Now before I get started I wanted to make a point that as a Real Estate Professional I believe that owning your own home is a good idea. Regardless of if you rent or own your home you are paying for a mortgage, either directly or indirectly. In my opinion if your going to be paying for a mortgage the home might as well be yours. That being said, before you sit down to crunch the numbers, and meet with a lender or Realtor you should take a few minutes and meditate on what is actually involved in owning your home.
In the past 14 years of practicing Real Estate I have had the pleasure of helping many individuals buy a home. In that time I have come across a few people that were more captivated by the idea of owning a home than the actual act of owning one. You need to be prepared for the fact that your mortgage payment will not be your only responsibility. As a homeowner you must be prepared to maintain and hopefully improve your home. Basic maintenance will include, but is not limited to, routine items like mowing the lawn, and shoveling the snow. In addition, there are more pressing issues like making sure your gutters are clean and your home’s exterior grading is properly pitched to ensure that water is kept away from the foundation. If you are currently renting, your involvement in the maintenance is usually minimal, but as a homeowner these responsibilities will fall on you.
Another thing that you must keep in mind is that regardless if your home is brand new or older there will come a time when you may have to replace the roof, repair or replace the furnace, replace broken windows, etc. This will be especially true if you live in the home for a long period of time. Repair work is inevitable, as regular wear and tear will eventually take its toll on any home. These repairs will cost additional money and time to be invested into the home.
As someone that is thinking of buying a home you must make sure that home ownership aligns with your personality and lifestyle. If you’re an individual that travels all the time and spends a minimum amount of time at home, home ownership may be more of a burden. In addition, you may be someone that after they come home from work just wants to sit back and relax and shudders at the idea of doing anything else that may cut into their downtime. You must be honest with yourself and be prepared to take on the responsibility that comes with home-ownership. If you are not, the home you purchase may end up being an unwanted burden or wind up being in worse shape than when you bought it. This will erode the value of the property and make it more difficult to sell when the time comes. By maintaining your home you can maximize your enjoyment and insure that when you decide to sell you will increase the probability of getting top dollar and a return on your investment.
I know that this is somewhat of a non-traditional thing to hear from a Realtor, as our job is to promote home ownership and sell real estate. The fact of the matter is not everyone is prepared for home-ownership and there is nothing wrong with that. The important thing is that when you decide to invest in a home you must take everything into account and truly understand the scope of home-ownership. Owning a home is a lifestyle that must align with your wants and needs.
By: Virgilio Maldonado Jr.