To develop a mindset for homeownership, I encourage my fellow women to act or behave as if you already own the house—you just haven’t received the keys yet. That means having a strategy for purchase by establishing the right realtor and lender who will be honest with you.
As a homebuyer, the first person you’ll speak with is a lender. They will let you know that your buying power is based upon income, credit, and assets. If there are modifications to be made to those three factors, consider seeking guidance from a housing counselor to help you establish a budget and hold you accountable. Because this is a family decision, you’ll need to get everyone who is going to benefit from the home purchase on board to support it: children, spouses, significant others, etc. Why? Some short-term sacrifices may have to be made to achieve homeownership. Every athlete has a coach that is lovingly pushing to get the best performance out of them. A housing counselor is no different.
Once the necessary funds for a down payment and closing costs have been secured, your realtor will show you houses that match your purchase price. They’ll also educate you on the buying process and market conditions to help you get the home. There will be some concessions—this is not the market your parents purchased a home in or even your friend just six months ago. We are currently in a market where purchase prices, interest rates, and property taxes are rising.
Even in the current market, it may be worth it to buy now. Any equity you build while living in the home could be utilized to buy the next property or be passed down to the next generation. There is a song that Billy Preston sang with the lyric, “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.” Your starter home could change that “nothing” to “something” and put your family onto the path of stability and wealth-building.
I was the child of a single parent. My mother owned her home until I was 15 years old. I had the privilege of being in a stable school environment, which allowed me to flourish in my education. When my mother lost her home, my stability and her ability to pass on generational wealth went away. I was old enough that I did not suffer as my younger siblings did. Economic studies have proven that children who live in homes that their parents own tend to have better educational outcomes than those who are transient through rentals. Living through this process with my mother instilled a passion in me to educate others so that they are able to provide a different outcome for themselves and their families.
My “why” for sharing this with you is that I want to be on your team! I want to help you through this journey by changing your mindset and showing you a different perspective on how to handle your finances. By working together, we can get you on the path to homeownership and help you realize your version of the “American dream.”
Written by Jennine Hunter, MLO