This morning my wife says to me as my son Aiden climbs across my lap, "We really need to get him to stand up on his own....that is the next step." I reply, "Won't he just do it on his own?" She answered, "Maybe but we're supposed to be his guide." That's when I thought, BLOG POST!
I remember back to when I bought my first home and I was so much like my son Aiden is now and his need to take the leap. It was time to not hang on to the comfort of paying 'rent' and grow. When I was paying rent I could always rely on my landlord to pay for those things 'I didn't know about'. Those mysterious multi-thousand dollar bills that, as a landlord, you knew we're coming. I couldn't afford a multi-thousand dollar bill to arrive out of the blue. What I didn't realize at the time was that the multi-thousand dollar bill rarely came.
When Aiden lets go of my hands and stands, likely before falling, it will be his chance to exert some independence. When I plunked down my downpayment on my new home it was a step out into the land of independence as well. Scary, just the same, but a step in the right direction. By taking the leap of faith with the guidance of my hands Aiden will grow to be walking soon. When I plunked down my downpayment, it was my parent's encouragement that was my guide and now I'm a proud homeowner of a home that I can afford.
Before purchasing my first home I thought, "How am I going to be able to afford all of the bills?" thinking that they would double or triple because now I "own". Well, they didn't triple and some of them went up while some of them went down. We also brought in a roommate (friend) who helped to offset the costs AND added to the comfort level of knowing that an empty room of the house was bringing in a little bit of money. All in all though outside of an HOA due here and there, the bills generally ran about the same. I was standing.
Once you make your first month's mortgage payment, and you can pay for the electric and cable and groceries you realize that the routine from rent to own is pretty similar. There is more responsibility as now I have to change the air filter, or mow the lawn, or make sure the water softener salt has salt but these are things that you do with pride...you own.
Like Aiden holding onto a couple of guide hands before walking, a first-time homebuyer too can grab onto some available hands before taking their leap. A good Realtor (like those at Round Table Realty) will be there to answer some of these concerns and worries and help guide a first-time homebuyer into a home that they can afford so that you shouldn't fall. Gone are the days of the McMansion. Here are the days of sustainability and if you can afford to buy at crazy low prices and qualify for a crazy low-interest rate than call up a Realtor, put together a sustainable gameplan, and get ready to take your leap of faith. It will be the best thing you do and you'll be walking, like Aiden, in no time.