Are you ready to make the leap from living at home or renting – to owning a home of your own? When it comes to moving into the ever-so-adult-territory of home ownership, everyone moves at their own pace. Some young adults feel the pull of a mortgage payment the moment they collect their first paycheck, while others are comfortable leaving the maintenance and responsibility to a landlord as they enjoy the carefree roof over their head!
What about you? Have you taken a moment to consider taking the leap? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you can use to justify your decision.
Are You Sticking Around?
If you plan on moving soon for a job or think that you won’t be in town much longer, it may be better to rent. However, if you are thinking about living in the same town or within the same county for years to come, it is time to put down roots (honestly, after 3 weeks of sub-zero weather why would you want to leave?). Home ownership can bring stability to your life (if that’s what you desire), and there’s something to be said for knowing you’ll be making a mortgage payment that contributes to a firm financial future, rather than your payment doing the same for someone else (your landlord).
Do You Have a Steady Job?
Those who have a steady job and know that they have a stable salary may want to make the move to home ownership. As long as there aren’t any other major debts eating into your income, you can probably handle a mortgage and other costs associated with home ownership. The equity that you build in your home can help you build wealth for the future, and set you up to climb the ladder of properties.
Do you spend your Sunday’s watching home renovation and home buying television shows?
I don’t know about you. but that beach property I see every weekend looks pretty darn good right about now (despite the recent thaw)! How about the beautiful renovation condensed into a clean half hour of production? The skeptic in me wants to tell the novice home buyer that the rules of reno aren’t accurately portrayed on the tube. As much as I want you to be enthusiastic about buying a home and building equity – you need to know that the road to completion is rocky. That said, the finished product can make the journey worthwhile – you can channel your inner-Bob Vila and create something beautiful and functional that increases the homes value and appeal.
Are you ready to make the leap?
There are more questions you need to ask (or be asked), buying your first home is a HUGE step – and you want to be ready to take it. My suggestion – find a good real estate agent (I know a GREAT guy) that loves working with first time home buyers. You’ll get the tough questions – and the right answers – and be ready for the keys!
Contact me today at (651) 251-4898 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in taking the first steps to home ownership in 2018!
My organization—the National Association of Realtors®—offers a wide range of guidance for Saint Paul families who have decided it’s time to land their first house. With more than a century’s worth of experience, you’d expect nothing less. Typically they’re forthcoming with answers, but in this case you’re going to have to work for it by taking the first time home buyer quiz.
Last week I happened across an article the NAR had distilled that looked like a must-read for anyone who is just starting out on the path to buying their first Saint Paul house. Its title was “8 Critical Things to Do Before Buying a Home”—but it could just as well have been “8 Critical Things to Do Before Buying Your First Saint Paul House.” Each of the eight was apt—and important to mull over—but it’s the kind of list that’s awfully easy to read without giving much thought to the individual items.
The challenge was to come up with an interesting way to share the ideas with you. The article put the “8 critical things” in order—so I decided to make a game out of them: a quiz.
See if you can guess what was the order—from first to last—that the NAR presented them in. I don’t know that the order I’d choose would match theirs exactly …but see how well yours does:
-A. Amass a down payment
-B. Go mortgage shopping
-C. Ponder the future (*I love this one: wait till you see where the NAR put it!)
-D. Crunch your numbers
-E. Know your credit score
-F. Get educated
-G. Ballpark your closing costs
-H. Interview at least three real estate agents
The NAR’s answers are below, and here’s one small (but crucial) addition for Saint Paul first house buyers: if you’re just getting started, you can get a head start right now by giving me a call at (651) 251-4898 or drop me an email at email@example.com.
When you reach out, there’s never an obligation, but I’m always happy to discuss where you are and the options you might already have. In any case, later—when it comes to action H.—you’ll definitely have a head start!
Answers: D, E, A, F, H, B, C
With age comes wisdom – at least that’s how things are supposed to work. I don’t know that I’ll ever be classified as being “wise”, but I sure do know a GREAT first time home buying opportunity when I see one…and I see one on my roster of listings this morning!
I made the short drive to St. Michael a couple of months ago to lay eyes on the property at 116 1st Street NE, and was immediately struck by how quickly that community is growing. All along the I-95 corridor, small towns are evolving into these really cool communities that are vibrant and growing – yet still retaining the character and charm of rural America. A neat little downtown area/main street, large lots and quiet streets, and I even got stuck behind a convoy of pre-teens on their bikes rolling towards the Holiday station in search of a giant fountain glass of Mt. Dew – it could have been 1982 in Cambridge and I was on the bike – some things about small towns never change!
