel the pressure of purchasing a home to fit into ideals: Their ideals of what life should look like at “their age”; pressures, external or internal, to fit in with their friends and family who have purchased a home; the media; and the social normatives that permeate our American Culture.
Stating this in another way, purchasing a house and then owning your home can be a great thing; though, buying and owning a home is not for everyone at every time. There are times where it is better and more sagicious to not own a home (and for those who think in the opposite… consider this: We are onlycompensated when we help a buyer purchase a house and close on their home, and when we help a seller sell take their home and sell their house. In other words, we earn no financial (immediate; as we do work by referral) return by writing there are times it is better to not purchase a house and own a home). Counterculture, there are times where successful, intelligent, capable, and educated people should rent rather than own. Strange to hear a real estate website write such things? Well, it shouldn’t be so out of the norm. We all know it. Alternatively, there are times when it is indeed better and more wise to purchase a house and own a home. Some of the deciding factors are found as follows: Most all of us long to hear the sobering bottom line that is mostly lost, yet not yet gone, from our grandparents. The dedication of patience, discipline, determination, and persevering through a goal is much more important than fitting in with social norms, or internal “I should haves”.
So, how do you “know” if you are ready? Well, here are some simple guidelines:
1. Do you carry a credit card balance from month to month?
2. Do you have a will or living trust, and an advance medical directive?
3. If you have a wage-earning job, meaning you receive a w-2 at the end of the year and you are not self-employed, do you have 3 months to 6 months of total living expenses (based upon your potential new house payment) in a liquid (not stock, in savings, conservatively invested) emergency fund? If you are self-employed, meaning you do not receive a w-2 at the end of the year, you are 1099, etc. et al., do you have 6 months to 12 months of total living expenses in an emergency fund?
4. If you are married, especially if you have children, do you have life insurance? Side note, they say term is the best, though we’re not insurance professionals, so check with one.
5. If you are a non-married couple or friends purchasing a home, do you know in what form you are going to hold title to the property? If the answer is no, then you need to find this out and agree to this prior to buying a home. Also said, if you are dating and are looking to purchase a home together, what about if one of you decides to leave? Who will be responsible for the mortgage payment, taxes, property insurance, et al? Who will be on title to the property? To the mortgage? These are things to figure out prior to purchasing a home.
6. If you are a first-time homebuyer, have you taken a first-time homebuyer class? If not, why not? Because you don’t have time? Are you going to have time when the pressure is on and you have to make multiple hundred thousand dollar decisions? Or when you have purchased a home and have to deal with an oversight that costs you thousands of dollars that may have been avoided had you taken the time to take a first-time homebuyer classs? If you are a first-time homebuyer, take the class. We recommend several. Visit www.hownw.com to find out more information. Not everything they say is perfect (the givers of the class do make information mistakes) or may apply to you. This said, it is well worth your time. We have not had any first-time homebuyers say anything to the opposite.
7. Let’s say all the above questions are answered with a yes where a yes is due and a no in the same way… Are you paying all cash or are you getting a mortgage? If you are getting a mortgage, do you know what type of mortgage? How much are you putting down? 20%? Are you getting a mortgage with a 15-year fixed rate term? That is our recommendation. You’ll save thousands in interest payments, and most importantly, you do not “own” the home until the mortgage note and trust deed is reconveyed to you. Until then, stop making the payments, and you’ll see the bank move to foreclose on and take possession of your property. If you are deciding between VA, FHA, Conventional, USDA Loans, it is very important to be informed and know what you type of loan is best for you and why… before you close on purchasing a house and make it your home. We have loan officers, mortgage brokers, and other resources (like the counselors at places that give first-time homebuyer classes) that we can refer to you to help you make an informed and wise decision.
While not all encompassing, these are some serious questions to ask yourself, and there are choices and decisions to be made. Temper your actions with wisdom. If it takes a bit longer to save the emergency fund and pay off those credit cards, admist a plan with a qualified financial planner (we are real estate brokers, not financial planners and not qualified to provide financial planning as that is outside the expertise of a real estate broker), it will likely by time well spent. If it means changing your lifestyle or waiting, we’re all for it. If you find you are ready now, that’s great let’s find your home!
Either way, and no matter what your answer is to the questions above, and what are your choices and decisions, we can help you get ready. We are here working by referral and we want to see you successful. If you are not ready, we will work on a gameplan to help you get ready. And if you are ready, we’ll do our very best in serving you in your home purchase. Remember, purchasing a home is not to be taken lightly. With the correct preparation and forethought, remembering our grandparents’ wisdom of patience, discipline, determination, and perseverence, your homepurchasing and homeowning experience can be fulfilling and rewarding!
Thank you for choosing to work with us in purchasing your home. We look forward to exceeding your expectations so that you contact us with referrals to your friends and family.