Is Home Ownership For You?
Are you a first-time homebuyer? Are you considering moving
from a rental to your own property? Not sure whether to
look at condominiums, single-family homes, or townhouses
in Washington, DC? If so, youíre not alone. On average
about 5 million homes are purchased each year and of those
purchasers, more than 40% are first-time buyers.
But, is it a wise move? Rest assured that 70 million homeowners
in America couldnít be wrong. And most are perfectly happy
with their homes. And if they're not, they can always sell
them and buy another. Of course, that doesn't mean that
moving up to home ownership isn't a big step for a first-time
buyer. It is, but it has big rewards. And thatís why Iím
here to help. And as you've probably heard, homeowners
get these extra benefits:
- Privacy. Your owned home, to a surprising extent, is
- Appreciation. When you sell, if the market goes up,
you stand to make a substantial profit.
- Tax Advantages. Most homeowners get to deduct most
mortgage interest and property taxes from their federal
On the other hand, chances are you're also feeling some
trepidation over taking the big step. What about those
hefty payments you've heard about? What about coming up
with a big down payment?
These are reasonable concerns and they are answered as
you move further into the home-buying process. Nevertheless,
you may still be seriously wondering if home ownership
is for you. Perhaps you're the type of person whoíd really
be better off renting indefinitely? Before that, however,
letís discuss the finances.
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Can You Afford It?
Can you afford to buy a home? And if so, how big a home
can you afford?
Both first-time home buyers as well as those who are selling
to buy another property often get sticker-shock when they
see the prices of homes. In recent years residential real
estate prices in many areas of the country have gone up
as much as 30% or more and are still climbing. At the same
time the affordability index (the number of buyers who
can afford to purchase the average home) has gone down.
For most buyers, that means compromise.
In order to buy you may have to settle for a slightly
smaller home than before. Or, if you want a larger home,
you may have to be satisfied with a less-than-perfect neighborhood.
Or, if you want neighborhood and size, you may have to
move a further distance away from the city and work. There
are a number of interconnecting factors that go into a
purchase. Iím here to help solve those factors for you.
For most people, compromise is the rule and the bottom
line is the maximum monthly payment and cash down. It's
simply true that the more you can pay each month and the
more cash you have in the bank (or equity out from a sold
property), the better home, neighborhood and location you
can afford to buy.
For most people, the result is stretching ≠ paying more
than we want to. This gives some of us nervousness about
huge monthly payments and no cash in reserve.
As with most worries, these are usually exaggerated. When
you take a closer look, you will usually find that it's
easier to afford a home than you at first thought.
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Working With An Agent
The quickest and easiest way to find a home is to work
with an agent. Nearly 90% of all homes offered for sale
at any given time are listed with agents. A real estate
agent, like me, is the person who is best prepared to help
you with your home finding needs. Further, the agent can
be of help throughout the real estate transaction.
- Help you determine the neighborhood where you want
- Give you details on schools, shopping and other nearby
- Show you the right home;
- Help you decide how much to offer;
- Guide you through making a written offer-to-purchase;
- Direct you to a lender;
- Manage the transaction from offer through closing;
- Discover and solve problems; and
- Help with moving preparations.
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