The home on 1st street fits perfectly into that setting. I was pleasantly surprised to find a property so close to so many important assets – schools, churches, shopping, a couple of restaurants – yet I saw very little traffic and the block was quiet.
As excited as I am about the location of this home, I’m even more excited about the opportunity it presents for the first time home buyer. 3 bedrooms on the main floor, new carpet recently installed, low maintenance exterior, an oversized shed in the oversized backyard and even a HUGE screened porch to enjoy during the non-arctic months! So many great turn-key features, but the best part is what’s to come….in the basement.
That basement – clean, dry, and unfinished – is ready for a home buyer that wants to build equity and has the vision to turn it into the perfect family space! High ceilings, brick foundation, a smooth concrete floor AND a 3/4 bath already in place and ready to be updated. This is a spectacular first time home buying opportunity that reminds me of my first home – a property that I used to build equity and create the cash needed to move onward and upward into my next home.
So if you – or someone you know – wants to listen to the advice of a “wise” old man and make a smart home buying decision in a GREAT location – give me a call today at (651) 251-4898 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a showing.
Home buying is not a contest! Not everyone who is looking at the homes for sale in Saint Paul needs to come up with a winner right away. Last week I showed a handful of homes to a new client….first time home buyers that had read the headlines and were feeling the pressure of getting into a home ASAP in order to avoid the drawn out search that is so common these days.
I told them two stories of past clients. One who wrote an offer on the first home they saw and lived happily ever after. The other wrote an offer on the 75th home they saw….and lived happily ever after.
The point being there is no formula for home buying success when it comes to the search and discovery process. You’ll find the home of your dreams when you find it, what is important is being prepared to make a competitive offer and have it accepted when you do find it!
With that in mind, some basic truths about home buying that apply to all buyers. Remember that when you finally do find just the right home at just the right price, all of a sudden you could find yourself in competition with others who see the same thing: the house they’ve been looking for!
The takeaway is that, if your interest in today’s homes for sale is strictly low-key – or if your ready to make a move yesterday – it’s prudent to prepare yourself as if yours is more of a front-burner quest. In other words, when you find the Saint Paul house of your dreams, you want to be the one to land it!
Here are some checklist items that will position you to make the most of any Saint Paul house hunt:
- Budget seriously. Without doubt, the place to start is by doing some financial homework. If you don’t know what you can comfortably afford, you can’t know which of the homes for sale in Saint Paul should be competing for your attention.
- Get pre-approved. Unless you plan to be a cash buyer, having a mortgage lender on your team is well worth the effort. Keep in mind that being “pre-qualified” isn’t the same thing as being “pre-approved”—the more rigorous (and real) process. It spells out the precise size of the home loan you can expect to receive. It’s no surprise that sellers tilt toward prospective buyers who have bothered to get real!
- Widen the field. Once you have narrowed the field in terms of the price range you will be considering, you can improve the chances of finding a singularly appealing property by widening your search parameters. This can mean considering homes for sale in areas you hadn’t really paid attention to—or opening your imagination to include properties with features or architectural styles you hadn’t previously thought about. Especially in an active market with tight inventories, the open-minded approach is often the one that yields pay dirt.
Today’s low home loan rates are allowing surprisingly affordable monthly payments—numbers which can transform even the least motivated prospects into active house hunters. But the with the inventory of homes for sale at historic lows – that just makes the competition fiercer!
To see what that means in terms of the actual current crop of Saint Paul homes for sale, give me a call at (651) 251-4898 or email me at email@example.com!
Buying your first home is an exciting and terrifying time in your life. As an agent I take extra care to make sure these buyers are informed and comfortable every step of the way. We work together during the exciting search process. I try to keep them calm as we offer and negotiate – and eventually agree – on a purchase. As we roll through the inspection and appraisal I try to provide wise counsel to ensure they purchase a home in good condition at the right price and don’t spend more than the property is worth. It’s not uncommon to have some bumps along the way, but more often than not we get to the final stages of the purchase in good shape.
And then the parents show up and it’s time for The Dad Inspection (sorry Moms, it’s ALWAYS Dad that brings his tape measure and flashlight).
I know why…I get it…I did the same thing when I bought my first home (more on that later) and will provide support when my kids take that step.
After all, you’re excited to be buying a home in Saint Paul or the surrounding area. Your parents are probably excited about your home purchase too, and as a parent I can attest they want the best for you—what parent wouldn’t want to offer their best wisdom and counsel on just about any topic, especially a purchase as large as a home?
Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible for that very same best advice to cause a good home choice to slip away. So with all due respect to the parents out there reading this post, here are some common pitfalls to avoid at the time of the Dad Inspection:
- Parents want to see you land your home for the least amount of money—sometimes resulting in advice to start with a lower than necessary offer. That may be what they did when they last bought a house—and it might have worked then but it will not work in this seller’s market. Make your offer based on the comparable neighborhood sales, the property’s condition, and your Realtor’s® advice (that’s me!).
- Mom and Dad may advise different “deal points” than are standard in the today’s market. Recall that each state and area has different customs, disclosures, and laws—and they can evolve. What may be common in the parent’s area might not be common in ours.
- Parents may attempt to talk you out of a particular house or neighborhood. Although they may have valid insights based on their experiences, if your house hunt leads you to a specific home that’s workable for you and your budget now, trust your gut instincts.
- Parents sometimes have very specific ideas about the condition of a house. That can lead to some really alarmist reactions – which is where the dreaded “Dad Inspection” occurs. I can still remember the phone call from the agent on my first home purchase, asking if my Father was crazy enough to be “lurking around the home at 5:30 in the morning.” The answer was yes – and he had a particular obsession with wood rot, so he was actually poking around the siding of the home with a large screwdriver looking for soft spots. I’m not making that up….so keep in mind that different areas have different building types, weather patterns, and housing components—and that repair and upgrade costs may differ significantly from one area to another. Listen to the folks, but do your own research. And listen to the advice of your Saint Paul inspector (and me, too).
A common denominator is to listen to everyone, but do your own research—and include what your own hand-picked Realtor brings you. If you and I are proactive about the issues the house hunt turns up, your parents’ feelings won’t be hurt. There will be peace in your family, and a much more successful transaction…all of which can start when you give me a call at (651) 251-4898 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tried and true, there really is no better way to make your money work for you than real estate investing.
When you recall how thoroughly public confidence was shaken during that last financial meltdown, you probably also remember how reluctant most people were to presume that Saint Paul real estate values would rebound anytime soon. Those who saw nosediving property values as a great buying opportunity were in the courageous minority—even though a cool-headed review of the history of home values’ ups and downs made such a conclusion pretty safe.
Today there may be a similar Saint Paul real estate opportunity—although you have to look a lot harder to see it. It’s emerging in the realm of Saint Paul rental real estate investments. Instead of resulting from a dramatic global financial shakeup, it’s the by-product of a less headline-grabbing phenomenon—namely, an emerging shift in American lifestyle and spending habits.
One piece of evidence can be found in the rapid adoption of “sharing economy” businesses like Airbnb and Uber. Forbes magazine points to their ascendency as evidence of a shift in Americans’ willingness to share goods and services with others—as well as a new attitude about ownership in general. It’s most evident among the younger set: “A fifth of Millennials would consider renting DIY products, clothing or sporting equipment,” one survey found—key drivers being affordability and convenience.
Forbes also looked at attitudes among Millennials about housing. Nearly a quarter who are not yet on the housing ladder said they were not concerned about owning a home of their own and would be content to rent for the rest of their lives. If offered lease terms of five or more years, they would be encouraged to “treat their rented property more like a home.”
Meantime, the widely-respected Pew Research Center found particularly that steep declines in homeownership are only partially due to the difficulty of coming up with a down payment. Even though mortgage approval rates are up, home loan applications are down.
This impact such an attitudinal shift could mean is underlined when you realize that there are 92 million Millennials. They make up the largest generation in American history. If they continue to place more value on the flexibility and convenience provided by the new business models, another outcome could well be the disappearance of the stigma that used to go with renting. Per the Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman, the dip in homeownership among younger generations “is a permanent shift”—one evidenced by the rise in “lifestyle renters” (those who can afford to buy, but choose not to).
It could be part of why the rental market is booming across America—and lead to the conclusion that it will become, as Goodman stated, a permanent trend. If so, the long-term implications are certainly positive when it comes to Saint Paul rental real estate investments. For anyone who has ever considered diversifying into a Saint Paul real estate rental property investment, now would be a great time to call me to investigate further!